Here are a couple of notes on what to expect from the American Idol finals round. As many of you already know, American Idol had about 6 weeks lopped off the typical season. The round most severely cut were the finals. Hardcore fans love when the competition gets down to the nitty-gritty, but casual viewers at home begin to drop off in those last weeks of the show. That has always been true, even during the heyday of Idol. It’s true on The Voice as well.
What the cuts entail is, instead of a finals round with 12 contestants leaving one a week until a top 2–which roughly works out to 11 weeks–we have a Top 10 that competes for 7 weeks. The means, there WILL be double eliminations.
Also, what happens to the judges save?
2/25 – First live show. The wildcards are revealed to complete the Top 10. The Top 10 performs
3/3 – The Top 8 perform – 550th episode (Idol drops to once a week)
3/10 – The Top 6 perform.
With 5 weeks remaining after the Top 6 perform, there could be single eliminations up until a Top 2 perform on final night. Click to check out the FULL SCHEDULE. Also, Click for Semifinal Round details.
However, REPORTEDLY THERE WILL BE NO JUDGES SAVE. Which makes sense, right? With so few weeks to play with, and double eliminations to consider, a judges save would be difficult to schedule. Remember, the save would normally expire at Top 5. The judges would be forced to use it immediately, or forfeit. The save was designed to create maximum TV drama, which can’t be manufactured in a 7 week scenario. The judges are wielding enough power this final season of American Idol anyway. After they have the unprecedented opportunity to choose 8 of the 10 finalists, I think it’s time for them to completely back off.
For those of you who need a refresher: The judges save, introduced in season 8, allowed the panel to nullify an elimination of a contestant. It was a second chance for a talented singer may have fallen through the cracks as fans crazily voted for their favorites. For instance, if season 3 had a judges save, the reasoning goes, future Grammy and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson could have gone farther than 7th place. Typically, there would be a double elimination the following week to make up for the prior-week’s non-elim.
Contestants saved in prior seasons include: Qaasim Middleton (S14), Sam Woolf (S13), NO SAVE (S12), Jessica Sanchez (S11), Casey Abrams (S10), Michael Lynche (S9). Matt Giraud was the recipient of the first judges save in Season 8. It was introduced after early front runner, Michael Johns was eliminated in 8th place season 7.
FYI: The judges save is separate from the fan-voted twitter save. No word yet on whether fans will have the opportunity to twitter save a contestant from the bottom two.
Also, TIP reports that that the Top 8 will be the show’s 55oth episode. Apparently, something special is planned.