In honor of “American Idol” bringing back the Judges’ Save for this current 17th season, let’s all take a moment to remember the most dramatic time this twist was utilized. Back in Season 10 after Casey Abrams received the lowest number of votes, then-judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler interrupted him mid-performance of his “save-me” song to tell him that they decided to keep him on the reality TV show. Upon hearing the miraculous news, Casey’s knees buckled and he started hyperventilating, with host Ryan Seacrest trying desperately to prevent him from fainting. Watch the memorable “American Idol” flashback above.
Casey’s “American Idol” journey began at 20 years old when he sang “I Don’t Need No Doctor” during his Austin, Texas audition. The bearded ginger’s fun attitude and bluesy style of singing set him apart from everyone else on the show, so he quickly became a fan favorite. That’s why it was so surprising to see Casey receive the lowest number of votes during Top 11 week.
Before making the big announcement, Randy declared, “We know who you are, Casey. We don’t need to hear you sing anymore, do we Steven?”
“Yeah, this is crazy wrong,” added Steven. “I mean, we made a decision here to, uh, to keep you on.”
“I can’t believe it!” Casey repeatedly stammered as the audience shouted his name over and over again. He then ran out into the crowd and hugged his parents, who were weeping tears of joy.
The audience finally died down and JLo explained, “When we heard the results we were like, ‘What is going on? Why is Casey at the bottom?’ We don’t know. You had a rough week last week. This week you had a little bit more of all of that stuff going on. We just want you to get back to being the musician that you are. No more antics, no more anything. Just let people feel your soul and you’re gonna stay. You deserve to be here.”
Casey ended up lasting another five weeks on “American Idol,” ultimately coming in sixth place. The winner of Season 10 wound up being country star Scotty McCreery.
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