American Idol: Sam Woolf Eliminated After Surprise Voting Twist

Ryan Seacrest (left) and Sam Woolf


updated 05/01/2014 AT 10:00 PM ET

originally published 05/01/2014 AT 10:10 PM ET

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With only five contestants left in the competition, a fan favorite was sure to be sent home Thursday on American Idol.

The voting public had chosen some hits and some misses for the final five to sing on Wednesday night, and none of the competitors felt safe going into the elimination episode.

“I think we are all scared,” contestant Alex Preston told reporters after performing Wednesday. “None of us are safe at this point. We are all on the same level.”

But that was before everything turned topsy-turvy. (You guessed it: spoilers ahead )

At the beginning of Thursday’s show, host Ryan Seacrest promised a “shocking twist” that would be a “game changer” and soon revealed that the contestants had the option of unanimously voting to forgo the elimination this week – but at the cost of sending two contestants home next week.

After a short commercial break, the decision was ultimately not unanimous with two people voting to send a contestant home.

“I’m surprised oh, they didn’t ask me,” Jennifer Lopez said to fellow judge Harry Connick, Jr. in the commotion of the studio during the live show.


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