Fast-rising Skylar Laine and overlooked Hollie Cavanagh topped a mediocre night on "American Idol," as neither of the most vocally talented contestants -- Jessica Sanchez nor Joshua Ledet -- knocked it out of the park, leaving them in danger of once again winding up in the bottom three.
In a disjointed night; everyone sang two songs, the first written between 2000 and now, the second a classic soul song.
The most notable happening was crowd-pleaser Laine suddenly emerging as a favorite to make the finals, with Steven Tyler telling her, "You're like a wild horse that refuses to be tamed."
Below are my rankings; share your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter using #ndidol.
1. Skylar Laine's crazy country version of "Heard It Through the Grapevine" was wildly creative and fun. It made a familiar song sound new, and as Randy Jackson said, "Every time you're on stage it's like a party!"
2. Hollie Cavanagh's "Rolling in the Deep" was her best performance of the finals; she finally let her voice just go, and Steven Tyler called it "perfect."
3. Joshua Ledet could've had a moment with "A Change is Gonna Come" -- I don't think he quite got it, but the judges stood for him and Tyler said, "Your voice just climbs inside of everybody and changes them for that moment."
4. Jessica Sanchez didn't knock it out of the park with "Fallin'," but she was her usual untouchable self, passionate and someone you just can't stop listening to.
5. Skylar Laine's country version of "Born This Way" was a good performance with lots of energy -- nothing amazing, but enough for Tyler to say, "A lot of people out there with a drawl are going to love you to death."
6. Joshua Ledet's version of Fantasia's "I Believe" earned a standing ovation from the judges, and Lopez called him "sweet cutie.".
7. Jessica Sanchez's "Try a Little Tenderness" scored high for vocal quality as always, but as Lopez said, she needs to start connecting emotionally with the audience. "Just the voice is not going to do it."
8. Elise Testone's "No One" was repetitive and isn't going to stick in anybody's mind, but it gave Lopez "goosies."
9. Colton Dixon's speeded-up "Dancing in September" had a nice sense of urgency.
10. Hollie Cavanagh's "Son of a Preacher Man" was a swing and miss; great song, but she just belted it out and didn't bring anything special to it.
11. Elise Testone's "Let's Get It On" seemed a bit rushed -- she needed to trust herself and let it breathe more.
12. Colton Dixon's take on "Bad Romance" was memorable only for his red leather pants and streak of red in his blonde hair.
13. Phillip Phillips's high-energy version of "You Got It Bad" got a standing ovation from the judges, but did nothing for me.
14. Phillip Phillips's strutting "In the Midnight Hour" felt forced and vocally weak; but for Tyler it was "brilliantly awkward, beautiful!"
Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter using #ndidol.