With a spot on the American Idol tour bus on the line, tension was high as the Top 11 were told their fate Thursday after America’s vote.
The contestants had a strong showing Wednesday evening tackling songs from the cinema, ranging from “Let It Go” from Frozen to Adele’s James Bond theme song “Skyfall” to Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets.”
Most of the Top 11 earned much improved critiques after mostly lackluster performances the week before. Still, three contestants were put in jeopardy of going home – Sam Woolf, Majesty Rose and Ben Briley.
Host Ryan Seacrest soon sent Woolf back to safety, leaving Rose and Briley on the chopping block – before Briley was told he got the fewest votes nationwide.
The attention then shifted to judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr., who had to decide whether or not to use their one judges’ save of the season on Briley. But in the end, his performance of “Stars” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals wasn’t quite enough.
“Ben we love your voice. We’ve loved it from day one but unfortunately we can’t use the save,” Urban said.
After the elimination, Lopez told PEOPLE: “I think the bottom three was pretty right on. Ben took the biggest risk, and I’m sad he’s going home.”