Idol Exclusive: Season 12 Judges' Save Expired; 'Contingency' Plan Will Prevent Premature End

American Idol Judges SaveThere are four weeks and four contestants left on Season 12 of American Idol — but it won’t be the Judges’ Save that prevents the competiton from ending before the scheduled May 16 finale.

“Officially, the [Season 12] Judges’ Save is no longer,” a source close to the show tells TVLine. “But there’s always been a contingency plan if the Save was not used.”

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For those of you whose math skills max out making change at the grocery store (fret not, I stand with you), Idol‘s numbers problem is as follows: 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.

Taking the Save off the table now, however, seems like the only fair option: In prior years, the Save has proven to be a major momentum booster, and with only four singers left in Season 12, such a late-in-the-game boost would almost guarantee its recipient a spot in the finale.

With the “Save” on ice, it most likely means that Fox is planning a non-elimination week for one of the following three Thursdays — with votes for the preceding Wednesday carrying over into the following week’s tallies.

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There’s been some scuttlebutt in the blogosphere that Idol producers will make the finale a two-week affair, but to my Idoloonie brain, it would make more sense to give viewers an extended amount of time with the entire Top 4. On a purely practical level, wouldn’t it be easier (and more fun) to fill the next couple of two-hour performance shows with four vocalists instead of only three or two? Plus, Amber, Angie, Kree and Candice are performing at such high levels right now that a bonus week of performances would certainly qualify as good TV.

TVLine’s Idol source didn’t have a strong sense of producers’ exact plan to extend the season, but in true show-business fashion noted that, “A little unpredictability can be a good thing.”

How do you think Nigel Lythgoe & Co. will extend the season? Are you glad the Save is kaput for Season 12? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jasmine says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but I could not stop laughing at Nicki Minah. She’s been getting Amber and Angela’s names mixed up and it’s sooo funny. She almost called Angela ‘Amber’ last week but she caught it before the whole name came out. But then this week she actually called Amber ‘Angie’ even when Amber’s name was plastered in huge white letters on the screen behind her! It was funny. It looked like amber was trying not to laugh…anyway, I hope Angela wins!

  2. Ryan made a comment last night that there would be a twist in tonight’s (4/25) results. I bet you the twist is it is a non-elimination week.

  3. robert says:

    Wouldn’t it be better if the finale will have a 2-week show, to really see among the remaining 2 of who will really be the last girl standing as 2013 American Idol? I don’t think the show will have an Idol Gives Back, I remembered those in seasons 6, 7 and 9, and they were I think about 7 contestants left, and now that there are only 4, hmmm…..if 2-week finale won’t work, there should be a non-elimination week, either in Top 4 or Top 3 (but NEVER IN THE FINALE!!), and I was thinking, wasn’t it long after guest judges were included in the finals judging table in some episodes (I think it was during Fantasia and Carrie Underwood’s time, notably guest judge Clive Davis in Top 3)?

  4. Michelle says:

    I though in years past, that after they used the save, 2 people would go home the next week??? Am I wrong???

  5. ershell says:

    It was completely obnoxious for the Judges not to use the save on Janelle. Perhaps it was just a huge blunder and they did not realize it was their last opportunity to use it. I don’t want to give them that, but how else can it be explained? And why didn’t the Producers get it? It would have only helped the show too if they had. Janelle certainly was deserving of the save. How rude to not give it to her even if they felt she wasn’t worthy, but that in itself is ludicrous. And as far as the Judges go, the only one who should stay is Keith.

  6. Don says:

    For me,season 12 has good talent, but I dis-like the Judges trying to influence who is the winner in their comments. Last night, down to two finalists who not being able to pick their own songs should have been left to ******WHO****the voting public. That was supposed to be the FORMAT since the beginning. Two judges showed bias (in my opinion) and raved on even calling the winner. (mol)

    I think I’m finished as a viewer, should just let Randy and Minah just announce “THEIR” winners!