The five finalists still competing on USA Network's fifth season of Nashville Star were supposed to be reduced to four after Thursday night's episode -- but due to "technical difficulties" experienced during last week's voting period -- all five were declared safe from elimination.

"Okay... here's the thing.  As many of you out there already know, we had a few technical difficulties with the show last week that was out of our control due to the weather," said Nashville Star host Jewel announced at the end of Thursday night's broadcast.  "So here's the deal.  Nashville Star is about trying to kick butt each and every night and since a good number of [viewers] were not able to see all of [the contestants'] performances last week, we're going to toss out the voting results and keep everyone around for at least one more week."

Earlier in the broadcast, Jewel had announced that Joshua Stevens, a 28-year-old from Churchville, IA, and  Whitney Duncan, a 22-year-old from Scotts Hill, TN, were the two finalists who had received the least amount of votes during last week's Nashville Star 5 home viewer voting and -- completely insincerely apparently -- repeatedly told viewers that one of two would be going home at the end of the show. 

After all five finalists performed and received feedback from the show's judges, Nashville Star co-host Cowboy Troy continued to string viewers along and pretend that either Stevens or Duncan would be going home. 

"I hold in my hand an envelope, and inside this envelope is the name of the person who received the least amount of votes from the viewers at home this week and who will be eliminated from the competition right now," said Cowboy Troy.

Jewel also commented that it was "time to say goodbye to one of them," before revealing that neither of the two would be sent home.  Once the announcement was made, Nashville Star's studio audience applauded, and Jewel called both Duncan and Stevens over. 

"The bad news is you guys were in the bottom two," Jewel told Duncan and Stevens.  "The good news is you both get to move on to next week, which I'm really excited for."  She then offered the two a chance to speak to viewers at home, who were readying to cast their votes again.

"We're good.  Whitney is awesome, [a] great songwriter, she's great," said Stevens, who then plugged his page.  "Josh is awesome," added Duncan.  "And just thank you all for the ones that did vote for us, and for the one's that didn't, vote for us."

Cowboy Troy said on the next episode of Nashville Star -- which will air on USA on Thursday, February 15 at 10PM ET/PT -- the reality series' format will be "back to business as usual," meaning one of the five finalists will be sent home.

USA Network did not immediately reply to Reality TV World's request for additional details about the "technical difficulties" that caused last week's votes to be tossed out.