‘American Idol’: Jessica Sanchez Sinks To The Bottom; Jennifer Hudson, Ne-Yo And James Durbin Perform

Apr 13th, 2012 // 38 Comments
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Jessica's "Stuttering"
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After 11 seasons of American Idol, we all know the results shows are just an hour-long Idol commercial. Sure, you get some quality performances thrown in (and last night’s by James Durbin and Jennifer Hudson were very entertaining), but usually it’s just a “fast forward until they announce the bottom three” affair. That was not the case Thursday, as the befuddling results almost turned the night into American Idol: Beyond Thunderdome.

As we always do, we were going to briskly rehash Jimmy Iovine’s critiques and the star performances and any quirky moments (like Phillip Phillips petting Colton Dixon‘s head, which happened and was amazing). And while we’ll get to the performances in a bit, there’s really only one thing to talk about. Let’s start at the beginning and try to relive this nightmare together so we can be better prepared if it ever happens again.

Ryan Seacrest gradually split the contestants up into two groups, in what we thought was just an overwrought way to drag out the drama, getting us to guess which group was the bottom three. But those sneaky Idol producers gave us a Sixth Sense-level twist, unveiling that the group consisting of Jessica Sanchez (our favorite from Wednesday night), Joshua Ledet (the judges’ favorite) and Elise Testone was the bottom. That’s when everyone in attendance lost their — how you say — s***.

Jimmy snidely remarked that he needs a new TV because what he heard Wednesday must’ve been different from what the voters heard. Randy Jackson summed it up thusly: “In 11 seasons of doing the show, I’ve never seen this happen. I’ve never said this, but America got it wrong tonight.”

Tell ‘em what time it is, Randy! So we gathered our thoughts, took a deep breath. Yes, America screwed up, but obviously Jessica and Joshua would be safe and we’d find Elise on the bottom and that was an acceptable, if not ideal, outcome.

And then…Seacrest announced that Jessica finished with the fewest votes. That’s when everyone in Thunderdome: Idol, as well as a certain recapper hunched over his computer, made a guttural bellow that could probably only be recreated if the Idol audience were to witness Simon Cowell slaughtering a herd of baby unicorns onstage.

America, seriously dog. Seriously?! Was this some grand dramatic ruse fixed by Nigel and the Idol masterminds? Before we could even process everything, poor Jessica was already warbling her way through the “sing for your life” phase of the show. But in the middle of her first verse, in an unprecedented move, the mutinous judges stormed on stage, grabbed the microphone from Jessica and unleashed their one save.

“We are saving Jessica without ANY DOUBT,” bellowed Randy, leader of the uprising as Jennifer Lopez prepared to unleash Jenny From The Block. Randy continued to excoriate the voters for their slight, and rightly so. (We just hope those same people don’t vote against Jessica out of spite next week.)

So, other than the far-and-away most talented singer of the season landing on the bottom, you guys wanna talk about anything else? How about the return of season 10 rocker James Durbin? He performed his single “Higher Than Heaven,” which was pretty rocking for Idol. The verses are about as heavy as you can get with corporate rock, and the song closed out with an old school hair metal solo and Durbin’s banshee howl. If that’s the song to introduce the “kids” to rock this season, we could certainly do worse. Approve!

James Durbin, “Higher Than Heaven” (Live on American Idol)

Then we saw the sublime Jennifer Hudson sing “Think Like A Man“, featuring Ne-Yo. As expected, she performed it like a bona fide diva. We like this semi-Sasha Fierce side of her. Approve!

Next week: America goes to its room to think about what it has done, and Jessica Sanchez hopefully makes good on her second lease on Idol life.

Were you as stunned by Jessica’s bottom finish as we were? Sound off in the comments, or on Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. judi

    The judges were over the top! I wonder how the other contestants felt with all their Jessica worship. I will not vote for Jessica because of that. It is obvious who the judges want to win.

    • Bren

      The judges were absolutely right to get out of their seats to protest! My guess is American viewers want a white person to win. If viewers from other countries could vote you would find a non racial and fair vote. Am sick of country and western singers winning idol most of the time. Get it right for a change America!

      • Adam

        Country and Western singers winning MOST of the time? Are we watching the same show? Outside of Scotty and Carrie, who are all these other country winners?

