For the first time, “American Idol” judges gave themselves a do-over this year: a one-shot chance to save a potential winner from being tossed from the show too early. They’d held on tightly to the save for weeks, repeatedly telling contestants they were not worthy of a second chance.
And then, Wednesday night, they finally used it — on Matt Giraud. Was the mild-mannered Justin Timberlake-esque singer from Kalamazoo, Michigan, an unlikely candidate to get the second chance? We asked some “Idol” fans in Times Square on Thursday morning (April 16) if they thought Giraud deserved the lifeline.
“I’m a Matt Giraud fan, and I was really excited when he was saved last night,” said Amanda Vankyn, 15. “I really thought he should have been. … We like Matt because he’s, like, different, and he’s not the same person every time.”
Heather Hoffman, 18, said she thought it was “awesome … ’cause he’s good. The judges made the right decision.” Her friend, Courtney Bell, 17, added, “Because he can play the piano, he can do everything. He’s kind of new-school but with a vibe that’s really good.”
A number of the fans compared the dueling piano player with the manicured scruff and keening falsetto to Timberlake, and all agreed that Giraud deserved to be saved.
Well, almost all. The one dissenting opinion came from Paige Leonard, 22, who said, “I don’t think it was really right. I thought his performance the other night was terrible. He was off-key. I don’t think the piano saves him just because he plays the piano. I thought it was awful.”
In fact, Paige predicted that Giraud will probably just turn around and get eliminated next week, when two contestants have to go home. “He was definitely the worst by far,” she said. “He’ll probably do it again.”
Opinions were mixed on the “Idol” forums as well, with fan Jam_Giraud writing, “I’ve got mixed emotions about Matt being saved. I felt glad when the judges saved him … he truly deserves it. On the other hand, I don’t know what impact he’ll get out of it. I really wanted [him to] make it on his own but he didn’t … maybe coming from the wild card has been a factor to his popularity.” Garpods22 took the opposite opinion, saying, “Hey, he deserved it and just because he was kind of saved twice doesn’t mean anything except the judges see his talent and just want America to realize what true talent he has.”
In another forum about the save option, the majority of the opinion appeared to fall in Giraud’s favor, though some predicted that if Giraud isn’t one of the two who go home next week, the fans of whoever does will “resent him forever.”
What do you think? Did Matt deserve to be saved?