'American Idol' Season 11, Episode 28 Recap - Judges Use Their Save, But On Whom?
Last night's "American Idol" reminded us of two things: one, you never know which direction this show will go, and two, the voters who watch the show are out of their minds.
The results show, following Wednesday's performances from the Top 7, had the contestants split into two groups: Hollie, Phillip and Colton on one side, and Joshua, Jessica and Elise on the other. Either way, it was clear that the bottom three was going to feature some undeserving contestants... but when Seacrest announced Skylar as safe and placed with with Hollie, Phillip and Colton, it dawned on the judges just how undeserving they were.
Joshua, Jessica and Elise were the bottom three, even after Joshua and Jessica had consistently given the best performances night after night. In fact, Jessica seemingly hasn't gotten a bad note yet, and her performance of "Stuttering" on Wednesday might have been her best, albeit a lesser-known song.
Elise has been inconsistent, but her performance from Wednesday was better than on other weeks when she was placed in the bottom three... it seemed that ever since the elimination of Erika Van Pelt, she finally had a strong fan base behind her.
But whatever the reasons Joshua and Elise ended up in the bottom three, it didn't matter: it was actually Jessica who received the fewest votes. That's a huge shock, much more so than last year's Pia scandal. Thankfully, this year the judges hadn't used their save, and they unanimously decided to save Jessica even before she finished her sing for survival performance: they even got up on stage and took the mic away from her.
How did this happen? Randy and the judges theorize that voters thought Jessica and Joshua were safe, and thus didn't vote for them. But in the past, especially in recent seasons, we've seen female contestants eliminated sooner than males, and minorities eliminated sooner than white contestants. After last year's 16-year-old country showdown between Southerners Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, you have to wonder how much race factors into voting. And it's a shame we even have to consider it.
Lost in all this is the question of Hollie Cavanaugh, who has been one of the weakest contestants for weeks. She had a bit of a redemption this week, but it seemed clear that she would be the one to go home. Did Jessica voters decide to give Hollie a chance? Is there a mass of Liverpudlians coming out in force?
Next week will see two contestants going home, and with the judges' only save gone, that doesn't fare well for the remaining contestants. A week ago, I would have told you that Hollie and Elise would have gone home, but now who knows?