Paula Abdul says she and her fellow American Idol judges were thrown a “curveball” Tuesday night when they were asked to quickly sum up first half of the show — after originally being told they’d critique the contestants at the end.

Calling into Idol host Ryan Seacrest’s KIIS-FM show Wednesday morning, Abdul said her strange response to Jason Castro‘s performance was an “honest mistake.” Abdul admits she’d written notes on both Castro and another performer on the same card, and in the end, was simply “confused” as she gave her feedback.

“In seven years we’ve never had to do that,” she told Seacrest of the format change, adding, “We were only following directions.”–Jackie Fields