American Idol recap: Twist and Pout

A game changing twist almost allows all the contestants to stay for one more week.
Ep. 33 | Aired May 1, 2014

Mayday! Mayday! The competition on American Idol has suddenly taken a turn for the Capital and gotten hungry.

At the top of the show, Ryan announced that there would be a shocking twist that would change the outcome of the competition that no one would see coming. I immediately predicted that no one was going to be sent home, but Ryan told each contestant that they would have to make a difficult decision as part of the twist. They all looked genuinely surprised by the announcement, but we would have to wait a little bit before we were told any more information.

Maybe he knew something we didn't, but Harry began the show by congratulating the top five for making it to this point in the competition already and as unknowns to be able to perform on "arguably the biggest stage the music world has to offer" was something to be proud of. I really like Harry and his critiques most of the time, but this felt a little too paternal for me. Since Harry and J.Lo had already performed this season, it was Keith's turn to show a good thing or two by performing his new song "Good Thing." I'm not much of a fan of Keith's music really, but what a great example of someone who really knows how to perform well with a guitar. And it's always nice to see the judges use their own advice that they've been giving each week. No one can argue that Keith wasn't a little loose and having fun on stage.

Okay, let's get to the twist. The final five were given the option to stick together as a group and have no one go home this week and two people go home next week, or as usual, the person with the lowest number of votes would go home. Each contestant had to vote anonymously "yes" or "no" to keep the group together, and the results had to be unanimous for everyone to stay. The five singers all looked genuinely shocked by the announcement and were given a quick commercial break to decide. A twist like this so late in the season is nothing incredibly new or different than similar stunts pulled in the past on Idol, but it seemed a little odd that there was absolutely no mention of the twist the night before.

In a dramatic turn of events, however, the contestants split the vote 3-2. Two contestants voted to stick to the original plan and still have one person go home as usual. Wait -- what? This whole season the contestants couldn't stop talking about how much of a family they are and love each other and how this hasn't felt like a competition. So wouldn't they want everyone else to get the chance for one more week together, one more week to perform and one more opportunity to get more votes to win? I was more shocked that the twist didn't end up working, actually.

Without a bottom two, Ryan quickly announced that Sam Woolf was the contestant going home with the lowest number of votes. Sam had already been saved by the judges earlier this season, so it's very suspicious to me that this twist would be added last minute by the producers after they had already found out that Sam was the one who would be eliminated. It seemed like they were trying to give the reluctant heartthrob yet another chance, but it didn't end up mattering in the end. So who were the two that voted no? I talked to the contestants after the show, and all five agreed the right decision was ultimately made by having a regular elimination. Jena was the only one to openly admit that she voted "no," but by process of elimination, it seems Alex also voted against the twist. They were all pretty angry about the stunt actually, with Caleb calling it a "ridiculous show moment" backstage after.

What did you think of the "shocking" turn of events? Did the right contestant go home? Should they all have gotten a second chance? Discuss below!

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