Sixteen-year-old Jessica Sanchez received the lowest number of votes from the audience this week on “American Idol” but the petite singer is staying on the show for another week as the judges voted to save her.
Sanchez, who hails from San Diego, California, cried onstage as judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson, and Steven Tyler made known their decision. The three judges joined Sanchez onstage in a show of support.
With Lopez leading the way, fellow judges Jackson and 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!”
Earlier this week, Sanchez, a Filipino-Mexican, sang “Stuttering” and got good reviews from the judges.
Jackson said, “I love the arrangement that you did with this song. You set the bar really high.”
Lopez added, “That was really beautiful. Take us on a ride every week,” and Tyler said, “Every time I hear you sing I forget where I am. You slay it every time.”
Audience votes determine, however, who stays and who gets booted out on “American Idol”, but the judges were allotted one “save” this season 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 Thursday (Friday morning in Manila), 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 US 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.
Sanchez has received good reviews and standing ovations in the past from the judges, as in her performances of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and Billy Joel’s “Everybody Has A Dream.”