The surprise save on Thursday's American Idol came as a shock to just about everybody, especially Casey Abrams, who is not only being handed another chance to wow America, but was given a spot on the Idol summer tour.
So how did this snap decision -- to take another finalist on the road -- get made so quickly? “Regardless of the save, this season 10 group has been so compelling, that it was already decided to put the Top 11 on the road,” a spokesperson for 19 Entertainment tells THR. “It’s the first time in American Idol history that more than 10 finalists will participate in the tour. This group is that strong.”
It is, however, a hefty investment. Each finalist stands to pocket as much as $300,000 for the trek, which typically runs for more than 10 weeks (venue size varies from amphitheaters to arenas) and hits nearly all major markets. AEG is the tour's promoter.
But according to a source, the added cost of adding another cast member to the production and travel schedule won’t make a major impact on the tour’s budget. “The thinking is, 'It’s a great season, why not pull out all the stops?',” says an insider.
Abrams was eliminated following his Motown week performance of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." Judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler opted to use their one "save" of the season to keep the Idyllwild, Calif. native in the competition another week.
Host Ryan Seacrest announced that after next week's Elton John-themed episode, two Idol hopefuls will be sent home.