Is it too soon to pick who's going to win it all on American Idol this season?
Randy Jackson, Mr. "In It to Win It," certainly doesn't think so, as he named none other than the first singer out of the gate tonight, Colton Dixon, as a "contender for the title."
No pressure, young Colton.
In the meantime, the 20-year-old and his fellow eight hopefuls took on tunes by their own personal icons and, for the first time, sang in trios. But it wasn't Colton who was told by guest mentor Stevie Nicks that he would have been invited to join Fleetwood Mac back in the day!
"If Lindsey [Buckingham] and I had known you, Mick Fleetwood would have asked all three of us," the iconic songstress told an obviously thrilled Phillip Phillips.
"I think he's going to be very famous," Stevie said of the 21-year-old from Georgia. "He has a certain magic."
So long as he doesn't develop a certain ego, we're right there with you, Stevie!
Phil then proceeded to rock our socks off with Johnny Lang's "Still Raining," just as he stole the spotlight in a trio composed of him, Elise Testone and Colton—they did a Fleetwood Mac medley, natch.
Stevie duetted with Elise, however, on "Rhiannon" (and she doesn't sing with just anybody!) during rehearsal—even though the husky-voiced 28-year-old was fittingly doing Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" for the live show!
"I didn't wanna get up, but you made me get up!" Jennifer Lopez shrieked. "You made Robert Plant proud," Steven Tyler said approvingly.
But Hollie Cavanagh was the one who made Stevie singer tear up while rehearsing Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel," after the "Landslide" singer encouraged Hollie to communicate with her heart, not just her voice.
But the show-time performance was "just OK" for Steven, who said he didn't want to "mess with Jesus and/or Carrie."
And how did Heejun Han do this week after getting blasted by Steven and Jimmy Iovine for not taking the competition seriously enough?
Heejun will most likely be sticking around after his earnest (seriously!) take on Donny Hathaway's "A Song for You."
Randy welcomed him back to the competition, and J.Lo noted, "You don't make it this far by mistake." (Sanjaya Malakar notwithstanding.)
Deandre Brackensick, went full soul falsetto on Eric Benet's "Sometimes I Cry"—so, if that's your cup of tea, you probably loved it.
Jessica Sanchez, meanwhile, rightfully idolizes Beyoncé—but we thought she went wrong by slowing down "Sweet Dreams." It was pretty, but…kinda boring.
Snoozin' right along…
Just kidding! Joshua Ledet ironically perked things up with Mariah Carey's heartbreaking version of the already heartbreaking Harry Nilsson song "Without You"—as Randy would say, he blew it outta the box.
Hell, he made himself cry!
"You pushed yourself so far tonight that you had an emotional breakdown. And that's beautiful," applauded Steven. Randy called the performance "flawless," and J.Lo called Joshua a "phenom, an angel from heaven."
"That voice is a godsend," she said.
"Colton threw down the gauntlet and everybody is picking it up," Randy concluded.
(Originally published Mar 28, 2012, at 7:31 p.m. PT)