BRADENTON, Fla. -- It was another elimination round on American Idol last night, and with only five contestants left, the Suncoast's own Sam Woolf was on the chopping block. Unfortunately for Sam, “Woolf Watch” has now come to an end, as the singer was voted off the show Thursday. His music career, on the other hand, has only just begun.
Despite the disappointing ending, Sam’s Idol journey had a real impact on his Braden River High classmates.
Thousands of teen girls' hearts broke last night when after a surprising twist -- host Ryan Seacrest told the contestants they could vote to keep the results show the same as always and let one person go home, or they could keep everybody on the show for another week, then send two people home next time.
The contestants voted in favor of sending one person home Thursday. Unfortunately, Sam got the boot.
Sam had plenty of ups and downs along the way -- the judges even used their only save to keep him in the competition one week -- but one thing's for sure, his Woolf Pack is stronger than ever.
The student government at Braden River High started the Woolf Pack, and they have been supportive and united since the beginning of Sam’s run.
"We had a courtyard concert and they sold Woolf Pack T-shirts, so it's pretty cool," says Braden River principal Jennifer Gilray.
His presence on the show even impacted Braden River journalism students, who got to sit in on weekly media press conference calls with the eliminated contestants.
"As a journalist, it's absolutely amazing listening in on the teleconference and hearing the big names," says student Rachel Arcuri.
This week they got the chance to interview their American Idol.
"How did the support you receive from us really motivate you in the competition?” Asked student Katie Cafiero.
"It's crazy,” Woolf said. “You guys, the support you've given me means so much to me, and yeah, I don’t think I'd make it this far without you guys."
As Sam makes his way home, one big question looms large in all the girl’s minds:
"We want to know -- are you going to prom?” Cafiero asked.
“Am I going to prom? Oh yeah, I forgot about that," Woolf responded.