American Idol 11 – Did Idol Producers Lobby the Judges to Save Jessica Sanchez?

AMERICAN IDOL: Jessica Sanchez is saved on AMERICAN IDOL airing Thursday, April 12, (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  L-R: Jessica Sanchez, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Seacrest (R). CR: Carin Baer / FOX.

Could there be an Idol controversy brewing?

When TMZ reported Thursday afternoon that the contestant with the lowest number of votes was a producer’s favorite to win and would SHOCK everyone when the result was revealed–they claimed that sources connected with the show told  TMZ that the producers were “scrambling to persuade the judges to use their “save” on the contestant.”

Today,  TMZ honcho, Harvey Levin tweeted “Idol people telling me judges didn’t know beforehand Jessica was being kicked off..But producers indeed lobbied them to use save last night.”

The judges did their best to look surprised, but aspects of Jessica Sanchez’s save sure looked rehearsed to me.  Jlo seemed to be vying for an acting award as she breathlessly rushed the stage–Randy and Steven right behind her– screaming for Jessica to stop singing.  Plus there was that eyebrow-raising moment when Steven Tyler revealed that  the panel would be using the save, before the eliminated contestant was revealed from the bottom 3.

The only one on stage who looked truly shocked, was Jessica, who seemed to be in a daze as she was eliminated, proceeded to sing for her life, and was awkwardly interrupted and saved by the trio of judges.

As I said in my recap, I don’t believe the results were rigged, but I could totally imagine Nigel and Ken giving the judges the heads heads up on what was about to go down. And yes, urging them to finally use that save.

It’s also possible that the judges were only aware that the results were shocking and prepared themselves accordingly. Or, Nigel told them to be prepared to use the save, without revealing the results.

That the producers are telling the judges what to do is controversial, as the panel is presented on the show as an independent body, making their own decisions. But I never believed that the producers didn’t have a hand in the decisions the judges made.

What do you think? Do you think the panel knew the results? Were they following orders from Nigel? Did they rehearse their reaction? Or where they only vaguely aware of a shocker, but not told the details.  Hm…

ETA: Yes, I believe the judges were prepared to use the save in any event this week, because they HAD to use it, but the question is whether the producers intervened ahead of time or not.

About mj santilli 35048 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!