The judges made history on "American Idol" on Wednesday night by using their wild card to save one contender from elimination.
Matt Giraud, the soulful crooner who thus far has been compared to both Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke during "Idol's" Season 8, was saved by the judges after a tense several minutes at the judges' table.
As Matt prepared to sing for a wild card save by the judges, after learning he was to be eliminated (fellow bottom three dwellers Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds had enough votes to carry them through to next week), the 23-year-old was cheered on by Danny Gokey and Anoop. Screaming, "Come on Matt," and jumping up and down, the two urged the young man to put on a stellar performance of "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman."
As the judges deliberated during Matt's rendition of the song, it appeared things were not going to go well for the Kalamazoo, Mich., singer.
In fact, when Simon Cowell addressed the young man, he did it with a scowl.
"Matt, how many times have you been in the bottom three?" Simon asked as the studio audience took to their feet with shouts of "Save! Save! Save!"
"Twice," Matt mouthed.
"Can I be honest with you?" Simon continued, turning his talk to Matt's performance. "I didn't think you were as good as you were last night. I don't see that you have really any chance of winning the competition."
Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi immediately took Simon on arguing, "Oh, come on. Come on!"
And Randy Jackson jumped in too, waving his arms and telling Simon, "No! No! No!"
"No! Save," Kara shouted.
It was then that a straight-faced Simon delivered the verdict.
"Matt we've made a decision. Matt, it's good news," the British judge said as Paula and Kara jumped for joy and Randy beat his fist in the air.
The singer immediately burst into tears as his fellow "Idol" hopefuls surrounded him and showered him with hugs.
Though Matt was saved, Simon ended the show reminding the contestants of their future fate.
"Guys, girls — I wouldn't be so quick to congratulate him," Simon said. "Number one — two people are going home next week now. Second piece of bad news — next week it's disco week!"
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