It's for the main competition, which means that the stakes are about who will be eliminated, and who will stay on to fight another day.
There is also Last Chance Idol, where the stakes are who gets an opportunity to join the main competition, and who will have their torch snuffed one final time: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/792692.html
That one just started last night, but ends on Thursday, so if you are finished with the main competition, I'd get over and start reading that one. But if you haven't, you will still have a couple days to catch up!
I saw a question someone posted last night (via the "Recent posts" feature on my LJ Home page) but when I went back to find it, I couldn't. So I don't know if it was an old question, or a new one that someone posted to an older thread.
But it's a good question - so I'll go ahead and answer it here, just in case someone wanted to know the answer: (paraphrased) "Can you tell us when the last chance to use our byes will be?"
It happens at the Top 50. Byes are done at that point. The "Power of Veto" that is still lingering out there expires at that point.
The problem with giving a specific answer with that is there are so many factors involved that aren't under my control. I can't accurately predict drops. I can't say "Oh, all five people who are eligible to come in from Last Chance this coming week will"
What I *can* tell you is that we are hovering right above that Top 50 right now, and that this is one of those points where you either boxed yourself in early on by using too many byes or kept them to use strategically to get yourself to the other side. Sometimes you just can't avoid using them due to that pesky "real life" thing I keep hearing so much about. But it does put you in a "write or die" scenario. (literally. I have drones standing by! :D)
If you absolutely, positively, need to use a bye - use it. You are close enough that it may come at any time - and yes, if you go to 49 contestants (at the end of a poll) and two people come in from Last Chance, then you can still use byes the following week!
A question that *wasn't* asked, is "What if I need a bye AFTER the Top 50?" Under EXTREME circumstances, I've been known to give an Executive Bye. But definitely don't count on it. Sometimes life just takes you down, and doesn't stop to ask what else you have going on.
What do people know about the "LJ Promotions" feature? It caught my eye a few days ago as a potential way to promote the polls/increase readership. But that's basically inside LJ itself, which we're already pretty big (compared to the other active sites out there). So I'm not sure that's the way to go. I've set up an Ello account and trying to keep various social media stuff updated (usually failing!)
Also - anyone proficient in Custom CSS? I may have an opening in that department. I know people are always emailing about wanting to help out, and that's definitely something where help would be useful.