The Top 8 results show on "American Idol" went straight to where you thought it would, leaving the one finalist singing for his life you probably expected to see doing it. And if you were surprised, why? Three times and you should be out. But were you surprised by the "Idol" judges' use of their one and only seasonal "Save?" Again, why?
Okay. Let's backtrack a bit. Wednesday night's show was a "peak" for the season, Michael Slezak at TVLine noted (via Yahoo TV) in his April 3 recap of Thursday's results show, and "no one bellyflopping into the pool," it was not such a big shocker that thirty minutes later eight finalists would find their number diminished by... well, none.
Thursday night's show began with host Ryan Seacrest perhaps flirting with a judge: "That's everybody in unison saying 'J-Lo looks hot'" and admitting she would distract him during the show. But he also literally foreshadowed the live episode by telling us that there might be some "drama" on the show if the judges decided to use their "Save" option, something they had to do by the Top 6 show or forfeit the option.
After a quick video clip of the "Idol" Top 8 finalists doing their after-performance group dinner, where Caleb Johnson stated the obvious (that the performance show was the best show of the season thus far), two finalists found out that America voted them into the Top 7. First, safe for another week was Dexter Roberts. Second, it was Jena Irene.
(You have to love that big screen reveal, catching the contestants right at the moment they discover they've moved forward. Some are a bit less emotional than others, but for the most part the excitement and joy are very evident -- and they're surprised to be named, the reaction capture is pure television gold.)
Daughtry hit the stage next, performing his latest hit song, "Waiting For Superman." A departure from his usual rock ballads and/or alternative rock tunes, "Waiting For Superman" has a definite dance/techno/pop feel to it but Daughtry's vocals are pure power. The judges gave him a standing ovation.
As Ryan noted prior to Daughtry's performance, frontman Chris Daughtry saw his career kickstarted by his run on "American Idol" back in 2006. He would end up finishing fourth in Season 5 in possibly the most shocking elimination "Idol" has ever seen. In fact, at the conclusion of "Waiting For Superman," Ryan mentioned it, noting that someone might be eliminated on the show. Chris, not missing a beat, relived that moment in 2006 when he found out he wasn't going on to the Top 3 and let his jaw go slack, his eyes glazing over in shock. Laughter ensued.
Not that it wasn't accurate...
But Daughtry went on to become the most successful "American Idol" alum not to be graced with the title. His first album, eponymously entitled Daughtry, has sold nearly 5 million copies in the U. S. alone. Although his follow-up albums, Leave This Town and Break The Spell, haven't sold nearly as much, they've sold enough to be awarded platinum and gold certifications, respectively. And Daughtry's first album still holds the title for fastest selling rock debut album in Nielsen Soundscan history.
Then it was time to eliminate:
Quickly, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse and Alex Preston were told they were safe, leaving Malaya Watson, Sam Woolf, and C. J. Harris uncertain as to their fate.
Then Malaya and C. J. were told they are safe, with Sam having to sing for his life. He reprised his earlier performance of David Gray's "Babylon," which was a good choice on his part. Although it really didn't matter. Caleb was right about the performance show being probably the best of the season, so it is doubtful that the judges would have a better opportunity to keep the line-up strong. However, if one of the frontrunners hits a snag in the next couple shows, there will be no safety net, no way for the judges to issue a reprieve. All that being said, it was no surprise what came next...
Judge Jennifer Lopez delivered the news: The vote was unanimous. The "Save" would be used. There were still eight finalists in the competition.
What all that means is: The Top 8 remain the Top 8. The judges will have no more saves for the remainder of the season. So, from here on out, the bottom vote-getter will go home. Hopefully, the "Idol" producers won't do what they usually do after a "Save" or when they bring back a finalist into the competition, which is eliminate two on the next results episode. But whether they do that or not remains to be seen.
"American Idol" returns next week when the Top 8 will tackle "Songs from the 80s." Oh, you just know there's going to be a few belly-floppers on that show.