Sam Woolf is "sailing" now! Take a look at his fantastic Top 7 performance of "Sail Away" by David Gray!
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As AMERICAN IDOL XIII enters a landmark season in January 2014, the search continues to find amazing talent from across the nation. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, and featuring judges Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban, along with in-house mentor Randy Jackson, the series empowers contestants and viewers to share their voices in deciding who will be America's next singing superstar.
Every year, tens of thousands of hopefuls from across the nation audition for a shot at stardom. The show's judges will travel across the country including stops in Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; Omaha, NE, Salt Lake City, UT; and San Francisco, CA, in search of the next AMERICAN IDOL. They narrow down the competitors to a select group of semifinalists who sing their hearts out each week in front of a studio audience and television viewers.
The judges have their say after every performance, but it's the viewing public that determines who will advance to become a finalist and who will go home. Telephone, text message and online voting begin immediately after each live performance show, and the results are announced during the following night's live broadcast.
Eventually the competition is whittled down to two finalists who compete for a major recording contract with 19 Recordings and the AMERICAN IDOL title. Past winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery Phillip Phillips, and Candice Glover, as well as fan-favorites Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, and Katharine McPhee, have all become household names and made their marks on the recording industry.
Top 7 - Sam Woolf "Sail Away" - AMERICAN IDOL XIII
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.