Early front-runner and (supposed) fan-favorite Jessica Sanchez got the lowest number of votes this week on "American Idol" -- but did the judges use one of their all-powerful save?

About an hour before tonight's show, TMZ reported that one of the early faves was up for elimination and producers were "scrambling" to persuade one of the judges to use their save.

So ... did they?

Yes! Jennifer Lopez was the one to announce Jessica will live to see another week on the reality show.

Had Jessica been eliminated she would have placed 7th -- the same spot Jennifer Hudson was in when she was shockingly booted back in season three.

Ironically, Hudson performed on tonight's show.

Did the judges make the right choice?

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