American Idol 's final seven returned for the latest elimination on Thursday night (April 12, 2012) though nobody could have predicted the drama that ensued. Host Ryan Seacrest drew audible gasps from the audience after announcing Joshua Ledet, Elise Testone and the firm favorite Jessica Sanchez were in the bottom three.
Sanchez was actually revealed as the lowest vote-getter, meaning she had to sing for her spot on the show. Before her performance, Steven Tyler had hinted that the judges would use their 'Save Card' meaning she could essentially bypass the elimination. As Sanchez began her song for survival, the judges duly stormed the stage with Randy Jackson saying, "This girl is one of the best singers in America! Ever! Are you kidding me? Everybody, please vote for the best! Come on!". It echoed a moment on last season's show, when the judges halted a performance by Casey Abrams and used their save-card.
Though the judges have clearly revealed who they favour in the competition, an abundance of praise from Lopez and co can often leave a bad taste for those watching at home. The paying public essentially decided they didn't want Sanchez in the competition, though the judges were unanimous in their praise. A similar scenario unfolded last year, when the hotly tipped Pia Toscano was ousted unexpectedly.