American Idol's Jorge Nunez, Jasmine Murray
American Idol's latest wrinkle might not have saved their bacon, but both of the Top 13's first ejected finalists say the rule change is a good idea.
On Wednesday's results show, host Ryan Seacrest unveiled the "Judges' Save," a new rule whereby Simon Cowell et al, by means of a unanimous vote, can reinstate a voted-off singer. The catch: They can only use the Save once during the season, and only until the Top 5.
Rather needless to say (yet undoubtedly to Idol producers' delight), neither of this week's bottom finishers merited a reprieve as the Top 13 got pared down to 11. But that hasn't brought forth any sour grapes.
"Amongst the other things they've done this year — like the Top 36, the Wild Card, the Top 13 — I think it's great," 17-year-old Jasmine Murray says. "[The producers] are giving people extra chances to reach their dreams."
Murray this week tackled Michael Jackson's "I'll Be There," only to eventually realize she won't be when next Tuesday rolls around.
Jorge Nuñez, 21, said the singers all were wondering, "What's going to happen?" when word got out about the imminent rule change. He himself had a theory. "Given the fact that this year there's so much talent on the show, I imagined they were going to save someone, [do] something like that."
As Seacrest noted during the big announcement, the Judges' Save ostensibly would have kept around longer the likes of past Idol contenders Chris Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson, both of whom prematurely fell short on vote counts, either due to "off" weeks or presumptive fans.
Of course, both Daughtry and Hudson have since "done great, but you always think that they should have gone farther," says Nuñez. "[The Judges' Save] is going to help out with the competition and with who [wins] in the end."
Even when not employed, the Judges' Save can "save" someone. For example, it rescued Nunez from the potential embarrassment of crooning during next week's country theme week. As the singer quips, "I would have been the first Puerto Rican singing country in the history of Puerto Ricans!"
For the latest on American Idol, tune into TV Guide Network’s Idol Tonight every Wednesday at 8 pm/ET and Idol Wrap every Friday at 8 pm/ET with co-hosts Kimberly Caldwell and Justin Guarini. Plus get more on your favorite Idols every Friday with American Idol Rewind at 7 pm/ET.