Although he received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 8 finalists performing their original audition song, Sam Woolf, a 17-year-old from Bradenton, FL, was allowed to remain in the Idol competition when the show's judges unanimously decided to use their one-time "The Judges' Save" ability to prevent his ouster during Thursday night's Fox broadcast.
The judges were able to save only one contestant eliminated by America during the finals up until the Top 6. The special save could only be utilized if Jennifer, Keith and Harry all agreed with one another.
After discussing Sam's fate during his survival performance of David Gray's "Babylon," Jennifer did the honors of announcing the good news.
"We are unanimous. We're going to use the save tonight," Jennifer announced.
Sam had landed in this week's bottom three vote-getters with C.J. Harris, a 23-year-old from Jasper, AL, and Malaya Watson, a 16-year-old student from Southfield, MI.
Because no one was eliminated, Idol's thirteenth-season Top 8 finalists still remain -- Sam, C.J., Malaya, Dexter Roberts, Jena Irene, Jessica Meuse, Caleb Johnson, and Alex Preston.
Sam had received positive reviews from the judges following his performance of "The Lego House" by Ed Sheeran on Wednesday's performance show.
"I think the wrong word is being thrown around with you, and that word is 'confidence.' I've been thinking a lot about this and what is the exact word? And I think it's 'connection,'" Harry told the artist.
"And I have a tip for you. When you hear all these young people scream, all you need to do is acknowledge them. Pick somebody to look at and smile at them, because that's what's been missing from you. We love the fact that you're shy and sweet, such a nice young guy, it's beautiful. But it's connection... It will change your world, I promise you... Nice job. That was the best performance of the night."
"The great thing, Sam, is that you're getting better every week," Keith explained.
"That's what I love about this show, is we watch people actually improving, and we can see you've been working on this, I can tell. From last week to this, you're getting looser with the phrases, with the in-between lines. It doesn't have to be perfect. It has to be soulful and there's no soul in perfection. So just let it be soulful, and man, I'm really, really happy where you're headed."
"Again, with that performance -- just like when we saw you the very first time -- America got to see a glimpse of the magic of Sam Woolf. That's what we saw the first day and that's what we saw right now," Jennifer added.
Also during Thursday night's live results show, fifth-seasonAmerican Idol finalist Chris Daughtry performed his new hit single "Waiting for Superman."
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