Abdul (centre) is a judge alongside Randy Jackson (left) and Simon Cowell
American Idol judge Paula Abdul has left people scratching their heads after giving feedback on two songs to a contestant who had only performed once.
In a change from the norm, the judges made notes and passed on feedback after everyone had given one performance.
But when Abdul came to discuss Idol hopeful Jason Castro, she referred to having heard "two songs" from him.
The star said she was confused by her notes as the changes to the judging were made at the last minute.
"Oh gosh, we've never had to write these things down... fast enough," Abdul said, shuffling through her pieces of paper.
"Jason, first song, I loved hearing your lower register, which we never really hear, um... the second song, I felt like your usual charm wasn't - it was missing for me. It kind of left me a little empty.
"The two songs made me feel like you're not fighting hard enough to get into the top four," she said, before being told by fellow judge Randy Jackson that only one song had been performed.
'Strangest show ever'
After realising her blunder, Abdul said: "Oh my god, I thought you sang twice!"
Host Ryan Seacrest tried to smooth over the situation by saying, "You're seeing the future, baby!", before cutting her off and asking another judge, Simon Cowell, for his comments.
The remaining five contestants in the talent show then all performed a second song for the Neil Diamond-themed night.
"This was officially the strangest show we've ever done," Cowell said at the end of the programme.
The incident has prompted fans to speculate on the programme's messageboards if the show was scripted or fixed.
A spokesman for the Fox TV channel declined to comment.