Jessica Sanchez performs Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"...

Jessica Sanchez performs Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" in front of the judges on "American Idol." (March 7, 2012) Credit: Fox

The kids from American Idol went prom formal on Wednesday night or they dressed way down.

Many of the guys donned tuxedo jackets and looked pretty darn swanky. Notable, rocker Colton Dixon’s black tux jacket with metallic embellishment on the lapels and Deandre Brackensick’s perfectly styled look – a gray tux jacket with pushed up sleeves, skinny jeans and sneakers – very hip, and thankfully, his curly locks were tied up in a neat, high ponytail – that hair is a distraction – to him.

Also in tux jackets: Heejun Han, and judge Steven Tyler.

Some wore suit jackets such as Joshua Ledet, dapper with a vest added to the mix and even typically collegiate judge Randy Jackson wore a gray flannel sports jacket with animal print faux fur on the lapel.

In the dressed down department, eeks, Jermaine Jones, his ensemble was a mess -- a varsity style jacket with black sleeves and a red vest, pink shirt, jeans and red kicks. Jeremy Rosado looked put together but not dressy in layered shirts that included a gray cardigan and a blue button-down and Phillip Phillips wore a basic Henley and jeans…super casual.

The gals did prom in different ways; best look (and maybe best song) Jessica Sanchez in an ethereal one-shoulder royal blue gown – knockout. Ericka Van Pelt did a billowy red number with crystal-embellished straps – a whole lot of red which perhaps icould have benefited from an  "Angies-right-leg" slit to break up the fabric.

Short formal dresses were favored by Hollie Cavanagh, who shimmered in a black sequin halter – adorable -- and Elise Testone who’s little crimson and gold cocktail job was too-too – too short, too tight and ill-fitting around the top. Also in the miss department, in what may have been a feeble attempt to diminish her towering stature (why for goodness sakes?), young Shannon Magrane appeared to be wearing a neon cummerbund around her middle with slinky black leggings. Awkward.

Skylar Laine has a gutsy voice but her ensemble, well, it took guts to wear it – white and black snakeskin patterned leggings, a heavily bejeweled black top and some towering bone colored stilettos – hopefully she’ll get the word that sometimes less is more. Take it from Jennifer Lopez who was stunning in a clean-lined white ensemble with a metallic collar.

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