Crystal Bowersox is singing "Midnight Train to Georgia" on "American Idol" without the guitar as she told Kara last week. Usher guesses that she's planning to play the piano.

Usher says the song fits her perfectly. He thinks her performance is "gonna be great."

In a red dress, a bit preoccupied with playing, not totally smooth performance-wise, never looks up at us. But vocally . . . my gosh, she just soars! And then she gets out from behind the piano in the second half, and it all comes together.

Her runs, her vocal control, her ability to hit notes, it's all on display. I wish, actually, she had just sung tonight, it's good, but it could've been great.

Randy says another great performance  and he liked it. Ellen says "you're never not great," and that she liked it and her heels. Kara says she's glad she took the risk, can't wait for next week.

Simon says sensational choice of song, "incredible" vocals at moments, uncomfortable at the piano, and tells her not to lose her identity.

One thing about her, though -- she's a bit sharp with the judges. She doesn't always score high on the likeability scale. She needs to lose the chip on her shoulder.

PHOTOS: "American Idol" final round | "Idol" top 12 party with "Glee" stars

USHER: Photos | New CD review | What's your fave song?

REWIND: See the winners and top finalists from each season of "American Idol"

advertisement | advertise on newsday

MORE: Read all of our other "American Idol" posts

TALK: Do you like Crystal Bowersox the way she was tonight, or with the guitar? Click on "Add a comment" at the bottom of this post, or e-mail me and I'll post it for you.