And then there were 12. And shortly after that, 11. American Idol cut its contestants by two last night, sending Jasmine Murray and Jorge Nunez home after the near 33 million votes registered by viewers were calculated. But the big news of the night involved the announcement of a new twist that could change the Idol landscape forever… or simply postpone the inevitable.
The Michael Jackson theme night was "beat It" time for both Murray, from Starkville, Mississippi, and Nunez, from Carolina, Puerto Rico. Murray, who qualified as a wild card, sang "I'll be There," and Nunez tried his hand at "Never Can Say Goodbye."
Next week, the remaining 11 singers will sing songs popularized by members of the country music program Grand Ole Opry.
The latest Idol twist gives the judges a little more power with the Judges' Save. The new rule basically allows Simon, Kara, Paula, and Randy to tell America it got it wrong and reverse voters' decisions to send a singer home. The Save has to be a unanimous, can not be used after five contestants remain, and can only be used once this season (if it gets used at all). If a singer is saved, two contestants will be eliminated the following week to keep things on track.
But what does this new rule really accomplish? If America votes a singer off and he/she is saved, they'll likely just be the first to get the boot the following week. On the other hand, it could save a deserving someone's hide who simply had an off-key week.
What are your thoughts on the new rule? And did America vote off the right people last night?