No more second chances.
That the was the message drilled into the remaining 11 American Idol contestants, as Ryan Seacrest reminded them that two of them will be packing their bags after Thursday's elimination. To that, they responded with some of their best performances to date.
The supposed underdogs, like Stefano Langone and Casey Abrams, who were in the bottom three last week, couldn’t have been any more spot on with their acts, tone and image in a night dedicated to British superstar Elton John.
Langone sang John’s 1971 tune “Tiny Dancer” from the legendary artists’ fourth album “Madman Across the Water.” Langone, who was criticized last week for not connecting with the audience, made sure to connect with the crowd this time around.
As he was wrapping up the song, Langone slowly walked towards the judges and, with eyes wide open, slowly and passionately looked at Jennifer López and extended his hand to her as if dedicating his performance to the Puerto Rican pop diva.
“I could really feel you taking our notes that we’ve been telling you for the past few weeks,” said J.Lo, who was wearing a sexy short sparkly dress. “You really connected with the audience. At the end of the day it’s about them. It’s about making them feel something. I really felt like you moved the crowd today.”
López seemed genuinely happy to have Langone back.
“You are back to the Stefano that we know and love,” she added. “Amazing, really good.”
Fellow judge Randy Jackson didn’t have any negative criticism about Langone this week, and seemed truly impressed with the performance.
“You started connecting with the audience. Your eyes were open from moment one,” said Jackson. “I could tell that’s a little bit unusual and different for you because you are always kind of in your head in your own groove.”
Steven Tyler concurred with Jackson without hesitation saying that he loved the “real sweet thing” in his voice.
Like Langone, Casey Abrams, who was saved from going home last week, showed America a much more improved performer. Providing shock value as he heavily trimmed down his locks and beard, Abrams showed America his soft side.
Tenderly singing Elton John’s popular hit “It’s a Little Bit Funny,” Abrams had everyone’s undivided attention.
“Along the way we’ve had to make some hard decisions and send some really great people home and I’ve lost sleep over that,” López said. “But one decision I didn’t lose one ounce of sleep was saving you.”
Upon hearing this, Abrams looked moved and touched.
“I slept like a baby!” she added. “You proved why tonight...with the choices that you made.”
The night came to an end with Haley Reinhart’s “Benny and the Jets” performance, which Jackson called “the best performance of the night.”
López was in awe and so happy to see Reinhart stepping up her game.
“Yes! That was it, Haley! That’s what we’ve been talking about!” said López. "It all came together! The voice, the moves, the confidence. You felt every place you were going. It was a great show! Amazing.”
Tyler agreed with López. As the show came to it’s final minutes he firmly looked at Reinhart and said slowly:
“You sing sexy.”
You can reach Alexandra Gratereaux at: Alexandra.Gratereaux@foxnewslatino.com