After traveling to their hometowns to perform for huge crowds of cheering fans and to reconnect with their families, American Idol's final three contestants took the stage Wednesday night to try to sing their way into the finale.
By the end of the night, during which the gals sang three songs – one picked by mentor Jimmy Iovine, one chosen by the judges and one by the show's production team – it was clear that the emotional hometown visits had a powerful effect on the performances.
Kree started off the night with Iovine's choice, "Perfect" by Pink, which left the judges underwhelmed.
"You sang it good but it didn't have a lot pizzazz for me," Randy Jackson said.
American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox and her husband, musician Brian Walker, are calling it quits.
"After two and a half years, we have decided to end our marriage," the couple tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement. "The friendship and love which brought us together remains strong, and we will continue to support each other in our careers and personal lives. We are hopeful that people will be respectful of our privacy as we face this emotional and challenging time for our family."
Familiar roads, fried chicken and plenty of tears – that's what awaited American Idol's final three contestants when they ventured back to their hometowns as newly-minted stars.
On Saturday, Angie Miller, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover returned to Massachusetts, Texas and South Carolina, respectively.
Here's what they had to tell PEOPLE about their emotional visits:
Harry Connick Jr. is leaving the door open for a big possibility – becoming a future judge on American Idol.
What's it going to take to place him in the hot seat? "$600 million," Connick, whose new record is due June 11, joked with reporters backstage after his turn as guest mentor on Thursday's show.
He could learn a few things from Mariah Carey's shrewd negotiations for her salary of $18 million. Forbes magazine estimated this season's payroll alone to be $54 million. Last season, judge Jennifer Lopez took home $15 million.
After performing two songs each – a pop hit and a standard – on Wednesday night, American Idol's fabulous final four women faced elimination on Thursday.
Last week, Amber Holcomb and frontrunner Candice Glover were in the bottom two. But in a twist, no one was sent home. This week, the singer with the lowest number of votes wasn't so lucky.
And the stakes are high. Not only will the top three perform next week and stay in the running for the finale, but they will also get a hero's welcome when they go on the emotional hometown visits.
Keep reading to find out who was sent home – and who made season 12's top three ...
Nicki Minaj didn't just imagine it. Candice Glover really has lost weight since being on American Idol this season – though admittedly, not always in the most healthy way.
"We're under so much pressure, and we're going and going and going. You sometimes forget to eat until you get in the car and you're like, 'Oh ... gosh. I haven't eaten!' " the Idol finalist, 23, told PEOPLE after Wednesday's show.
Minaj commented on Glover's appearance after her amazing performance of "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars. "I don't know if you lost weight, but baby girl, you look good," she said.
And that left Glover thrilled.
Last week's surprise non-elimination round left American Idol's Amber Holcomb and Candice Glover with the lowest number of votes.
So on Wednesday's show, the pressure was on for them to make up ground against Angie Miller and Kree Harrison.
Thanks to an extremely up-and-down night – that featured some controversial coaching by mentor Harry Connick Jr. – they may have done just that.
Twelve seasons into American Idol, things can sometimes get very predictable. Contestants will sing, judges will judge, America will vote and someone will go home. So at the beginning of Thursday's show, Ryan Seacrest teased the audience: "In just a bit," he said, "I will announce some shocking news that will affect the judges and turn the competition upside down."
After a group performance of Alicia Keys's "Girl on Fire" by the top four contestants (Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison), the weekly segment sponsored by Ford, a surprise appearance by Drake (mostly for Candice's benefit), a performance by season 9 winner Lee DeWyze (his new single is "Silver Lining") and other filler, it was time for the twist to be announced. What would it be?
Seacrest split the finalists into two groups. Candice and Amber were on one side of the stage, Kree and Angie were on the other. To the displeasure of the audience, Seacrest announced that Candice and Amber were the bottom two. The judges also looked stumped.
Now that American Idol has whittled the competition down to its final four female contenders, it suddenly seems like one of the underdogs might end up on top.
After a season in which Kree Harrison and Candice Glover always appeared to be the frontrunners, on Wednesday's show it was Amber Holcomb and Angie Miller's turn to shine.
Amber – decked out in a flowy white pants suit – started off the night with a personal song choice, Celine Dion's "The Power of Love," and got a standing ovation from three of the judges (Mariah Carey remained in her seat but did blow a few kisses).
Looking healthy and strong, Fantasia Barrino was welcomed back to American Idol last week, singing her new song "Lose to Win," and earning approval from the show's stars and fans for taking charge of her personal life and career.
"Everyone was saying how happy they were to see me at this place," she told PEOPLE. "I think my happiness and peace is now finally showing and so they were all like 'just stay right here.' "
Since she shot to fame to win season 3 of the show in 2004, the dynamic vocalist has chased ups and downs as she paired fame with motherhood and struggled to handle her new world in the spotlight.