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Published: Thursday, 4/16/2009

Idol judges save Michigander from elimination

Matt Giraud Matt Giraud
CHRIS CUFFARO / AP Enlarge

LOS ANGELES A sequel has been greenlit for Matt Giraud on American Idol.

The 23-year-old piano player from Kalamazoo, Mich., who crooned Bryan Adam s Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? from Don Juan DeMarco for his movie song performance Tuesday, received the fewest number of viewer votes Wednesday on the popular Fox singing competition. However, the judges decided to use their one-time power to save him from elimination.

Idol history has been made! host Ryan Seacrest exclaimed following the salvation.

With the other three judges excitedly gathered around him, Simon Cowell seemed to be foreshadowing Giraud s exit by telling him that his last-chance performance was not as good as you were last night and that Giraud did not really have any chance of winning the competition. But Cowell relented and delivered Giraud s good news and then some bad news.

I wouldn t be so quick to congratulate him, he prattled as the other singers huddled around Giraud.

Cowell said because Giraud was rescued this week, two finalists will be dismissed after next week s disco-themed performances, as stipulated by the new rule introduced this earlier season. The other bottom vote-getters were 24-year-old mother of three Lil Rounds from Memphis, Tenn., and 22-year-old college student Anoop Desai from Chapel Hill, N.C.

I thought I did a good job last night, Desai mused. I was encouraged by the judges and everything.

Some members of the judging panel used Wednesday s episode to add their two cents after being denied the opportunity Tuesday. Jackson praised Danny Gokey, whose rendition of Endless Love he wasn t able to critique Tuesday, while Cowell complimented Kris Allen, whose Falling Slowly performance had previously been panned by Jackson and Kara DioGuardi.

You know we didn t get a chance to talk last night, Cowell said. Kris, you were brilliant.

After running eight minutes over last week, the show attempted and failed to end on time Tuesday by allowing only two judges to review a singer, but the competition still ran three minutes over schedule. On Tuesday, Jackson and DioGuardi reviewed Giraud, Desai and Allen. Cowell and Paula Abdul judged Rounds, Gokey, Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert.

It wasn t just the judges who were talking back Wednesday. Seacrest offered Lambert, the over-the-top 27-year-old theater actor who sang Born to Be Wild from Easy Rider during Tuesday s performance episode, the chance to respond to Cowell s taunt from the night before that his edgy performance reminded him of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I think that s a great movie, Lambert quipped. I mean, did he mean it as an insult?



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