Idol: shootdowns for Jasmine, Jorge and a dumb new rule | None | Uncle Barky's Bytes

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Idol: shootdowns for Jasmine, Jorge and a dumb new rule

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Goodnight to Jorge Nunez (middle) and Jasmine Murray. Fox photos

American Idol sent Top 13 finalists Jasmine Murray and Jorge Nunez packing Wednesday night while needlessly gumming up the rules and also falsely presenting them.

Under a new and basically ridiculous "Judges' Save" option, a contestant voted off by viewers can be saved by judges if he or she hasn't yet reached the Final 5. The four judges must vote unanimously and can use this option only once all season.

Before unveiling this change of course, host Ryan Seacrest noted that previous Idol contestants Chris Daughtry, Tamyra Gray, Jennifer Hudson and Michael Johns all had been on the receiving end of unpopular evictions during previous Idol editions.

"You (viewers) told us that they left the competition too early," Seacrest said.

Mentioning Daughtry in particular, he then told judges, "You could have brought him back and he could have gone on to win."

Well, actually, no. That's because Daughtry made the Final Four in Season 5 along with Elliott Yamin, Katharine McPhee and eventual winner Taylor Hicks.

Gray also couldn't have been saved. She joined Season 1's Final Four with Nikki McKibbin, Justin Guarini and inaugural Idol champ Kelly Clarkson, who performed "My Life Would Suck Without You" on Wednesday night's show.

Only Hudson and Johns fell short of the Final 5 among the four contestants mentioned by Seacrest. So only they would be eligible for a judges' save. But Oscar-winner Hudson's Cinderella story is only enhanced by her relatively early Idol exit in Season 3. As for Johns -- huh?

All of this amounts to a hill of beans in the great game of life. Still, it's amazing that the producers of prime-time's most popular show didn't do the necessary arithmetic beforehand.

Meanwhile, contestants deemed unworthy of saving are rejected twice -- first by voters, then by judges. Nunez got a particularly blunt no-go from judge Simon Cowell. Seems kinda cruel and unusual.

Idol would be better served by immediately dropping the "Save" rule next week. Cowell could say "Sorry" in his inimitably insincere way, and then the show could move on.