American Idol

‘American Idol': Source confirms Judges’ Save is gone; contingency plan in effect to prevent season ending early

Credit: FOX

Credit: FOX

Via: TVLine

With four weeks and four contestants remaining, American Idol producers need to find a way to add an extra week to the competition to make up for the Judges’ Save having not been used.

The Save, which was only good through top 5, was not used to save fifth-place finisher Janelle Arthur. Though there has been speculation that the Save would remain in effect for top 4 (or for as long as Amber Holcomb needs it), a source close to the show has told TVLine.com that this is not the case. “Officially, the [Season 12] Judges’ Save is no longer,” said the insider. “But there’s always been a contingency plan if the Save was not used.”

The hard math goes like this:

If one of the Top 4 contestants (Kree Harrison, Candice Glover, Angie Miller or Amber Holcomb) is booted on this Thursday’s results show (April 25, 8/7 c on Fox) and a second singer bites the dust next week (May 2), that would place the Top 2 results show on May 9, a full week before the finale.

Adding to the confusion was that in prior seasons, the “Save” (introduced in Season 8, and since used to overrule voters’ ousters of Matt Giraud, Michael Lynche, Casey Abrams and Jessica Sanchez) expired prior to Top 5 week. Last week, however, subsequent fifth-place finisher Janelle Arthur was allowed to sing for her life — before the judges told Ryan Seacrest they could not come to a unanimous decision about using their sole Save of the season.

Because no one likes a man that finishes early, Nigel Lythgoe is implementing a solution to this problem (which, really, after twelve seasons he should have had the good sense to avoid in the first place). The show can’t end a week early, nor can it reschedule the finale, since the Nokia is already booked, and, presumably, finale acts have already been scheduled — acts who likely don’t have room in their schedule for a different finale date. This is without getting into Idol’s contract with FOX, as a premature finish would result in the show being in violation of its agreement.

Prevailing wisdom suggests that there will be a non-elimination week, with the vote tallies carried over into the next week. But questions remain: When do they implement it? At top 4? Do they wait until top 3? Or do we have a two-week finale? Things are getting pretty hectic (and exciting, actually) as we get towards the end of this season.

What do you think of this news? How should they fix the scheduling issue? Sound off in the comments!

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