On Wednesday’s American Idol 5 elimination episode, Ryan Seacrest told Taylor Hicks to join the group he thought would be safe. Taylor pretended to join one group but then faked them out, joining the correct “safe” group instead.
As it turns out, this whole act was, naturally, just another example of executive producer Nigel Lythgoe’s sadism. Although Lythgoe did not know who was eliminated, he did know which contestants were in the bottom three, so he instructed Taylor to shake hands with Chris and then go to the other group. Basically, the whole thing was scripted.
Access Hollywood’s Laura Saltman has the details:
Don’t think Taylor picking the “safe” group was of his own accord. During the commercial break, Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe, filled Taylor in on the fake-out handshake to Chris Daughtry and which group to choose. It turns out Nigel doesn’t know who is going to be eliminated. He is kept in the dark until the very end. The only thing he knows is which three contestants are in the bottom three.