Colton Dixon

Two weeks ago, Randy Jackson chided the American Idol audience for not racking up enough votes for the undeniably talented Jessica Sanchez, who was on the brink of elimination until the judges wielded their save to keep her. The underlying message to the viewers was twofold: Vote for talent over flash, and just vote, period.

And vote they did. The following week, 53 million votes rolled in, the highest number of votes for Season 11 to date. Not only was Jessica safe, but she had enough votes to keep her out of the Bottom 3.

5 reasons why the Idol judges save won't help Jessica win

Instead, the wildly popular, streaky-haired Colton Dixon went home. He and Phillip Phillips had been the front-runners, and it was assumed that a devoted fanbase of young girls — who have been seen as responsible for selecting male winners for the past four seasons — would keep both of them out of danger.

The surprising results of the past two weeks raise several questions about the American Idol voters:

1. Has the Idol voting complacency come to an end?
2. Or was the spike in votes just a matter of outraged viewers responding to the dramatic save?
3. Will the increased voting continue through the end of the season, or will it die off?
4. Was it purely the Asian vote that propelled Jessica out of the Bottom 3?
5. Have the young girls lost their ability to dictate the American Idol results?

Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.

American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on Fox.