The Top 10 finalists of "American Idol" were back to the stage on Wednesday, March 21 to deliver songs by Billy Joel. P. Diddy was enlisted to team up with Jimmy Iovine in mentoring the contestants.
DeAndre Brackensick was the lucky number one, singing "Only the Good Die Young". Steven Tyler said, "I thought it was a little too happy at first, but isn't that what the world needs." Jennifer Lopez also liked it, but Randy Jackson thought it was so-so. "I wasn't jumping up and down, it was good job, but it didn't wow me," he commented.
Next, there was Erika Van Pelt who performed "New York State of Mind". While she earned rave reviews for her vocals, it was her physical transformation that turned people's head that night. She dyed her blonde hair black and cut it short as suggested by fashion consultant Tommy Hilfiger. "First of all, I love the look, it's so different and I love the vocals," Randy said.
Joshua Ledet opted for "She's Got a Way" as his song that night. After becoming a standout last week, the 19-year-old Louisiana boy failed to deliver another impressive performance. J.Lo, who was actually reluctant to give negative review, had to say, "I just needed to feel that you were connected more to the lyrics." Steven agreed with her as saying, "I think that you took a song that I didn't know, you sang your life into it and make it come to life with your soul."
Skylar Laine, who was star struck when meeting P. Diddy, performed a cover of "Shameless" with a country touch. Steven noted she was a little pitchy, but he liked the overall performance. Randy thought, "It took you a bit to get into your comfort zone, it was pretty good but not your best."
Elise Testone opted to sing "Vienna", which surprised Jimmy because not many people know it. She got a standing ovation from the judges, with J.Lo gushing, "I'm so happy for you, how confident you were, everything was great." Randy echoed her statement, "I like what you guys have done tonight, you are unbelievably talented."
Phillip Phillips chose "Movin Out" as his song that night. P. Diddy took away his guitar to take him out of his comfort zone while practicing, but he still brought the instrument on the stage. The judges loved that he made the song his own as Steven said, "You took that song and filled it full of sick, it was beautiful." Randy praised him for sticking to his own "guns" and advised him to keep it so.
Hollie Cavanagh came out next to perform "Honesty". P. Diddy had advised her to watch her tones, but she was still deemed pitchy by Steven after singing it on the stage. J.Lo told her that she has to know every note of the song. Randy agreed and reminded her that the judges gave constructive criticism because they know she was great.
Facing criticism over his performance last week, Heejun Han was advised by Jimmy to use it as a fuel. He delivered a cover of "My Life" and started it slow. J.Lo loved that he brought fun to the show, but his vocals still were not good enough. Steven was more harsh in his comment, saying, "Hee man, you know, I am a little tongue tied. Are you happy you took the piss out of that song? The music industry will kick you in the ass, you have to take it more seriously."
Jessica Sanchez had her chance to shine again that night with her rendition of "Everybody Has a Dream". "You are flawless and perfect, excellent mentoring, that was perfection," Randy commented. Steven said, "When God was giving out vocal chords, you were so at the beginning of the line," while J.Lo called it "a defining moment" for her.
Last but not least, there was Colton Dixon who performed "Piano Man". Jimmy said the song was made for him, while P. Diddy said he wants to buy his record. On the stage, Colton sang behind a red piano and won rave reviews from the judges. "You choice of chords was amazing, you are a great singer," Steven commented, while J.Lo saw that he sang with pure feelings.
Erika Van Pelt: