The first live "" in season eight has begun and this would be the first live appearance of Kara DioGuardi, who is added as the fourth judge starting this season. Twelve out of 36 contestants who got through take the stage to perform before the judges. The theme is rather broad: any songs that have entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart, no marginal year.
Before the show begins, gives an advice to the singers who line up on the stairs. She says, "You know what? This is all your dream, right? You gotta hit that center stage and make magic happen in a minute twenty seconds, and if you don't? Look to the right, look to the left, whoever is better, you're gonna go home! It's a tough, tough, kind of a season this year."