In a move that surely served as bait for conspiracy theorists, FOX’s “American Idol” introduced a potential twist midway through Thursday’s results show.

For the first time ever, “Idol” gave its five remaining contestants the opportunity to defer an elimination. If they unanimously agreed to the decision, this week’s lowest vote-getter would continue through to next week. The bottom two contestants would then leave on next week’s show.

To a skeptic, the unususal twist might have signaled a shocking outcome in this week’s voting. If a frontrunner like Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson or Alex Preston were the lowest vote-getter, this would be a means of keeping them in the competition. And insofar as all three would be the favorites to survive next week’s double elimination, “Idol” would ultimately get the Top 3 many believe it wants.

Rejected by two contestants, the twist ultimately did not come into play. But the elimination that would have been deferred–that of Sam Woolf–was not considered a shock. Woolf, who survived an elimination due to the judges’ save earlier this season, was considered the odds-on favorite to leave.

The eliminated Woolf sang “Sing” and “How to Save a Life” on Wednesday’s performance show.

Woolf’s departure leaves only four contestants–Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, Alex Preston and Jessica Meuse–in the mix for next week’s show.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •