In what could be considered a shock heard ‘round the nation, American Idol finalist Jessica Sanchez was thisclose to being eliminated on last night’s results show.
The 16-year-old part-Mexican singer, long considered “the one to beat” earned the lowest amount of votes after this week’s performance show, causing jaws to drop and drawing boos from the stunned studio audience.
While Sanchez’s fellow finalists were left in shock and awe, Sanchez began singing in a last-ditch effort to snag the judges’ save.
But before the San Diego-native could finish her rendition of Deborah Cox’s “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson rushed the stage and took the microphone out of Sanchez’s hand.
“You ain’t going home! Go sit down!” declared Lopez, hugging a shell-shocked Sanchez, who had wowed the audience the night before with her pitch-perfect rendition of Jazmine Sullivan’s “Stuttering.”
Moments later, Jackson implored America to think before they vote.
“We are saving Jessica without any doubt. For myself, Steven and Jennifer, this girl is one of the best singers in America. Please everybody … vote for the best!”
It was the first time the judges had rushed to join an Idol hopeful on stage, following the use of their special “save” privilege, according to Ryan Seacrest.
When asked if she expected to be the lowest-vote-getting finalist of the night, Sanchez diplomatically replied: “No, not at all. I don’t expect anything. I just do what I do. Whatever happens, happens. I just want people to know I’ve been working hard my whole life.”
But Sanchez wasn’t the only frontrunner to end up in the unexpected bottom three. : Fellow one-to-watch Joshua Ledet, whose high-octane performance had wowed the judges the night before, was also in the bottom three.
“Everybody did a good job last night but that shouldn’t be the bottom three,” said Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine, sitting in the crowd.