It's official: La'Porsha Renae is the American Idol frontrunner to beat.
So says Jennifer Lopez, which even fellow judges Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban take as gospel. At one point during Wednesday's broadcast, Connick joked that even when it comes to judging decisions, "Jen gets 80 percent of the vote, and me and Keith -- we share 20."
Well, there were no doubts at all about Renae's performance. The 22-year-old McComb, Mississippi, native absolutely slayed her performance of Beyonce's "Halo" -- no easy feat -- and earned universal praise from the panel. "You're really the one to beat," Lopez gushed.
"You're just so talented and so blessed, and you have so much going for you," she continued. "It's good to see you kind of become a star in front of our eyes."
Without an ounce of criticism, Connick noted that the performance was "incredible, as always," while Urban echoed the sentiment.
But it wasn't just Renae's voice that stunned on Thursday -- it was her subtle new look. Wearing a glittering gown and headband, the singer also debuted an ever-so-slight color change to her signature 'do. In a word: beautiful!
Safe to say, Renae made it through to the competition's top eight, along with MacKenzie Bourg, Trent Harmon, Lee Jean, Tristan McIntosh, Dalton Rapattoni, Sonika Vaid and Avalon Young.
Olivia Rox and Gianna Isabella were eliminated.
Elsewhere in the show, Demi Lovato hit the stage to perform "Confident" alongside the female Idol hopefuls. Afterward, she went solo for a powerful rendition of her latest single, "Stone Cold."
Connick also performed, dedicating his new single, "(I Do) Like We Do," to his wife, former Victoria's Secret model, Jill Goodacre.
Host Ryan Seacrest kicked off the broadcast with a rehashing of last week's emotional episode, replaying Kelly Clarkson's tearful performance. See the jaw-dropping moment in the player below.