        • Colton

          Carrie underwood was another country singer, and then prett much the rest were non chinese, korean, Spanish, Indian, philipino etc…..
          I think it’s redicuous that ppl are using this incident to bash Jessica when she had no control over the way the judges acted. She deserves to be in the final. And for those out there saying she’s too over confident, that’s rediculouse. When Ryan asked her I’f she was surprised to be at the bottom, she said no I’m not surprised. She is humble and very talented.

  2. Carrie

    Jessica deserves to win American idol…thank God the judges are there to save her.

  3. Terri

    Perhaps to prevent fiascos such as Thursday results, Idol need to rethink the way the idol is picked . Do just like the Dancing with the Stars ..judges get to vote and theirs is 50 percent of the results! How any more times o we need to put up with these insult to injury routines which keep happening time and time again! Let’s make it truly a talent show ….otherwise call it what it has turned out to be a stud beauty contest and be done with!

    • Boss

      So what you’re saying is… Jessica just lost the beauty contest? She deserves to win based on pure singing talent, right? Because she “worked so hard [her] life”… Harder than, say, 6 other excellent artists/performers? That’s such a crock…

    • bbqchx

      Totally agree w/You, Terry

  4. Flower lady

    What a joke! I felt like I was watching a political campaign with the judges telling me who to vote for. I felt so sorry for the other six contestants after the judges comments and actions. What will they do if Jessica is the lowest next week…demand a re-count.? And Randy’s comment that this has never happened before….remember Fantasia in the bottom three?? Remember Pia Toscano? We need to change the judges after a few seasons because the ones we have now are getting to want to control the show. Don’t get me wrong…I love Jessica,but she’s not the only star in the sky.

  5. London Guy

    american teens are racists and prejudicts! Look at at the bottom three, a black guy, an asian and the oldest contestant.

    • London- I don’t believe this was America’s vote at all. Completely staged results show to try to eek out some ratings. Cheap! Cheap! Cheap! Everyone with the exception of Hollie would have been saved last night if they were in the bottom three. Jessica was put there for shock and awe factor, nothing else!

  6. Carly Jo

    Number 1, I do not appreciate American Idol judges telling America they were wrong. This is American Idol, not Judges Idol.
    Number 2, Jessica is a great technical singer & imitator, so far she has channeled different singers. I want to see the real Jessica Sanchez. Who is she? That’s why America voted the way they did.

    • Colton

      Imitator? Really then you can pretty much say that about the other contestants. Hollie immatatir of Celine, Philip imitator of Dave Mathews, Colton imatator of cold play, Josh imitator of Mariah Carry, Elise imitator of sarah mcloughlin, skyler imitator of Miranda lambert.

  7. Smarty

    Good point, Flower Lady. The bottom 3 of Jennifer Hudson, Latoya London and Fantasia was much more “shocking” than last night. Shame on the dawg for such an oversight.

  8. LocalEditor

    I’ve always wondered how many people vote based entirely on the actual performance? Based on last night, the answer is none.
    Even if you don’t care for the genre of music Jessica Sanchez sings, there’s no denying she’s the best pure singer in the bunch. And she comes in last? How does that happen.
    The judges were right to use the save. She’s the only one they should have used it on.

  9. You hit it right on the head. The bottom three was in NO WAY America’s vote last night. The Idol Producers completely fabricated a bottom three create drama in an otherwise lifeless season. The dead giveaway was putting Joshua in the bottom three. Elise is believable because she’s lived in the bottom three this season, but Josh and Jessica- aboslutely not. It was clear from the start of the show what Fox was up to. Did you notice has they conveniently had that hashtag “thesave” on the screen immediately as the judges made the save. People need to realize this show is about ratings and making money. There is also a deep political force at work too. It’s the same one that fabricated the Kris Allen win over Adam Lambert. Kris who? Exactly. Fox could not allow an openly gay young man to win this show, so the order came down from the boss’ desk that Allen had to win at all costs. Last night was a reminder just how much your votes really don’t matter. It’s Fox’s show, and they’ll do what they want. It’s a shame, because they are playing with the livelyhood of impressionable young children up there. It’s become a joke.

    • emil lee

      Irish916…..you’re absolutely right…it’s all about rating..I dunno why some American assholes kept blaming Jessica, Joshua and the Judges….That was the Shows all about……Rating, Business and Politics…Whats going on now in United States…a big MESSSSSSSSSSS….wake up people…..

