American Idol was looking to whittle down the playing field to the top seven singers Thursday, but a save from the judges kept the talent at eight following the “Audition” performances on Wednesday.

American Idol Recap

Judge-turned-mentor Randy Jackson revealed at the start of Thursday’s half-hour elimination show that Jena Irene, Jess Meuse, Caleb Johnson and Dexter Roberts would most certainly be voted through to the next round. Jackson was proven right, as all four – plus Alex Preston – were told they were safe. In the bottom three were Malaya Watson, CJ Harris and Sam Woolf.

Ultimately, it was Woolf, the 17-year-old crooner from Florida, who failed to get enough votes from America. For a chance at the season’s lone save, Woolf offered a soothing rendition of David Gray’s “Babylon.” Exuding a bit more confidence and composure, Woolf managed to impress Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban enough to receive the save after a unanimous decision.

As soon as the judges announced that Woolf would be sticking around for another week, the crowd erupted in cheers and applause and confetti fell from the ceiling. Most touching, however, was Preston and Harris’ sprint to the stage to lift the singer into the air. The others followed and brought Woolf into a massive group hug.

Also of note from Thursday’s elimination episode was Chris Daughtry, who stopped by with his band to perform “Waiting for Superman” from their latest album Baptized.

– Chelsea Regan

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