Bradenton's Sam Woolf survives 'American Idol' elimination

Female fans make sure he'll be on the "Idol Live; summer tour

mclear@bradenton.comMarch 14, 2014 

College will have to wait.

But just barely.

Bradenton's Sam Woolf learned Thursday he made it to the top 10 on this season's "American Idol" competition, which means he'll be spending much of the summer touring the country with the annual "Idol Live" tour.

Woolf, a senior at Braden River High School, has already been accepted into the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. But

he has said he may not start college in the fall if his "Idol" career continues.

On Wednesday's live show, Woolf performed the Beatles classic "Come Together." The judges (Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban) were more reserved in their praise for his performance than they have been in past weeks.

Lopez called it "nice" and Connick said it was "average." They all said Woolf had made a positive step by loosening up on stage and straying from the slow, folksy songs that have made him so popular with viewers.

On Thursday's results show, Woolf and his fans had a nervous moment. About 20 minutes into the hour-long show, host Ryan Seacreast called over three contenders and told them they were safe from elimination.

Two of the next four contestants were safe, too, but the other two -- Ben Briley and Majesty Rose -- were in the bottom three based on votes from the viewing public.

That meant one of the remaining four contestants, which included Woolf, was also in the bottom three for the first time this season.

After the show's last commercial break, Seacreast. said Woolf was safe So was Rose.

Briley got a chance to sing one more time to try to persuade the judges to use their only chance to save a contestant, but they decided against it.

The dates of the 2014 "Idol Live! Tour" have not been announced, but last year's tour ran from mid-July until late August.

Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.

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