"American Idol" was back on Wednesday, March 14 with the remaining finalists who sang songs from the year they were born, but it wasn't without a twist. As it was suggested in reports, Jermaine Jones was disqualified and Ryan Seacrest talked a bit about it early in the show.
Before explaining further about Jermaine's departure, Ryan let some of the contestants perform. Phillip Phillips was the first to take the stage, singing "Hard to Handle" by The Black Crowes. Randy Jackson said the 21-year-old is unique, while Jennifer Lopez called it "natural."
Last week's standout Jessica Sanchez came out next and performed "Turn the Beat Around" by Gloria Estefan, but failed to get rave reviews. Steven Tyler noted that she couldn't stray too far from ballads, while J.Lo thought the performance lost some energy.
Heejun Han did not impress the judges as well that night. Singing Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting for You", he was criticized by Randy who said, "I didn't really enjoy this at all. It was pitchy... It felt like you were out of breath the whole time... It was just the wrong song, wrong time, not a great performance for me."
Elise Testone, who was in the bottom two last week, showed she could do better than her previous performance when delivering "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green. J.Lo said it's "a beautiful, beautiful thing," while Randy declared, "America, Elise is back."
The judges were not too impressed with DeAndre Brackensick's rendition of "Endless Love". Randy said, "It was boring and very safe for you at the wrong time." J.Lo said she didn't love the song choice, but still thought he's great, with Steven agreeing that it's not the right song choice.
Shannon Magrane opted to sing "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey. J.Lo and Randy said they were terrified for her, but thought that she did a good job. Steven, meanwhile, commented, "I think you try your best when you don't try so hard and that was beautiful."
Colton Dixon was up next and he sang a cover of White Lion's "Broken Heart", which was apparently not familiar to J.Lo, but she still liked the performance. Steven thought it was the wrong song for Colton's voice and his passion, but Randy agreed with J.Lo and called the performance "dope."
Erika Van Pelt also earned mixed reviews from the judges after singing "Heaven" by Bryan Adams. Steven thought she was "too busy all over it," Randy liked it and scored it "8 out of 10." J.Lo, meanwhile, compared her to Janis Joplin.
Skylar Laine picked "Love Sneakin' Up on You" by Bonnie Raitt and she showed she's a consistent performer. "I haven't heard you sing a song bad yet," Tyler gushed. "You really killed that," J.Lo added despite the fact that she didn't know the song.
Joshua Ledet earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the judges after singing Michael Bolton's "When a Man Loves a Woman". "The best thing I've ever seen on 'American Idol'," J.Lo declared and Steven chimed in, "You gave it up so big God came through your eyes."
Rounding up the performance night was Hollie Cavanagh with her rendition of Celine Dion's "Power of Love". J.Lo commented, "With you and Joshua, they really saved the best for last," as Steven gushed that Hollie's voice comes from heaven above.
It was prior to the last two performances that Ryan explained what happened to Jermaine. Footage of the 25-year-old vocal instructor sitting down with the show's producers was shown, in which Nigel Lythgoe mentioned his charges. "I just was scared and nervous and didn't want to get judged and penalized for anything in the past," the singing hopeful explained why he didn't tell them about his criminal past.
Unfortunately, Nigel said the show is "not allowed to have anybody that has an outstanding warrant on the program." Calling it "a delicate position," they sent home Jermaine and footage of him rehearsing "Somewhere Out There" was played.