In the most dramatic moment of this season's “American Idol,” Bradenton singer-songwriter Sam Woolf stayed alive Thursday with a save from the judges.
Back to the bottom three again this week, Woolf had one last chance to impress Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., and earn their sole save of the season, which required a unanimous vote, after getting the least amount of popular votes.
The visibly nervous 17-year-old won the judges over with a strong but not quite sensational performance of David Gray's pop-folk ballad "Babylon," the same song Woolf chose to perform during the Top 31 episode of “Idol.”
"This is unanimous," Lopez said. "We are going to use the save."
Woolf was elated, more so than ever before on “Idol,” and the other seven remaining contestants ran to his side on stage to celebrate with him. In one of the sweetest moves seen this season on “Idol," C.J. Harris lifted Woolf over his head in an act of utter jubilation.
The senior at Braden River High landed in the bottom three for the second straight week following a mixed results performance Wednesday. The episode featured the remaining contestants revisiting their audition songs, which meant Woolf performed Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House.”
The judges were again impressed by Woolf's singing but wanted him to connect more with the audience. Connick gave some great advice by telling the shy Bradenton student to make a "connection" with a single person during each performance.
Wednesday’s episode also featured the contestants singing duets. Woolf was teamed with Malaya Watson for a performance of Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat’s hit "Lucky."
None of the playful chemistry heard on the original came through on the performance by Woolf and Watson. Both looked uncomfortable and while managing not to hit any sour notes, no sparks flew.
Thursday’s save, though, means Woolf remains in the Top 8 and will be seen again singing in front of a national television audience Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Fox.
For interviews we conducted, videos, photo galleries and reviews of his performances on "Idol," visit our Sam Woolf page.