Sam Woolf makes it to 'American Idol's' Top 6

mclear@bradenton.comApril 18, 2014 

Sam is safe for one more week.

On Thursday night, "American Idol" voters said they wanted the almost-18-year-old Bradenton singer to stay on the show at least one more week. He's now in the final six.

Woolf and his fans are growing used to waiting until the end of each week's results show to find out whether he's staying on the show or coming home.

Woolf was in the bottom three a couple of times earlier in the season. Two weeks ago, he was actually voted off, but judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban used their only "save" of the season to overturn the vote.

With fewer contestants, host Ryan Seacrest announces a bottom two now, not a bottom three.

This week and last, Woolf was the last to find out he was not in the bottom two and was safe from elimination.

On Wednesday, all judges liked his version of David Gray's "Sail Away." As they often had before, the judges said Woolf continues to improve every week.

That performance and the judges' reactions buoyed the hopes of Woolf fans. But voters haven't been making it easy for Woolf to advance so nothing was certain.

On Thursday's results show, Seacrest first announced Jena Irene, who had performed a stunning version of Radiohead's "Creep," and Alex Preston were safe. Judges had loved both of their performances the night before.

They had not been at all impressed with country singer Dexter Roberts' take on "Muckalee Creek Water" by Luke Bryan, and voters weren't either. Seacrest told Roberts he was in the bottom two.

Then the other four contestants came on stage to learn their fate. He told two they were safe, which left Woolf and Jessica Meuse -- who the previous night had revealed she thought she had once been abducted by aliens, and they had "wiped" her memory of the event -- teetering on the edge.

After a pause for effect, Seacrest announced Woolf was safe from elimination.

Meuse, who had not impressed judges with her rendition of Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead," joined Roberts in the bottom two.

Voters apparently agreed with the judges all the way this week. In the end, Roberts got the hook.

Woolf and his five remaining competitors will perform again in a two-hour live show at 8 p.m. Wednesday on Fox. Results will be revealed Thursday night.

Woolf, by that time, will be 18 years old. His birthday is Saturday.

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

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