‘American Idol’ Save: Sam Woolf ‘Needs to Be in the Competition,’ Says Harry Connick Jr.

American Idol prepared to send another contestant packing this week, but an exciting turn of events left all eight finalists in the game for another week.

After Chris Daughtry took the stage to perform his band’s latest hit, “Waiting For Superman,” Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban decided to finally use their judges’ save on Thursday night, keeping Sam Woolf in the game for another week.

The crowd went wild when Lopez announced the 17-year-old would be sticking around.

“We are unanimous. We are going to use the save tonight,” she said before a confetti explosion blasted the stage and the other competitors hoisted the teen up in the air.

After the show, the top 8 contenders all echoed the same sentiment: that they had a feeling this would be the week no one goes home. They also admitted the competition would only get more intense from here with no chance for a second try.

Speakimg to reporters after the results were announced, Harry Connick, Jr. revealed that the judges knew they would use the save as soon as they saw that Malaya Watson, Sam Woolf and CJ Harris were in the bottom.

“As soon as we saw who the three were, we immediately started saying, ‘What does each of these people bring to the competition if we give them the save?’ We talked about all three of them and when we heard it was Sam we started flying back-and-forth,” he said. “I think ultimately we decided to use it on Sam because we think he needs to be in the competition. He brings some things do it that are unique to him and we get one save and we thought he was the guy to use it on.”

The toughest judge also offered that Wednesday night’s performances were the strongest of the season and at this point in the competition, it’s anyone’s game.

“Last night was the best show of the season for me,” he said. “Everybody really knew the tunes. They were all really comfortable and it was the first time I thought, ‘OK, this is a real competition now.’ It could’ve been five different ones that got the least amount of votes. But I thought at this point they were all probably deserving of it,” he said.

“It’s not like you have five country singers or five R&B singers. Everybody is a little different. It’s a very diverse group.”

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