Thursday night's American Idol elimination came as a big surprise to the audience.

Front runner Pia Toscano was eliminated from the competition.

She was one of the most talented singers we had, said American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez to Ryan Seacrest's KIIs-FM radio show.

I'm still shocked.

Lopez, Toscano as well as all of the other contestants and judges got visibly emotional when the announcement was made. As a front runner, nobody expected Toscano to be eliminated.

Honestly, I don't know what happened, Lopez said. [Maybe] people thought she was safe, as I did ... Maybe there was something that wasn't connecting [with the audience] that we didn't see.

After the end of the show, Lopez took to the stage and had a heart-to-heart with Toscano.

I told her to stay pure in her heart, to have faith and to know that if this wasn't the path for her that there was something bigger for her ... That there is something bigger for her. And I believe that, Lopez said.