American Idol Backstage Scoop: Steven and Randy Spill on Tonight's Surprising Events

Score set secrets from when the cameras weren't rolling!

By Aimee Curran Apr 13, 2012 4:30 AMTags
Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson, American IdolMichael Becker / FOX

It was nothing but drama Thursday night at American Idol

So what did Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler have to say about the jaw-dropping results? Plus what was going on during James Durbin's performance, and what advice does he have for the Idols going forward? We got the scoop!

There was no doubt Thursday night's elimination show was going to be a little more dramatic than usual. After producer Nigel Lythgoe took to his Twitter announcing he was "truly shocked" by the results before the show, it was obvious Hollie Cavanagh, who many speculated would be singing her swan song, would be reprieved for one more week. 

From our seat behind the judges table, we saw jaws fall to the ground when host Ryan Seacrest announced it would be diva darling Jessica Sanchez singing for her life. You could almost feel everyone's heart drop. With only one more week to use their save, and not wanting to have another Pia Toscano fiasco on their hands, the judges rushed the stage to save Jessica, ending elimination night on an unusually happy note. 

When we caught up with Randy and Steven after the show, they explained their take on America's vote and why Jessica will be around for at least one more round of competition.

"I think every season it happens every time," Randy explained. "It's funny that Ryan and I were remarking tonight that Jennifer Hudson was on, we used the save for her and she came in sixth. You look at the stardom she's got, but what I think what happens, honestly, is people forget to vote and they think their favorites are safe. I mean you saw that bottom three. Oh my god, it's like 'What's going on?'"

Steven also said song choice is a huge factor if a contestant stays on the Idol stage.

"They're all one song away [from elimination], because this is a game show," he told us. "It's a reality show where America's vote is on if they don't sing [well]. It's because they don't have a good song. It doesn't mean they can't sing. [Jessica] is as good as it gets and she's 16."

While some fans speculate the judges decide who they would give the save to prior to going live, Randy says that's just not true. 

"We don't know. We find out when you find out," he said. "That's why we were shocked tonight. We were literally shocked. We were like 'What?!' I think the save is for moments like these."

Steven agreed. "When we saw all three, that's why I said, 'We're saving them.' Because this is crazy, which begs the question, Who wouldn't I have on the other side? But we're not going there."

Whoa! Is someone playing favorites?

Speaking of lukewarm feelings, it was obvious Colton Dixon, Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips were far from loving the performance from season 10's James Durbin. While Skylar Laine and Elise Testone managed to muster halfhearted claps during his song, the guys sat like bumps on a log, looking extremely bored and unimpressed. It was also interesting to see James leave the stage right at commercial break. A stark contrast to past musical guests that take time to meet the Idol contestants and chat.

Weirdness aside, James did share advice for the remaining seven after the show. 

"Sleep when you can," he told us. "Don't overthink your performance. When I would overthink my performances, that's when I would have the worst week. Now what I do before my shows is I listen to my songs and listen to my music and just think about it. I just say, 'This is exactly how it's gonna happen.' The whole show beginning to end. I don't psych myself out. You just have to go up there and be comfortable."

Are you happy the judges saved Jessica? Who do you think should win it all? Leave a comment and let us know!

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