"American Idol" - FINAL 8: Clockwise from L: Skylar Laine,...

"American Idol" - FINAL 8: Clockwise from L: Skylar Laine, Phillip Phillips, Colton Dixon, DeAndre Brackensick, Elise Testone, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh and Joshua Ledet. Credit: Fox

Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine made their bid on "American Idol" to break up the expected Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet final, with strong performances on '80s night.

Problem is, Sanchez and Ledet sounded like professionals, operating on a whole other level during their solo performances, and as they teamed up on a power duet version of "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me."

And it doesn't help Dixon and Laine when the judges responded to the duet with comments like, "two of the greatest singers to ever hit this competition" (Randy Jackson), or "I'm looking at them and I'm thinking -- final?!" (Jennifer Lopez).

Below see how I rated everyone's solo performances; add your thoughts in the comments, below, or on Twitter using #ndidol.

1. Joshua Ledet's "If You Don't Know Me By Now" got Jackson to say simply, "it's really rare that I want to stand up from beginning to end, that's how good that performance was." Lopez was just as laudatory, calling it "spec-ta-cu-lar."

2. Colton Dixon put a creative emo/rock edge on "Time After Time" -- as guest mentor Gwen Stefani put it, at first it seemed "a little strange" but it just worked really well once you heard it.

3. Skylar Laine said after finishing in the bottom three last week she wanted to "just put a pretty dress on, and just sing a pretty ballad." Her "Wind Beneath My Wings" was maybe the most enjoyable song of the night to listen to.

4. Jessica Sanchez's version of "How Will I Know" was professional and big, with Steven Tyler, as usual, saying "your vocals are just fantastic." Not sure I'm crazy about her "alter ego," BB Chez. Seems a bit early for the whole diva act.

5. Hollie Cavanagh's "What a Feeling" got hammered by the judges for pitch problems; I thought it wasn't that off, but it wasn't memorable, either.

6. Deandre Brackensick's "I Like It" was nothing special, even though Tyler and the other judges found it "totally captivating."

7. Elise Testone's "I Want to Know What Love Is" had Jackson simply saying, "It was out of tune everywhere for me; honestly." They might have to use their save if they want her around another week.

8. Phillip Phillips's "That's All" was herky-jerky -- it seemed like he was having trouble playing the guitar on this one.

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

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