Surprise! Even the judges were caught off guard during the Sunday, May 5, episode of American Idol. After Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon and Laci Kaye Booth were shockingly eliminated, judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie had to decide which singer to save.
Their choice was to keep Booth and in turn, send Harmon home. However, it wasn’t easy – and none of the judges were thinking they would have to choose between them.
“What’s interesting about tonight is that there was a curveball, I thought,” Perry, 34, told Us Weekly after the show on Sunday. “I didn’t necessarily know if Wade [Cota] was going to get in. But he did such great performances this evening that it obviously persuaded the people and threw us through a loop. So that’s why at the end we were like, ‘What is happening?’ I’m not sure, I think, you hear these whispers like, ‘Oh American Idol is this format, that format.’ It feels like change is in the air.”
Bryan, 42, added that Jeremiah wasn’t even “in our train of thought” when imagining having to use the save.
“Even last week we weren’t even thinking about it. We were thinking about other people. Next thing you know, the people we’ve been thinking about for a couple of weeks, they’re in there. So we had to scramble,” he told Us.
Richie, 69, added, “The two or three people at the beginning were the people we were thinking, ‘OK, they’re going to have a shot.’ It threw us off. We were in shock when they asked us for our vote. But, I’m going to say this, they’ve all won now. Don’t think of the winner.”
The “365” singer then shed light on how tough the process has been and how difficult it is to eliminate anyone this far in the game.
“I did not love doing that. I’m really tired. I need a double margarita,” she added. “But also I want Jeremiah to know, number one, that we love him and we support him. It’s written in the stars for him. And historically if you look at people that didn’t win and how far they’ve come, he’s OK.”
The final five in season 17 are Booth, Cota, Madison VanDenburg, Laine Hardy and Alejandro Aranda. American Idol airs on Fox Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Nicole Pajer
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!