Jessica Sanchez's Almost Elimination: Other 'American Idol' Shockers

Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry were booted from 'Idol' earlier than anyone expected.

America, you only have yourself to blame. In a pattern repeated for the past few seasons, "American Idol" viewers seem to get a little lazy this time of year and suddenly forget to vote for their favorites, putting one of the potential winners in jeopardy.

Case in point: preternaturally talented teen diva Jessica Sanchez. Even after killing it on Wednesday night (again)
, Bebe Chez very nearly got sent home in seventh place Thursday night in one of the most shocking near-eliminations in recent history.

The judges didn't even have to hear her sing before they jumped up to save the singer
, but she came thisclose to becoming the latest super-talent to wash out of "Idol" way before her time.

The "Idol" save has a checkered history. Sometimes it's been pulled out for singers whose talents (and commercial prospects) were decent at best (Michael Lynche) or annoying at worst (Casey Abrams). In fact, of the four saves in "Idol" history, the only one that truly made sense was season eight's piano-playing Matt Giraud, who only made it one more week before being sent home.

With only two weeks left before their save would have timed out, Randy, Jennifer and Steven pulled out the lifeline for the one remaining contestant who truly deserves it, if only for the fact that Sanchez could break the string of wins by bland white male singers who've met with solid to dismal chart success over the past four seasons.

If Sanchez had gotten the boot, she would have joined a fairly illustrious group of singers who were gone too soon. Among them:

Jennifer Hudson: Success is the best revenge, and when Hudson was inexplicably sent home in seventh place during season three who knew she'd go on to be the first Oscar winner in "Idol" history and a musical powerhouse? Um, we did.

Chris Daughtry: The second-most shocking elimination in "Idol" history has to be bald-headed steak-and-potatoes rocker Chris Daughtry. He went out in fourth place in season five, which was won by ... Taylor Hicks. Yeah, that guy. After declining to take the lead singer gig in Fuel, Daughtry went on to multiplatinum success and a spot as the third best-selling "Idol" alum of all time.

Melinda Doolittle: If you watched season six of "Idol" then you likely remember the powerhouse vocalist that ex-lead judge Simon Cowell dubbed "incredible." But, somehow, Melinda got the hook in the week before the finale, beat out by Blake Lewis. You know, the beatboxing faux-hawk wearing dude who lost to Jordin Sparks? Exactly.

Do you think the judges made the right call by saving Jessica? Let us know in comments below!

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