"American Idol" judges save Jessica Sanchez

NEW YORK Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:20am EDT

Contestant Jessica Sanchez poses at the party for the finalists of the television show ''American Idol'' in Los Angeles, California March 1, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Contestant Jessica Sanchez poses at the party for the finalists of the television show ''American Idol'' in Los Angeles, California March 1, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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NEW YORK(Reuters) - Jessica Sanchez, the youngest finalist on TV singing contest "American Idol," was dramatically saved from elimination on Thursday by the show's judges as she performed a last chance song to prove she was worthy of continuing.

With Jennifer Lopez leading the way, fellow judges Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler stormed the stage and announced they were using their only "save" to keep Sanchez on the show shortly after Sanchez was told she had received the fewest fan votes this week.

"Give me that mic!," Lopez exclaimed as she rushed up to Sanchez. "This is crazy!"

This season, "Idol" judges were allotted one "save" to override audience votes and keep a promising contestant on the show. All of them must agree, and if the "save" had not been used by next week's performance, it would have expired.

Sanchez, who sang Deborah Cox's song "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here" to close out the show, appeared bewildered by both her last place finish and her save.

Then again, bewilderment seemed to be a theme of a wild evening on the No. 1-rated U.S. TV singing contest.

Host Ryan Seacrest began by directing contestants to opposite sides of the stage without telling them which group was safe and which group was in danger of going home. With three singers in each group, Seacrest told remaining contestant Skylar Laine that she would stay and instructed her to "pick the group you think you belong with."

After a shocked Laine protested, Seacrest guided her to a group he finally pronounced as safe, leaving Elise Testone, Joshua Ledet and Sanchez in the bottom three. All three judges expressed confusion and dismay with this outcome. At the end of the show, Jackson admonished audiences to vote more wisely.

This week, audiences judged contestants based on performances of songs from the present decade in Wednesday night's telecast.

Thursday's results episode featured two performances from former "Idol" contestants. Jennifer Hudson, who received an assist from Ne-Yo, sang "Think Like a Man", and James Durbin sang his song "Higher than Heaven."

"Idol", which first aired in on Fox in 2002, has launched the careers of singers Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert. Audiences vote for their favorite performers by phone and text message each week as contestants are challenged by a variety of musical styles. The winning contestant receives a recording contract. This season's winner will be decided in May.

(Reporting By Andrea Burzynski; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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Comments (28)
maddyp wrote:
How dare the judges do that kind of antic on that stage! They left the other well-deserving contestants standing there while they fawned over a girl who is cocky, ungracious, and thinks she has it won already…and with their prejudicial judging, they may as well have just call her the winner. How unfair! I will never watch this ‘stacked’ show again! I pray the public can see through the judges and Jessica.

Apr 12, 2012 11:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Blinn3 wrote:
Blinn3,
The reason people are voting in the manner they are is because the judges are salivating over two contestants to the exclusion of the others. And while Jessica and Josh are really good, but they are really boring and everything sounds the same. It is important to take into account that the voters on Idol are young and don’t want to constantly hear a “church” boy and a sixteen year old girl who constantly sounds as if she is in pain. Elise is great, Holly is never given any credit and she is not pitchy judges–if you approved of Deandree’s voice and even after listening to it after the show did not realize it was horrendous, then your opinions of whom should stay are not playing in Peoria. The judges are ruining this season–Jennifer is obnoxious, Randy is a braggart, and Steven is just plain biased–all of them will say anything to hurt one singer–including telling the audience to vote for one particular person–so that their preferences are kept in the running. If the judges stopped with their blatant biases, the audience would start voting more fairly. Shut up, Jennifer.

Apr 12, 2012 11:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
john.r wrote:
Just as I predicted jessica s is over rated!

Apr 12, 2012 11:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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