"American Idol" - In the pimp spot, Amber Holcomb performs...

"American Idol" - In the pimp spot, Amber Holcomb performs "My Funny Valentine" in the Sudden Death Round. She has such a mature sound for an 18-year-old! She is great, and the judges praise her performance. She will move on to the Top 20. (Feb. 20, 2013) Credit: Fox

Amber Holcomb was the breakout star on a strong night of "American Idol," surprising everyone with a fresh take on "My Funny Valentine" that got the judges on their feet and the audience whooping.

An impassioned Kree Harrison also impressed, with smooth Angela Miller as always showing us she's pretty much a pro already, and Adriana Latonio showing flashes of a talent that could vault her into the finals.

Here's how I rated everyone, with the first four advancing to the semifinals along with Tenna Torres.

1. Amber Holcomb startled everyone with an electric "My Funny Valentine." She made us hear the song with a fresh ear, with all the judges standing except Nicki Minaj, who did tell her "that vocal was A+++."

2. Kree Harrison's "Up to the Mountain" simply soared; she's talented and humble, and as Keith Urban said, she's "such a natural born singer." The always pithy Minaj said, "I would be very afraid if I was any of these other girls here tonight."

3. Judges' favorite Angela Miller's "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time" showed off the fantastic urgency she has in her voice. As Minaj told her, she's "already a top contender in this competition -- don't force anything, your voice is unmatched."

4. Alaskan Adriana Latonio's "Ain't No Way" showed off her big voice and natural stage presence. She got an A+ from Mariah Carey, with Minaj calling it "so damn good" and loving her fearlessness. I also liked how Latonio told Ryan Seacrest afterward, "it went better than I thought it would."

5. Shubha Vedula's "Born This Way" started strong at the piano, but in Minaj's apt words she was "confusing" and even a little "comical" when she started to dance.

6. Brandy Hotard's "Anymore" was clean and simple, but Minaj didn't like how she was smiling while singing words about a broken heart, calling it a "pageant" performance that wasn't "truthful" to the song.

7. NYC's Tenna Torres sang "Soulmate" well, but it had no emotional connection for me -- even though the judges liked it and sent her through to the semis.

8. Kamaria Ousley's loud black and white checked pants were the most memorable part of her "Mr. Know It All" performance. She just picked a poor song and was out of sync the entire time.

9. Single-named Isabelle's "God Bless the Child" was an average performance of a tough song.

10. High school junior Jenny Beth Willis's "Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love" felt oddly flat, with Randy Jackson saying she never seemed in "sync with the band."

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