Someone always has to go first.
Though usually not after being cast off for good by Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson.
The big American Idol twist promised by Ryan Seacrest turned out to be the introduction of a onetime-only save the judges can invoke if they feel a contestant has been voted out before his or her time—à la Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson and Michael Johns (or so went the introductory explanation of the new rule).
There were no such reprieves Wednesday, however, and now only 11 remain on Idol after Michael Jackson night made stars out of some and side-shows out of others.
If the judges ever choose to save someone, two will get the boot a week later. And once they’ve saved someone, the privilege is available to no one else.
While a save might have been in order for standouts like Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey and Lil Rounds, Cowell & Co. were not faced with such a predicament, as the trio garnered enough of the 33 million votes to sail on through to next week.