'American Idol' judges would have saved any of the Bottom 3

idol-top-7-results-2.jpgIt was clear that the "American Idol" Top 7 results show wouldn't be your typical Thursday night affair as soon as the stools of doom didn't appear on the stage. Instead, Ryan Seacrest had the contestants line up in groups, ultimately revealing that three solid performers -- Jessica Sanchez, Elise Testone and Joshua Ledet -- were in the Bottom 3. Would the judges save someone? Considering that the previous night's performance show opened with a package all about the save, it seemed pretty clear how the night would go.

Steven Tyler
confirmed suspicions as soon as he learned who was in danger of going home, announcing on live television that he and fellow judges Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez would definitely not be sending anyone packing. Tyler tells Zap2it after the show that he was so shocked at the results that he couldn't help but say something.

"We saw all three, and that's why I said, 'You know what, we're saving them. Because this is crazy,'" he admits. "Which begs the question, who wouldn't I have [saved] on the other side?"

It's a question he declines to answer, but Jackson says one thing's for sure -- the judges sure are glad they still had that ace in their pocket. 

"I'd be mad [if we had used it earlier]," he tells Zap2it. "I think the save is us waiting for moments like this, saying 'Okay man, I don't know. We've gotta wait for the right moment to use it.'"

So, how exactly did 16-year-old Sanchez, a clear frontrunner for the title, wind up in danger of going home anyway?

"Every season it just happens," Jackson says. "I think what happens, honestly, is people just forget to vote. They think that their favorites are safe. When you saw that Bottom 3, oh my God. I was like, 'What's going on?'"

Although Lopez, Jackson and Tyler stopped Sanchez one line into her "sing for your life" performance to tell her she was safe -- she didn't actually have to do the whole thing until after she knew she wasn't going home -- Tyler says they would've saved the teenager regardless of whether she sounded good in her last-chance performance. But he thinks she would've done well no matter what.

"No, she is that good," he says. "They're all one song away, because [they're all talented]. If they don't sing it [well], it's because they don't have a good song, it doesn't mean they can't sing. She's as good as it gets and she's 16!"

Jackson agrees. "Dude, that's it. One of the best singers in America, I don't care."

Even if Sanchez had gone home, though, both men think she has a great career ahead of her. "If someone wrote her the just right song, she could be huge," says Tyler.

Adds Jackson, "I think she'll have a huge career anyway."
Photo/Video credit: FOX