An unexpected turn of events Thursday night took everyone by surprise on American Idol, when the final five contestants had the option to vote for everyone to stay one more week or have another singer go home as usual. Ultimately, Alex Preston and Jena Irene voted against the twist, and after being saved already by the judges earlier this season, Sam Woolf missed an opportunity to be saved again and was eliminated. EW talked to Woolf after the twist:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You were already saved, and now this wacky night. How are you processing all this?
SAM WOOLF: I think pretty well. I mean, I’m fine. I kind of had a feeling. I just had a bad vibe about [Wednesday] after my performance, I don’t know.
When you heard they were doing a twist, did you think it might be a second chance for you?
I was kind of mad, actually. They didn’t really tell us, but when they told us that keeping someone for another week was an option, we kind of all huddled together and decided we shouldn’t really.
So you voted for everyone to stay and have another week?
No, I did vote for everyone to stay, but after I’d circled the “yes,” we decided we shouldn’t have it changed, because two people would be going home next week and that seemed worse. We wanted to stick to the one person originally each week.
What were you thinking when you heard what they were doing?
We were all freaking out. Like, “What the heck? This is messed up.”
So there’s no hard feelings about the people that voted to send someone home?
No, I definitely agree with them. It should be normal and once a week someone going home.
What’s next for you?
The tour is coming up, and I want to make an album. I definitely want to do that and write with some cool people. I think it would be cool to do that, especially with some of my biggest influences. Ed Sheeran and David Gray would be awesome. Jason Mraz too. I didn’t get his number, but he is an awesome guy, and he was cool working with everyone backstage.
Do you plan to move to L.A.?
I’m not really sure at the moment; I think it would be cool to live out here, though. I definitely don’t want to live in Florida. [Laughs]
Have you given any thought about being recognized in the real world?
I haven’t actually given it much thought. It’s crazy. I don’t know how I’ll deal with it; I really have to get a start on planning stuff like that out.
As a senior, are you going to finish school?
Well, they told me I’d be back out here in, like, a week and a half. I go to New York on Sunday. I’m not sure what’s happening, but I don’t want to go back to school. I do want to graduate, but I don’t want to go back to actual school, only because I am going to graduate. I was supposed to walk May 31st, but I don’t know if tour rehearsals will conflict yet or not.
What are you taking away from this experience that you will use in the future?
Just staying true to myself. I think I’ve learned a lot from what the judges have said about connecting and loosening up on stage.
Are you starting to think about how you’ll act on stage for the tour?
A little bit, but I am really excited for it. I think it’s going to be awesome.
Sometimes you get to duet on the finale. Who is your dream duet partner?
Ed Sheeran or John Mayer. It’s always going to be those two.
Not Ariana Grande?
That would be awesome too.
You seem to be handling this really well.
Yeah, I’m cool, I handle situations like this all right, and making the top five is awesome.