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TMZ was right: ‘Idol’ shocker as Jessica Sanchez nearly eliminated

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In a "shocking" turn of events, 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez was nearly booted off the show after getting the lowest number of votes, but the 3 judges used their only "save" power for the season on her

MANILA, Philippines – TMZ was right – this week’s American Idol elimination is a shocker.

In a “shocking” turn of events, 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez was nearly booted off the show after getting the lowest number of votes, but the 3 judges in the singing competition showed mercy and used their only “save” power for the season on her.

Boos and jeers emanated from the ‘Idol’ live audience after host Ryan Seacrest singled out Sanchez from the bottom 3 of the week.

She was with fellow fan (and judges’) favorites Joshua Ledet and Elise Testone – a result which surprised everyone in the studio, with judge Randy Jackson exclaiming, “this is a ridiculous bottom three!”

As she started to sing her exit song “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” the three judges – Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez – walked up the stage and interrupted her, declaring her saved.

“You’re not going home! This is ridiculous! We’re using the save!” exclaimed Lopez.

“This girl is one of the best singers in America – are you kidding me? Everyone, please vote for the best!,” Jackson angrily told the audience.

She later finishes the song to a standing ovation.

Her near-exit comes after she was praised for her soulful performance of “Stuttering,” during the top 7 performance night Wednesday, April 11 (Thursday, April 12 in Manila).

“I don’t expect anything — whatever happens happens, and I just want people to know that I’ve been working hard my entire life,” Sanchez later told Seacrest.

TMZ earlier reported that the “shocking” elimination was about to come up in ‘Idol,’ citing staffers trying to convince the 3 judges to save the person who got the least number of votes this week.

The entertainment website, best known for breaking news on the death of pop legend Michael Jackson in 2009, did not name any of the finalists in the bottom three, but gave a hint about a “Jennifer Hudson-like” event, referring to a similarly surprising elimination in a previous season of the competition.

In Season 3 of the wildly popular television show, finalist Hudson was booted off the show, after being seen as one of the contenders to beat. She was on the bottom 3 along with another top contender, LaToya London, and eventual winner Fantasia Barrino.

Unfortunately for Hudson back then, ‘Idol’ rules were different, and the judges (composed back then of Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell) do not have the power to save a contestant from elimination.

Hudson, however, later made it big, becoming one of the more popular ‘Idol’ alumni, winning a Grammy award for her debut album, and taking a star turn in the 2006 film Dreamgirls.

For her role as Effie White in the said film, a film adaptation of the Broadway hit, she won 29 awards, including an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Meantime, Sanchez posted this video on her Twitter account, thanking her fans, after the show:

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