American Idol had multiple plot points tonight.
We're not sure what kind of theme "songs from 2010 to now" is supposed to be, but at least it provided for a lineup of relevant music, from Rihanna to Bruno Mars to Gotye.
But the top seven contestants weren't the only ones tasked with a command performance—resident hot-and-nice judge Jennifer Lopez had to take the stage just a few hours after news broke that Marc Anthony has filed for divorce. Not that it was a total shock, considering they separated nine months ago, but still...legal documents make it so official.
So, how was Jennifer's overall demeanor Wednesday night? Any noticeable changes in her judging M.O.?
Come on, J.Lo is the consummate professional, of course! She was her usual encouraging self—and if looking good is the best revenge, forget about it!
Kicking off the show, Skylar Laine proved once again to be a little budding star, possibly outdoing the original version of Kellie Pickler's "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You." (Can you believe Idol also-rans are are getting covered on the show now, too?!)
"The crows may crow, but the hens deliver the goods," Steven Tyler quipped, emphasizing how "enamored" he is with the women this season.
But oh how we loved the way Colton Dixon sang "Love the Way You Lie (Part II," Rihanna's half of her big 2010 duet with Eminem.
Jennifer wished it had been "more of a song" (whatever that means), but Steven said it was good enough to record "right now" and Randy Jackson thought Colton's subtle performance was "stellar."
Also going above and beyond was Joshua Ledet, who made Bruno Mars' "Runaway Baby" sound like his own smokin'-hot single. "Another unbelievable performance from you," Randy said, shaking his head in happy awe.
Jessica Sanchez also nailed her selection, Fefe Dobson's "Stuttering," but Jennifer said it was time for the obviously gifted singer to have a "Joshua-like moment" in terms of performance dynamics. And that was before Joshua slayed the room with "Runaway Baby."
As Jimmy Iovine predicted in rehearsal, Hollie Cavanagh won the "Last Note of the Night Award" singing Pink's "Perfect"—but did she have enough presence tonight to win a ticket to next week?
And no matter what Randy thinks (or doesn't think) of The Voice, Phillip Phillips apparently has no problem with Adam Levine. He gave Maroon 5's "Give a Little More" the usual gravelly Phillip treatment, but the judges didn't think it was "that 'wow' of a moment."
Maybe blame Maroon 5 on that one?
Lady Gaga's "You and I" didn't work out for Haley Reinhart last year, but the song was brand-new then. Now that everyone knows it, Elise Testone gave it a whirl and...well, it sounded similar to Haley's version, but the judges dug it this time around.
"That was the perfect song for you and the perfect time for that vocal!" Randy exclaimed.
As for the night's battles, er, collaborations: Elise supposedly outsang Phillip on Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," but we thought he held his own and that her high notes sounded off. Oh, well. Then Skylar handled Kelly Clarkson better than Colton played Jason Aldean on "Don't You Wanna Stay," but she's the country girl, so it made sense.
"You just made love singing to each other, so it doesn't much matter anyway" whether the rumors about them dating are true or not, Steven informed the blushing contestants. (Who are totally not dating, by the way.)
"No, we didn't!" Skylar insisted backstage.
Finally, it was just a mélange of huge voices when Joshua, Jessica and Hollie joined forces for Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," with Joshua edging the ladies in power and consistency.
"I just want them all to stay. I love them all!" Jennifer protested at the end of the night. But most likely, someone will go, following performances by Jennifer Hudson and season-10 finalist James Durbin.
Who gave the showstopping performance in your book tonight? Who do you think should go home tomorrow? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
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