Idol: Jennifer Lopez Almost in Tears over Jena Irene's Performance

05/08/2014 at 06:30 AM EDT

Idol: Jennifer Lopez Almost in Tears over Jena Irene's Performance
From left: Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.
Michael Becker/FOX

Keith Urban

Keith Urban

After a week filled with drama – including a surprising elimination and contestant chaos – Wednesday's American Idol was filled with love and a spellbinding performance.

With a visit to their hometowns on the line, the Final Four sang three love songs, one about a breakup, a make-up and a dedication.

But Jena Irene had the memorable moment of the night (and likely the season) when she improbably channeled Elvis Presley, playing the piano and singing "Can't Help Falling in Love," a stunning, "spellbinding" performance that had Jennifer Lopez sprinting onto the stage to kiss the 17-year-old.

"I've never gotten up to kiss somebody on the show," she said, visibly trembling. "This is The King, and you reinvented it … I was so moved … I could cry right now … I'm so glad I was here to witness it."





Harry Connick Jr. called it a "rare" TV moment, while Keith Urban called Irene "a musical platypus," because she is such a unique performer.

On Irene's high heels was Caleb Johnson, whose final song, "Maybe I'm Amazed," wowed the judges.

The rocker's softer take on the classic had Urban and Lopez on their feet and even Harsh Harry exclaiming, "That was absolutely phenomenal!"



Alex Preston and Jessica Meuse each earned harsh reviews for their first two performances, with the judges in agreement that they loved their voices but not their song choices.

Both seemed to redeem themselves, however, at the end.

Meuse finally won over the judges with her "perfect" song choice, Lady Gaga's "You and I."



"You killed it!" Connick praised the country singer.

Meanwhile, Preston concluded the show with a lovely, acoustic version of "Yellow," which Urban said showed off the singer's "poetic vulnerability."

"You really needed that," said Connick. "There were a lot of great performances tonight, and that was one of them."

Who will go home, and who will go on to their hometown as one of the final three?

Results air Thursday (9 p.m. ET) on Fox.



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