Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bradenton's Sam Woolf advances again on "Idol"

   Keith Urban was right.
   On Wednesday night's episode of “American Idol,” Urban predicted that Bradenton singer/songwriter Sam Woolf would be back next week. In fact he said would “guarantee” it
It didn’t take long on Thursday night’s show for Woolf and his fans to find out he was safe from elimination. He was the first to get the news from host Ryan Seacrest that the voting public had decided he would move on for at least one more round.
   Just a few minutes into Thursday’s show, Seacrest summoned Woolf and three other contestants to the stage. He quickly gave the news that Emily Piriz of Orlando – the only other remaining Florida contestant – was in the bottom three this week, and that Woolf was safe.
That means that Woolf, a 17-year-old senior at Braden River High School, is one of only 11 finalists remaining from the 75,000 singers who auditioned for this season’s “Idol.”
   On Wednesday, Woolf performed live, offering a county-tinged version of “Just One” by Oregon alt-folk band Blind Pilot.
   As they have through much of the season, the three judges – Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. – praised Woolf’s singing but said they were hoping to see more emotionally dynamic performances. So far, he has performed almost exclusively slower, introspective songs, including one original.
   After performances by former American Idol champ Phillip Phillips and Irish band Kodaline, Seacrest announced that Piriz had received the fewest votes this week. She got one last  chance to sing for the judges, who could have used their one chance to overrule the public ote.
   They didn't do that, so Piriz went home. She was the second Floridan to be eliminated in two weeks. Last week, Kristen O’Connor of Sebastian went home. Woolf is the last surviving Floridian.

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