'American Idol' ousts Heejun Han and determines Top 8 finalists
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/30/2012
American Idol ousted Heejun Han during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox, determining the eleventh season's Top 8 finalists.
Han, a 22-year-old from Flushing, NY, became the fifth finalist sent home from American Idol's eleventh season after he received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 9 finalists singing songs previously performed by their personal musical idols.
"My journey has been very very funny, dramatic and very very emotional and sexy at the same time. This whole experience has been amazing. Something crazier is coming," Han said following his ouster.
Han's elimination became official after Idol judge Steven Tyler announced the show's judges were not going to prevent his elimination by using "The Judges' Save," which Tyler and fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson can use once during the finals to prevent the elimination of a finalist who receives the fewest home viewer votes during a weekly performance round.
Whether the decision not to "save" Han was unanimous was not revealed.
"It's very quiet here in the studio. We're going to go to the judges. They get one 'save.' Will you use your one save this season on Heejun?"American Idol host Ryan Seacrest asked the judging panel.
"The records show that you knew this was coming yourself. You saw it come last week. You knew what was going on in the past and you took it up a couple notches. Unfortunately, after talking, we're going to have to let you go man," Tyler explained.
Han -- who was originally voted into the Top 13 by home viewers -- had received extremely positive feedback and one of the night's five standing ovations from the judges following his performance of "A Song For You" by Donny Hathaway on Wednesday's performance show.
"Hee-man, you did it. You did it man. You turned it around. See, I think someone like you is such a natural out of birth that you don't even know how good you sing, so that's why you weren't taking it so seriously. But just now, you let that song sing you," Tyler told Han.
"See, when you have a voice as good as yours and you sing a song as deep and as beautiful as that, you just make it come alive in such a way that no one else can. You keep believing in yourself and [God]. You keep it up man, because that was great."
"Come on! What are you doing up there? What are you doing?! You know what people don't realize is you don't make it here by mistake. You don't make it this far in the competition by mistake. He's here because we know he can sing that way. That was the most beautiful tone, beautiful vibrato," Lopez explained.
"When you go there Heejun, when you believe and you let go of the other stuff -- which I love the other stuff. I love the funny, and I love that side of your personality, but when you connect and you really sing to us, you really move people and you need to know that. Believe that every single time you're up there. That was beautiful."
"You know what? The guys said it all, and let me just say this. There were a couple notes -- it wasn't perfect. But what I love -- Jennifer hit it on the head -- you're here, every one of you are here, because we thought you guys were great singers. You have that buttery, that beautiful tone. Finally the Heejun that we selected came back to us tonight! Welcome back brother, welcome back. There we go, come on now, Heejun! Come on!" said Jackson with a laugh.
Prior to Han's elimination, Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh were revealed to be the other members of this week's bottom three vote-getters.