If you thought the purpose of the “American Idol” save were to prevent shock or unjust eliminations, you were wrong.

Despite landing in the bottom three for the third time this season, delivering what critics felt was one of Wednesday’s weakest performances and being considered one of the favorites to depart the competition this week, Sam Woolf earned the judges’ only available reprieve.

Revealed as the week’s lowest vote-getter, Woolf’s potential and sudden death reprise of semifinals performance “Babylon” were enough to keep the judges engaged. They unanimously agreed to keep Woolf in the competition, which confirms another Top 8 performance show next week.

Also likely working in Woolf’s favor was the commercial success of his Wednesday night performance. Woolf’s cover of “Lego House” was one of the night’s better-charting songs on iTunes.

Malaya Watson and CJ Harris landed alongside Woolf in the bottom three. They, along with Woolf, Jessica Meuse, Alex Preston, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson and Dexter Roberts, represent the Top 8.

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