Bradenton's Woolf makes 'American Idol' final eight

After some tense moments in the past few weeks, he cruises to the next round

srocco@bradenton.comMarch 28, 2014 

After Wednesday's incandescent performance of pretty pop ballad "Hey There Delilah," Sam Woolf, Bradenton's own doe-eyed songster, continued to woo America, earning him a vital slot in the "American Idol" top eight.

Boy, was this a close one. Woolf, summoned to the bottom three for the second time, survived elimination Thursday by a hair along with fellow bottom dweller CJ Harris. Third in line was Majesty Rose, who tried to save herself with a rendition of Pharrell's "Happy" that ended up earning her the boot.

"I think America's really smart," said judge Harry Connick Jr., halfway through Thursday's results show. "What's interesting about 'American Idol' is that all the voting is performance based. It's all about what you did the night before."

Host Ryan Seacrest announced Woolf and Harris' passage so quickly the two jittery contestants didn't have time to react. Woolf seemed relieved -- for the one second cameras showed his mug.

For every one of Woolf's

shaky performances (The Beatles' "Come Together," Matchbox 20's "Unwell"), the Braden River High senior uncorks a gorgeous act, proving he has the chops to make it to the big leagues.

Two powerhouse moments: A few episodes ago, when the 17-year-old crooned his own acoustic tune, "I Tried."

And then Wednesday, when Woolf sang his velvety version of "Delilah." All of us, especially Judge Jennifer Lopez, felt a little weepy.

Here's to hoping our hometown honey can pile on enough charm Wednesday when the remaining Idol contestants perform in another two-hour show, which begins at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Sabrina Rocco, Herald reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024.

Follow her on Twitter @sabrinarocco.

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