R&B artist Akon serves as the celebrity mentor tonight on American Idol as the final seven showcase songs from this decade.
Skylar Laine kicked off the show, guitar in hand, taking on former Idol contestant Kellie Pickler's Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You. The country cutie received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the panel with Judge Jennifer Lopez commending Laine's performance as "a perfect way to start the show."
Colton Dixon was next in line, revealing that he would perform Skylar Grey's Love the Way You Lie. After being compared to fellow contestant Phillip Phillips in rehearsal, Dixon decidedly took a detour from his original strategy, delivering a surprising rendition of the hit which garnered high praise from the judges.
Next, Jessica Sanchez showcased her impressive vocal range as she performed Stuttering by Jazmine Sullivan. Randy lauded it as "superb," telling the 16-year-old she slayed "the biggest fish of the night."
Joshua Ledet followed with a lively rendition of Bruno Mars' Runaway Baby, but before the young singer could get a note out, Ledet, who turned 20 recently, received a visit from previous Idol winner Fantasia wishing "Mantasia" (a loving nickname for Joshua) a happy birthday. The performance was a welcome change of pace for the night and a decided hit amongst the judges.
Eager to extricate herself from the bottom this week, Hollie Cavanaugh chose Pink's ballad Perfect as the "perfect" way to get back in the fans' and judges' good graces. Cavanaugh's piece was more or less a success as Randy told her that she definitely "redeemed" herself this week. Steven Tyler was not so impressed, telling Hollie her performance "kind of laid there tonight."
Phillip Phillips took on the Maroon 5 number Give a Little More which seemed to strike a chord with the audience, but Jennifer and Randy ultimately deemed the song to be "underwhelming."
Last up, Elise Testone received a special greeting from actor Jason Segel who lavished his praise on the singer, calling her his favorite of the competition. Still a bit flushed from the superstar's visit, Testone jumped right into a rousing take on Lady Gaga's You and I which gained across the board exultations from the judges. Jennifer proclaimed her love for Elise, exlaiming "There's a reason why she's last so often… She's a closer!"
American Idol returns tomorrow night on FOX. Stay tuned to see which of these talented seven make it one step closer to becoming our next Idol!