'American Idol' Top 9 Performance Recap: Tribute to Stevie Nicks, MJ and Madonna

'American Idol' Top 9 Performance Recap: Tribute to Stevie Nicks, MJ and Madonna

Divided into three groups, the nine finalists perform medleys of Nicks', Michael Jackson's and Madge's hits, in addition to making a solo performance of their personal idol's songs.
The Top 9 of "American Idol" season 11 paid tribute to Stevie Nicks, Michael Jackson and Madonna on the night which had "songs from your idols" as the theme. In between the solo performances, Colton Dixon, Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips teamed up to do a medley of Nicks' classics, including "Landslide" and "Edge of Seventeen". The former Fleetwood Mac member served as the guest mentor this week.

DeAndre Brackensick, Joshua Ledet and Heejun Han sang a medley of MJ's hits, during which Joshua did the late King of Pop's iconic moonwalk dance. Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine and Jessica Sanchez were honored to sing a Madge medley, belting out "Like a Prayer", "Borderline" and "Express Yourself".

For the solo performances, Colton came out first with an emotional rendition of Lifehouse's "Everything", which earned rave reviews from the judges. Steven Tyler called him a "dream come true," Randy Jackson said he "could be looking at a contender for the title," while Jennifer Lopez admitted she was moved by the performance.

Skylar did a cover of Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead". All three judges loved her energy with Randy praising her, "You are a powerhouse singer." Steven added, "Skylar, that was over the top."

Heejun redeemed himself following his bad performances in the last few weeks with an amazing performance of Donny Hathaway's "A Song for You". Showing a new positive attitude, he was called "a natural" by Steven. J.Lo, meanwhile, said, "You don't make it this far by mistake. He is here because we know he can sing that way."

Making Nicks cry during rehearsal with her rendition of Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel", Hollie failed to move two of the judges during the performance night. Randy said her take was pitchy, while Steven disliked the song choice. J.Lo, however, called it one of Hollie's best performances.

DeAndre opted to sing "Sometimes I Cry" from his idol Eric Benet. J.Lo loved it and she urged people to vote for him. "People pick up your phones and call for DeAndre! I need to hear his voice some more! A few more weeks for me," she exclaimed. Randy simply declared, "Deandre is back."

Jessica's idol is Beyonce Knowles and she sang "Sweet Dreams". J.Lo said, "If I was Beyonce and I was home listening, I'd be like, 'I gotta do that in my next concert, slow that down.' " Steven called the performance "delicious", while Randy praised her, "You have innate talent."

Phillip sang Johnny Lang's "Still Raining", which got thumbs up from the judges. Steven commented, "Every song you sing you own," and Randy said, "You got big things in front of you." J.Lo, meanwhile, gushed, "Amazing, that was a great performance."

Joshua chose to do a big number with Mariah Carey's "Without You" and he earned a standing ovation from the judges. "When you have a voice this big, you have to sing big songs," Randy commented. Speaking about his song choice, Joshua said, "I just know I could help somebody else (by singing this song)."

Wrapping up the show, Elise performed Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" and made the judges stand up to applaud once again. "You made Robert Plant proud tonight, girl," Steven gushed, as J.Lo said, "It was crazy."

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