Now that "American Idol" finally has it's Top 10 contestants, Season 12 truly started on Wednesday night, with each hopeful selecting a song from a former winner's repertoire and giving it their own twist. The judges were in full force, with Mariah as regal as ever, Randy replacing all exclamatory words with a "yo," Nicki showing up late wearing cat sunglasses, and Keith is ... uh, still Australian. The night delivered a mixed bag of mostly mediocre performances and a few truly show-stopping numbers. So who delivered?
Curtis started off the night with Fantasia's "I Believe." He impressed the judges with his song choice and his confidence, but Randy suggested that he try something a little different to further stretch his talent.
Next up was Janelle who kept things upbeat with Montgomery Gentry's "Gone." Keith enjoyed hearing a woman sing the song, but Nicki wanted to hear something that lets her show the "pretty parts of [her] voice a little more."
Devin chose the Carrie Underwood song "Temporary Home," and the judges didn't think it did his vocals justice. "You have the ability to do so much, but because of that we expect so much from you," Mariah told him.
Angie brought the night to life with Celine Dion's "I Surrender." All of the judges loved the performance, with Nicki telling her that she "personifies perfection" and Randy declaring her as the true competition on the show.
After taking Jimmy's advice and toning down his theatrics, Paul had one of his better performances of the season, with Nicki informing him that it was the first time he had "stimulated [her] sexual appetite" (OK ... ).
After a night of mostly mediocre performances, Candice's rendition of "I Who Have Nothing" was exactly what the judges and audience needed. Following a round of standing ovations (except from Mariah, whose skirt was apparently too tight to stand), Nicki declared that no one should be allowed to ever sing the song again and Mariah told her that whenever Candice is on stage she is "transfixed."
Lazaro chose Kelly Clarkson's inspirational "Breakaway", but the song didn't quite suit him. "That was probably my least favorite from you, babe," Nicki told him. Despite the poor choice, Mariah applauded him for his vulnerability as a performer.
Kree's rendition of Roy Orbison's "Crying" was just what the judges were waiting for. Nicki thought her performance was like eating waffles (in a good way, don't worry) and Keith told her that she could "sing the phonebook."
Burnell chose Ruben Studdard's "Flying Without Wings" and once again, had the judges captivated. "You have a sort of eccentricity that's really pure," Keith told him. Nicki also complimented him for his unique twist and Randy thought it was the only strong male performance of the night.
Amber ended the night with the "Idol" classic, "A Moment Like This," and managed to live up to the high expectations of the song. "Your voice is on another level," Nicki said, telling her she was the best of the night. All Mariah could say of the stellar performance was "#pow" (we get it Mariah, you tweet).
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
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