It was a close call for American Idol hopeful Matt Girard on the April 15 episode of American Idol when Matt, along with fellow contestant Lil Rounds, found themselves in the bottom two. Despite comments the previous night from Simon insinuating Lil was ready to be ousted from the competition, somewhere in the 36 million votes cast by viewers the Memphis native was saved from elimination. Sans the piano that accompanied him in his previous night’s performance of the Bryan Adams hit "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman," an emotional Matt took to the stage and sang for his life in hopes of receiving the elusive judges’ save vote.
“If I could do it again, I’d do it straight and probably not worry about trying to make it my own so much,” Matt had said earlier in the show, adding, “and sing it how it was supposed to be sang.” He did just that to a standing ovation from a studio audience that included Zac Efron, there to promote his movie 17 Again. As the judges deliberated, the entire audience cheered, “SAVE HIM,” in unison. It worked.
“I don’t see you have any chance of winning the competition, but Matt, it’s good news,” said Simon.
Matt may have made American Idol history by being the first to receive the one-time-per-competition save vote, but as his fellow contestants rushed to embrace him, Simon delivered the bad news: “Next week, two of you will be going home — and it’s disco week.”