This week on "Idol" the contestants tackled songs from Detroit artists (mostly Motown) with the help of legend Smokey Robinson. In addition to their solo performances, the contestants were also placed in groups, allowing them to perform together for the first time. The night was a mixed bag, with a few uncomfortable group numbers and some truly star-making solos. With Week 3 officially underway, the frontrunners are becoming more and more defined, so who is in it to win it? And who might be packing their bags?
Candice delivered a soulful "Heard it Through the Grapevine" that left the judges with nothing but praise. Following Keith's statement that she had "exponentially" raised the bar, Mariah told her: "You epitomize what this competition is."
Next up was country duo Kree and Janelle, who took on Madonna's classic "Like a Prayer." While the judges enjoyed the overall performance, both Nicki and Randy felt that Kree outshined Janelle. Keith ended things on a positive note however, telling them that they both sang great.
After a rough review last week, Lazaro was desperate to prove his place in the competition. His upbeat rendition of "For Once in My Life" had the judges declaring that the "old" Lazaro was finally back.
Following the showy Madonna number that earned her some flack, Janelle accompanied herself on the guitar, singing a stripped down version of "Keep Me Hanging On." Mariah felt that it was Janelle at her finest and Randy exclaimed that she's "in it to win it!"
Devin's performance of "The Track of My Tears" had Nicki calling him a "ripe banana," which she assured us was a good thing. Mariah agreed that it was a flawless performance, but Keith advised that Devin try not to over-think his performance.
Amber, Angie, and Candice formed a power trio, singing The Supremes' classic "I'm Going to Make you Love Me," and earned standing ovations from the judges. Mariah gushed over the performance, breaking out her Twitter-speak once again, saying "Hashtag pow!" (She really wants us to follow her on Twitter ...)
With his soulful tone, Burnell was made to sing Motown and soared through "My Cherie Amour" with ease. Nicki told him that he reminded her of why she had fallen in love with him and Randy loved his subtle musical choices.
Angie decided to lighten things up with Smokey Robinson's "Shop Around." Keith felt that she was musically constrained by the song and Nicki thought that it was the totally wrong choice for her. "I think you came out to try to show a different side of Angie that you didn't have to show us," Nicki aggressively told her.
After finding herself in the Bottom 3 the previous week, Amber wanted to deliver a crowd-pleasing number. Singing Stevie Wonder's "Lately," she hit all the right notes. Mariah declared her to be a "tour de force" multiple times (apparently she's convinced nobody but her knows what a tour de force is) and Randy announced that it was the best performance of the night.
Lazaro, Devin, and Burnell could have used a little bit of Amber's magic for their performance of "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch." With Lazaro forgetting some of the words, the trio made Nicki feel like she was back at Hollywood week and she essentially booed all three contestants off the stage.
Kree ended the night with Aretha Franklin's "Don't Play that Song" and, as usual, had all of the judges practically bowing out her feet. Nicki declared her to be a true queen and Randy told her she was definitely here to stay.
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.