American Idol: Jennifer López's Top Picks—Paul McDonald and Casey Abrams

He may have been in the bottom three last week, but Wednesday night Paul McDonald rocked the American Idol crowd in an effort to lock his spot for another week.

McDonald, 26, performed Johnny Cash's "Prison Blues" for the rock and roll-inspired theme. It turned out to be one of McDonald's best performances to date.

Jennifer López, who in recent weeks praised Paul for singing through a severe cold, loved everything about the performance.

“You’re amazing!” she yelled. “I loved it. It was right in lane. Good job.”

Agreeing with López, Randy Jackson only had three words for the Nashville resident.

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"I loved it!"

Like McDonald, Casey Abrams, whom the judges used their only save opportunity on when he was in the bottom three, seems to be getting better as the weeks continue.

Abrams sang "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" by Credence Clearwater Revival and got solid approval from all three judges. He even brought out his upright bass to add flavor to the performance.

“That is exactly where you belong, with your bass,” said López. “I’m paying top dollar to be in the front row.”

Steven Tyler, who gave a brief introduction on the history of rock and roll, said what makes Abrams great is his ability to "bring something different.”

“The whole world is watching because you’re not just a singer. You are a true musician. Every time you sing you bring something different,” Tyler said.

“It’s not just a voice. You bring a stand up bass! Which no one can play,” said Jackson, who is also a bass player. “Casey is making the upright base cool!”

Jackson then called Abrams' performance "revolutionary."

Haley Reinhart, who the tabloids have linked to Abrams romantically, was also on fire Wednesday evening.

The husky-voiced singer chose Janis Joplin’s hit "Piece of My Heart," and delivered a spot-on performance.

J.Lo marveled at Reinhart's improvement over the last few weeks, while Jackson—who's known to go a tad Simon Cowell on Reinhart—said, "This is the Haley we fell in love with."

Other significant moments included rock superstar Gwen Stefani training the contenders along with Black Eyed Peas lead vocalist Will.I.Am, who has performed multiple times in the last few weeks.

You can reach Alexandra Gratereaux at:

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