American Idol

Candice Glover won "American Idol" Season 12 over Kree Harrison as Psy, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J, Adam Lambert and Aretha Franklin performed.

Jessica Sanchez, Colton Dixon and Diddy win the night on 'American Idol'

"American Idol" The final 10 L-R: Phillip Phillips,

"American Idol" The final 10 L-R: Phillip Phillips, Elise Testone, DeAndre Brackensick, Hollie Cavanagh, Colton Dixon, Skylar Laine, Heejun Han, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Erika Van Pelt. (Credit: Fox)

Jessica Sanchez and Colton Dixon were in their own league as "American Idol" sang Billy Joel songs, with her pure vocals and his creativity lingering long after the end of a strong overall night for the show.

Guest mentor Diddy had a lot to do with the high caliber of performances -- he was honest and insightful with the contestants and made them better, from telling Sanchez to step back from the vocal tricks and just sing, to advising Heejun Han to use criticism as fuel and not take it personally.

And fashion consultant Tommy Hilfiger made everyone seem more like a real star... except for stubborn Phillip Phillips, who persisted in his quest to make gray sexy.


PHOTOS: Season 12 highlights | Can you name all the "Idol" winners?


Below's how I ranked everyone; put your own thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter using #ndidol.

1) Jessica Sanchez's pure "Everybody Has a Dream" got the judges on their feet and had Randy Jackson gushing, calling it "flawless, perfect." You can't turn away for a second when she sings, never know what you might miss.

2) Colton Dixon's version of "Piano Man" was the most satisfyingly creative performance of the night -- Diddy paid him the ultimate compliment, saying simply, "I actually wanted to buy that song when he finished it."

3) Hollie Cavanagh's "Honesty" may have been pitchy at times or even overly dramatic, but I couldn't stop listening; she has a great voice and I found her performance believable.

4) Erika Van Pelt cut her hair and tranformed her vibe enough that her version of "New York State of Mind" felt authentic.

5) Elise Testone's smokey, kinetic version of "Vienna" brought the judges to their feet, with Randy Jackson claiming she had a "moment" with her vocals -- "unbelievable."

6) Heejun Han's "My Life" wasn't vocally great, but he had a lot of fun with his performance -- ripping his shirt off! running around on stage! -- and fit the spirit of the song well.

7) Skylar Laine turned "Shameless" into a country lament. The judges were a bit lukewarm, but I thought it worked well. Lopez told her at the end, "you're shameless, you're fearless."

8) Joshua Ledet didn't connect with "She's Got a Way," but all anyone's gonna remember is Steven Tyler claiming "I didn't know that song of Billy Joel's." How is that possible?!

9) Deandre Brackensick's "Only the Good Die Young" wasn't memorable; given his struggles to get votes in the past and the fact he went first, he could be in some trouble.

10) Phillip Phillips refused to switch from his drab look, refused to drop the guitar and did his usual slow down and emote performance. If you already like him, you probably liked his "Movin' Out," otherwise....

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter using #ndidol.

Tags: American Idol , Finals , Billy Joel , Tommy Hilfiger , Deandre Brackensick , Hollie Cavanagh , Colton Dixon , Heejun Han , Skylar Laine , Joshua Ledet , Phillip Phillips , Jessica Sanchez , Elise Testone , Erika Van Pelt

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