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Published on April 13th, 2012 | by Melody Simpson


‘American Idol’ Season 11 Review: What A Wonderful… Save!

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What a fun way to open a show that took quite a wild turn. Idol producers were giving us a treat before giving us the bad news. While an elimination did not in fact take place, this song choice and wildly fun performance was definitely there to soften the blow and send this Idol week out on as a high a note as possible. The top seven did a wonderful job performing Pink’s “Raise Your Glass,” so wonderful that it could easily be named as one of the best group performances of the series. Viewers could see that the finalists were all having so much genuine fun. The song in itself is a ball of fun but what really took it to the next level was every single contestant letting loose while still maintaining control of their vocals. It was great! We were also reminded in this performances what a fantastic group of finalists we’ve got this year! So much better than last season, don’t you think? And we’ve got all seven of them to look forward to seeing next week!

A corny Ford commercial and a look at fan mail later… Season 10 American Idol finalist, James Durbin rocked the house with his new song, “Higher Than Heaven” before the big results. Durbin was such a delight to see each week on Idol last season so it was a pleasure to see him back on the Idol stage with music from his debut album. Of all of the past Idol contestants to grace the stage this season, he has delivered one of the most exciting performances without question. While not necessarily a big fan of the genre of music that he is in, I would pay to see James Durbin live. That’s how good he is. Be sure to catch him play in a city near you! Academy Award and Grammy Award winner and American Idol alum, Jennifer Hudson and Ne-Yo also performed their new single, “Think Like a Man.” We all love Hudson but Durbin took the win for best special guest performance this week.

As for the results…host, Ryan Seacrest had Hollie Cavanagh and Jessica Sanchez stand on opposite sides of the stage to begin splitting up the contestants. Sanchez delivered the best performance of the night on Wednesday, the best performance of the season in fact with Jazmine Sullivan’s “Stuttering,” so it was clear that whoever made their way next to Sanchez’s side would be safe, right? Wrong. If you were thinking, “what an unfair way this is to start off the show for the contestants” then you thought wrong. They had us fooled big time. But we all had ourselves fooled by not voting enough for the people we thought were safe. Thinking that everyone standing next to Cavanagh was safe… the Idol producers weren’t going to deliver the news to us that easy. Phil Phillips joined Cavanagh and 28 year old Elise Testone joined Sanchez. If people voted the right way, this would have meant that Colton Dixon was in trouble and would join Cavanagh’s side of the stage since both Skylar Laine and Joshua Ledet were both incredible Wednesday night.

Then the Pia Toscano moment came. No. No. No. But the judges still had “the save.” We all knew that the judges were saving “the save” for this moment, this moment when America would think “Oh, she’s safe, I’ll vote for this person instead” or “She’s safe, no need to vote” thinking. Thank goodness. This is the first time in a very long time that the judges have used the save for the person who truly deserved it. It’s about time. Had the judges used the save before this moment, leading up to this moment, millions of viewers may have stopped watching – especially the ones who have been faithfully voting and campaigning for Sanchez. There are only so many times that the results can go out of one’s favor before faith is lost. Thankfully, Jennifer Lopez hopped onstage as Sanchez was singing her “save me” song to stop this madness. No way was Sanchez, the best vocalist of the season going home if the judges had anything to say about it.

I believe Lopez’s exact words were, “Gimme that mic! This is crazy! You ain’t going home. Go sit down.” Best moment ever. Randy Jackson shouted in disbelief, “They got it so wrong” about the bottom three consisting of Sanchez, Testone, and Ledet and couldn’t stop from pleading with America to vote for Sanchez. What a moment it was to see the judges let their guards down and ultimately say that Jessica Sanchez is the one who deserves the win. Jackson was right, America was completely wrong this week. The bottom three should have been the safe ones for sure. These kind of results seem to always happen when it gets down to the wire. Never assume someone is safe. We all have to remember to vote, vote more than once, and vote more than one way for Jessica Sanchez because she is this year’s American Idol but she can’t get there without the votes. Vote for Jessica Sanchez!

Watch American Idol Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on Fox.

*Photo Credit: Carin Baer / FOX

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  • Raelene

    AND…..because of the judges unfair and rude treatment of the other contestants….I may not watch again…LOOK…Jessica is a great singer….but American Idol is suppose to be won by votes from America….NOT from the judges….it was sooo unfair…it literally ruined the night for the other contestants… basically what the judges were saying….you people out there voting….you are stupid….and WE are the only ones that can spot talent…..Ticked me off……it was blatant disregard for American Voters…..AND for the other fine contestants…..

    • Deo Panganiban

      Is it not true that these are the SAME judges who picked these contestants from obscurity? They see something in these kids, so they must be doing the right thing by saving Jessica? Now the playing field is even…everyone should vote for THEIR favorites, for whatever reason they would like to vote OK. They do have that SAVE “button” and they chose to use it. During the auditions the judges would have been thought to be unfair too when they did not choose the other hopefuls, isn’t that true?

  • alexander de villa

    Well i think it was their right to save Jessca( the  judges). That’s why they Created THE SAVE. This is called DESTINY at work. I mean this only happens once u know, so let’s just be happy for Jessica. On my own opinion, She desrves to be the American Idol.

  • Xanderdevilla11

    Well i think it was their right
    ( the  judges)  to save Jessica. That’s why they Created THE SAVE. This is called DESTINY at work. I mean this only happens once , so let’s just be happy for Jessica.

  • Margaretgensoli

    I totally disagree with you, Raelene.  The judges were so frustrated with the results!!! Can you imagine, American voters booting out one of the best singers this Season 11!  That is unbelievable.  You cannot deny that Jessica Sanchez has talent, and what a talent at that.  The three judges, without thinking, jumped out of their chairs protesting what Americans have decided, really unbelievable!!! This is a talent show, not a popularity contest.  Jessica’s talent cannot be denied.  I just hope that Jessica wasn’t booted out just because she’s a Filipina.  I imagine most Americans are jealous that a Filipina is better than an American.  I do so hope not. 

  • Frances Hamilton

    I have to agree with you that James Durbin and his new band singing Higher Than Heaven from his new album, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster was THE rocking highlight of the night!!  So proud of James and how he is handling his career after meeting him on AI!!  He is truly destined for greatness and nothing can compare to seeing him perofrm live and in person!!!!

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