  10. meg

    Again, music is subjective. The judges either need to appear neutral or change the voting system if they want their opinions to count more. All 7 have their own unique talents but all 7 of them are not 100% perfect either. No one watching this show wants to be made feel stupid because we like singer A better than B. That is what the judges did last night and I am afraid that Jessica is going to suffer the brunt of that next week. Don’t shove her down our throats. Hard to watch her get so much praise and watch Hollie get beat up when they honestly can both sing depending again on taste of us as individuals. The judges failed in the respect factor last night in a big way.

    • Judges are getting paid for their opinion, although more often then not is seems like they are just reading off the page to what the producers and the network WANT them to say. The show has lost its center. There is no sincerity in what they do. They are all about their sponsors with these ridiculous Ford and Coke spots they do. Does Ford know their video spots each week make me HATE their brand?
      The absolute worst moment in when they put that poor guy’s dismissal on camera for ratings. That is something that SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN SHOWN to the American public. It just proves that Fox will scrape the bottom of the barrel for ratings, even at the expense of an impressionable young kid! iNSANE!

  11. They need to change the judging and include imput from the professional judges. Jessica last is insane. It’s presently a teeny bopper popularity vote that wouldn’t know a good singer from a twinkie. If they don’t correct this soon the show is going to slide into irrelevance.

    • Cathy

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • bbqchx

      Indeed give the judges a vote until the end.

  12. Eleganteagle

    Some of these comments are utterly ridiculous; first of all Joshua is the best singer in the group, and Hollie can sing, but she is flat most of the time. I don’t feel that the judges were showing who they want to win because it is obvious that they favor Joshua. America, just vote for the best, not your hometown singer. You wont benefit from them winning anyway!!!

    • They do favor Joshua- and Randy is leading that campaign. After Joshua’s performance this week, the camera captured Randy stand up and ask his fellow judges to stand up for Joshua! Wasn’t exactly a spontaneous standing ovation from the judges if Randy has to remind his peers to get up. It was forced and awkward- like the rest of the show.

  13. sunny

    trust me: irish is right. and i think production (including judges) was all in on it.. it’s all about the benjamin’s baby. this is how it works: jessica IS really a fan favorite (not saying the whole country is on her side though)… they take her out and the viewers are scared of losing their favorite (either one), because it just demonstrates the “power” of voting. and so.. how much money is coming in? no one knows.

    – but let’s talk about the economic crisis that’s going on for a minute and let’s look at all these big productions that just keep going… –

    i felt sad for jessica and the other contestants really. they are so passionate about what they do, but so young as well..

  14. Yeah, the idea of AI creating THAT bottom three is laughable. I’m sure they would not have selected 2 MINORITIES and the OLDEST contestant. Stop being an ostrich.

  15. Sunburst

    I hope the judges unprofessional and dispicable actions will backfire against them. I ,will never vote for Jessica NOW!!!
    Let’s vote the judges off.
    Vote for anyone but jessica!!

  16. George

    Its insulting to anyone whose taste is not Jessica to listen to you people. Most people who vote, vote for the person they like, the style they like and who” they” think is the best singer. This isnt politics its entertainment. Phillip Phillips, Elise, Joshau they entertain me Jessica does have a perfect voice but it doesnt entertain me.I would not buy her album unless I was buying as a gift to someone who liked her singing but I would buy the ones I’ve mentioned. so why am I wrong? and you are right how is that rational? In NY we call that being a sore loser.

  17. Supermariah

    American idol should all be about PURE TALENT and not popularity contest.. Other singers who are not included in the bottom 3 sucks..except for Philip Philips

  18. sunny

    @latesha LOL!

  19. all of you are ignorant! this is about singing competition..AI fans stupid and idiot! To Jessica don’t waste your time and effort there are a lot of opportunities waiting for you..

  20. doe doe

    Thursday was the worst night of American Idol’s history.The judges went WAY overboard with Jessica.Pity Pity on Jessica what about the other contestants. How do they feel? What happens when Jesica gets in the bottom three next Thursday and you can’t save her ?We need better judges .Remember AMERICAN IDOL !!!!

  21. Jessica supporters miss the point! The prize is a recording contract so the winner IS a popularity contest on who can sell the most albums. That’s not Jess!!! I don’t even know who she is!!! Phil Phillips is by far the best. He is an artist and doesn’t pander. And please leave race out of this!!! Josh and Jess r not Usher. If they had the talents of USHER I would vote for them!!!

  22. well the incident was very shocking……….. What else can u say thats AMERICA…………

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