01:10 AM EDT 04/25/2015
Harry Connick Jr.
Originally posted 05/01/2014 07:45AM
America will eventually pick the winner of American Idol, but – at least for Wednesday night – viewers got the chance to pick the songs.
With Jason Mraz mentoring, each Final Five contestant sang two songs chosen by viewers.
Alex Preston started the show with "Sweater Weather," which earned nice reviews but requests for more oomph.
"You could've made it more exciting to kick off the show," said Jennifer Lopez, although Harry Connick Jr. felt it was a "strong opening."
Originally posted 04/24/2014 07:00AM
Just like Donny and Marie, American Idol's Top 6 were a little bit country and little bit rock 'n' roll Wednesday night.
Each contestant performed two songs, and the results were mixed for most, with judges' comments varying as much as the song selection.
Birthday boy Caleb Johnson had the super save and magical moment of the night while rocking "Sting Me" when he lost his mic before catching it without missing a beat.
Originally posted 04/17/2014 07:35AM
American Idol's Top 7 turned the tables on one another Wednesday night, with each competitor picking a song for another finalist.
Demi Lovato even stopped by to tout her tour and serve as a pseudo-mentor and judge.
Jena Irene (sporting new Lea Michele bangs) stole the night with her emotionally powerful rendition of "Creep" (chosen by Caleb Johnson so she could "turn it into a big, beautiful theatrical rock song"), which she did, earning a standing ovation from Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez (clad in a backless, DayGlo yellow leather dress).
Originally posted 04/10/2014 07:15AM
American Idol's Top 8 sang songs from the golden age of Madonna under the tutelage of season 7 winner David Cook Wednesday.
But who recaptured the '80s era of legwarmers, headbands and big hair the best (not counting Keith Urban, who opened the show sporting a clip-on mullet that had Ryan Seacrest calling him "Billy Ray Urban")?
Here are the singers who had "The Eye of the Tiger" and those who were more "Borderline."
Originally posted 04/03/2014 09:30PM
And another one bites the dust ... or did they?
With only two eliminations left before the American Idol judges lose their ability to use their Judge's Save, speculation was rampant that it would be used Thursday night.
The Top 8 all gave strong performances Wednesday of the songs they first auditioned with in front of judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban, but three contestants still had to be placed in the bottom 3 by host Ryan Seacrest.
Originally posted 04/03/2014 07:00AM
History repeated itself for American Idol's Top 8 Wednesday night, as they re-sang the audition songs that originally earned them golden tickets to Hollywood.
Malaya Watson, 16, channeled her inner Aretha Franklin, belting a version of "Ain't No Way" that had Keith Urban on his feet.
"You had this voice right from day one, you just needed to be with it," Urban said. "You were with it tonight."
Originally posted 03/27/2014 09:30PM
The attention may have been on gummy bears and host Ryan Seacrest's feet on Wednesday, but Thursday's American Idol was all about the contestants.
Following a night of strong performances, most of the contestants likely felt positive about their chances of making it through to next week, with the judges giving a big shout-out to the likes of Caleb Johnson (who rocked Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused") and Jena Irene (who wowed with her rendition of Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life").
Originally posted 03/27/2014 08:15AM
American Idol's Top 9 unleashed their inner rock star Wednesday, tackling songs that fit into the theme "I'm with the Band."
While most of the performers hit some high notes in their performances, the theme was a perfect fit for a few singers who have already drawn comparisons to lead singers from legendary bands.
Leading the pack was Caleb Johnson, 22, who rocked the stage, going toe-to-toe with the band as they jammed "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin.
Originally posted 03/20/2014 07:00AM
American Idol's Top 10 took on Top 10 songs, but only a couple of performers soared to the top of the judges' charts.
Perhaps the best performance of the night, however, belonged to Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr., who switched seats in the middle of the show and did spot-on impressions of one other, with Connick nailing Urban's Australian accent, and Urban mimicking Harsh Harry's often high-brow criticism, spouting phrases like "the monotone pentatonic" and "genomial parallax."
Malaya Watson's rendition of "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars not only earned her raves but also flowers: The song includes the lyrics "I should've bought you flowers," but the 16-year-old admitted no one ever had, so Idol did (although it was charged to Connick's credit card).
Originally posted 03/16/2014 04:30PM
Harry Connick, Jr. has plenty of fans, but his thorough critiques as a judge on American Idol have earned him a memorable nickname on the show: "Harsh Harry."
Not that he minds.
"I hear that I have the reputation more than people actually say it," the singer told reporters after last Thursday's results show.
"No one has ever come up to me and said, 'You're harsh.' I do think some people may be taken aback by some of the things I choose to say, but I don't interpret telling somebody, 'This is what you could work on' as harsh."
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
The 6 Biggest Bombshells in Bruce Jenner's Interview About Transitioning
Sophia Bush Speaks of Heartbreak as Ex-Boyfriend Is First American Confirmed Dead in Nepal Earthquake
Britt McHenry Returns to Work, Tweets Another Apology For 'Hurtful Actions'
100-Minute-Old Baby Becomes UK's Youngest Organ Donor
Texas Vet Posts Shocking Facebook Photo of Cat She Shot as Her 'First Bow Kill'
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!