Idol Judges Rescue Ousted Singer
With some critics saying that the current crop of American Idol contestants includes some of the most talented performers ever to appear on the series, ratings for this week's performance show on Wednesday and the results show on Thursday reached season highs. Wednesday's two-hour show averaged 24 million viewers, peaking in the final half-hour with 26.1 million. Thursday's show featured a scheduled appearance by Jennifer Hudson, who delivered what Orlando Sentinel critic Hal Boedeker called "a fierce, glamorous performance." It also featured unscheduled appearances by Hulk Hogan and Stevie Wonder. The judges were startled to learn that one of their favorites, Casey Abrams, had received the fewest votes from home viewers and used their one save of the season to keep him on the show. "Yes, this is crazy wrong," judge Steven Tyler said of the audience vote, and told the 19-year-old singer, "We made a decision here to keep you on." The studio audience cheered the decision and began chanting, "Casey, Casey, Casey!" Abrams, dumbstruck, jumped off the stage to shake the judges' hands. All of it was watched by 20.74 million viewers.