Usually we wait for the final top 12, before the contestants get their big makeovers and trust us --some of them need it bad. So it was surprising to see Michelle Delamor done up so much better and slicker than all the rest last night.

But this was no accident. Her clothes, as noted by the judges, were by top designer Vera Wang, who was in the audience but ducked when the cameras sought her out.

While Delamor’s performance got mixed reviews – everyone including Randy Jackson agreed that her ensemble – a sculptural dress with a swirling off-the-body hem over jeans and topped with a cropped leather jacket -- was a hit.

And we’re thinking this is Wang’s expensive designer line, not the Simply Vera Vera Wang low-priced label from Kohl’s (which happens to be an advertiser on the show). Lucky girl.

The three indie girls didn’t need the help of a top designer to shine – in fact their wardrobes were kind of backseat to their talent. Crystal Bowersox wore a crocheted black sweater, purple tank, jeans and boots. We do think her dreads look better swept back. Clearly, Simon Cowell doesn’t care what she wears – he gave her the Simon stamp of approval at the very end of the show.

Lilly Scott threw on a classic peasant dress, black with embroidery and a 12-string guitar and brought the house down.

And then there’s spicy Siohban Magnus – nobody knows what she’ll sing or wear next. Last night it was a blue strapless style dress (super short) with a polka dot shirt attached, strangely accessorized by high-heeled oxfords. A fashion high? Nope. But nobody cared when she hit her own high note.

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As for the rest of the girls, tunics, and leggings, big earrings, oh my. Katelyn Epperly bucked the trend with a white one-shoulder ruffled blouse (worked great for sitting at a piano) and sparkly little pouf of a skirt (worked less great sitting at a piano).

We feel so bad saying it because she is such a sweet thing, but while Haeley Vaughn’s outfit featuring a jeweled neckline and busy printed flouncy mini was much better than last week’s Bo Peep look, it was still  too much. Also, those flower adorned headbands she makes as a hobby – uh-uh – she should never wear them again.

To be fair, the boys are not exempt from critique. A few quick notes: We loved Alex Lambert’s slight foray into geek chic with his plaid jacket. And it was funny that Ellen DeGeneres took note of his hair calling it “a mullet.”

Thumbs down to Jermaine Sellers. His weird look included a dotted shirt, plaid bow tie, and strangely undersized cardigan. Kara DioGuardi thought his take on Marvin Gaye felt forced and tricked out. Likewise the ensemble.

As for the judges? Well Ellen’s got a thing for neck garb – first a safari shirt with a white tie, next a dotted ascot. And Kara’s digging the bling (channeling Paula maybe?) Last night it was a sequin collar, the night before her dress was suspended by gold chain. Randy’s the king of pure color and crisp, while Simon is always Simon, though we thought he might be sporting a little more chest hair than usual last night.

PHOTOS: See the outfits all of the 'American Idol' semifinalists wore | Auditions

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

TALK: Whose outfit did you like the best? Whose was the worst? Click on "Add a comment" at the bottom of this post, or e-mail me and I'll post it for you.

AP Photo of Katie Stevens, Katelyn Epperly and Michelle Delamor