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American Idol's Jena Irene, C.J. Harris and Alex Preston Stand Out from the Pack | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

American Idol

American Idol: Jena Irene, C.J. Harris and Alex Preston Stand Out from the Pack

Originally posted 03/13/2014 07:00AM

American Idol's Top 11 sang songs from the cinema on Wednesday, but who possessed the Gravity to impress the judges and which contestants are destined to be Gone with the Wind?

Jena Irene, 17, who was in the Bottom 3 last week, earned a standing ovation from Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez, and a prolonged ovation from the crowd, following her electrifying performance of "Decode" at the piano.

Urban said there was a "ferocity" about the way she performed the Twilight song, comparing it to "hurtling along the edge of a cliff," while Lopez called it the best performance of the night and yelled, "America, get on board!"

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American Idol Sends Home a Top 12 Contestant | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

American Idol

American Idol Sends Home a Top 12 Contestant

Originally posted 03/06/2014 09:05PM

"Harsh Harry" has been out in full force, but it was the fans who made the important decision of who was going home on American Idol Thursday.

"I just want them to get better," Harry Connick Jr. said to fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban after a particularly negative critique on Wednesday night's performance show that left at least one contestant in tears.

While no contestants received universal praise from the judges Wednesday, Urban had guaranteed finalists Sam Woolf and Emily Piriz that they would be safe despite the tough criticism.

But who did America deem worthy of another week in the competition?

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Why Was American Idol's Majesty Rose Crying Backstage?

American Idol

UpdatePosted 03/06/2014 02:40PM

Majesty Rose Was Crying Backstage on American Idol'

Originally posted 03/06/2014 11:50AM

American Idol contestant Majesty Rose put on a brave face for the cameras while receiving a harsh critique Wednesday night, but afterwards she worked hard to hold back the tears.

"Right now I just want to cry," Rose, 21, told PEOPLE backstage. "I performed last, and I just came out of it so you guys get the raw Majesty."

After wowing the crowd with her version of Coldplay's "Fix You," Rose was met with some negative criticism from judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and "Harsh" Harry Connick Jr.

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Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban Set to Perform at ACM Awards

Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban Set to Perform at ACM Awards

Originally posted 03/06/2014 07:45AM

They're not only happy to be nominated – they're happy to take the stage and rock out.

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American Idol: Pitchy Performances Get Harsh Criticism from the Judges | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

American Idol

American Idol: Pitchy Performances Get Harsh Criticism from the Judges

Originally posted 03/06/2014 06:30AM

There was no place like home for the contestants on Wednesday's American Idol, as the Top 12 performed songs that captured the spirit of their hometowns.

But the judges weren't feeling warm and fuzzy. Instead they were harsh on the majority of the performers, with one of last week's standouts, Jessica Meuse, taking some of the harshest criticism after her performance of Dido's "White Flag."

"You were sharp the whole time," Harry Connick Jr. said, calling the pink-haired singer's performance "blasé". "When anybody hits a high note, people applaud … that didn't happen tonight. You were so off."

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American Idol's Top 13: Some Girls Shine, Others Falter

American Idol

American Idol's Top 13: Some Girls Shine, Others Falter

Originally posted 02/27/2014 06:50AM

American Idol's Top 13 debuted Wednesday, choosing songs that expressed who they are as artists and people.

And, overall, the girls did a better job of that, according to the judges, with Emily Piriz, 18, singing Pink's "Glitter in the Air," and earning unabashed praise from tough, oft-booed Harry Connick Jr. who said simply, "I'm proud of you."

"That was big for Harry!" Jennifer Lopez laughed, with Urban immediately adding, "I was waiting for the 'but.' "

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What Idol Contestants Really Think About Harry Connick Jr.

American Idol

UpdatePosted 02/26/2014 07:00PM

What American Idol's Contestants Really Think About Harry Connick Jr.

Originally posted 02/22/2014 03:30PM

Harry Connick Jr. has only been on American Idol for half a season but he has already been booed more than his fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban combined.

"As a performer you really hope to not be booed but here it just shows that the audience is really engaged," Connick, 46, tells PEOPLE.

And despite the negative critiques some of the contestants have received throughout the season, they remain positive about the jazz artist and his comments.

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American Idol's Top 13 Features Some Surprise Picks

American Idol

American Idol's Top 13 Features Some Surprise Picks

Originally posted 02/21/2014 06:15AM

Who made the Top 13 on Thursday night's American Idol?

Dim the lights …

After the nationwide vote, America's Top 5 Girls are Malaya Watson, Emily Piriz, Jessica Meuse, Majesty Rose and MK Nobilette.

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American Idol: Early Favorites Make the Top 10 Boys | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

American Idol

American Idol: Early Favorites Make the Top 10 Boys

Originally posted 02/20/2014 06:30AM

It may have been ladies night Tuesday on American Idol, but the boys stole the spotlight Wednesday.

Once again, the judges only called to the stage the 10 singers who impressed them most, eliminating the remaining five.

Rocker Caleb Johnson, 22, kicked things off and stayed true to form with "Stay With Me," a "real rock star" performance according to Jennifer Lopez, who added, "It's your time."

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American Idol: Randy Jackson Returns as the Top 10 Girls Perform

American Idol

American Idol: Randy Jackson Returns as the Top 10 Girls Perform

Originally posted 02/19/2014 06:15AM

There were new twists, familiar faces and loads of drama on American Idol Tuesday night, as the ladies kicked off the first of the live performance shows.

The new twists? In what was dubbed Rush Week, the judges reviewed tapes of the Top 15 Girls and picked the 10 that impressed them the most to perform, surprising the ladies one at a time.

The familiar faces? Randy Jackson, the "Dogfather" of Idol, was back to mentor the contestants, leading a sort of Rush Week "wisdom workshop" for the pledges, which included vocal coaching from former Idol contestants Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, and guidance from stylists, a movement coach, and a pair of spiritual advisers.

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