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VIDEO: Simon Cowell Dubs Crystal Bowersox The One To Beat On American Idol

Mar. 10 2010, Published 6:15 a.m. ET

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On Tuesday night, the top eight women took the American Idol stage for performance night and brings you the highs and lows of the evening. One big moment: a possible winner blossoms.

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Before we get to the music, a moment must be taken to mull over the early moments of nuzzling between Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres when she sat on his lap as Ryan Seacrest introduced the judging panel. It was more than a little awkward though it was a classic TV moment in the making.

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First up, Katie Stevens tried her hand at Idol winner Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway. Doing a show alum’s song is always a risk and one Stevens shouldn’t have taken since she her version was “like karaoke” according to judge Randy Jackson. Siobhan Magnus’ version of The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun fared better thanks to her terrific voice. “You are why I love music,” Ellen gushed. Simon wasn’t as much of a fan, calling it “a bit weird” in the end and said he was “under-impressed.”

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Spunky Lacey Brown went soft and slow, doing Brandi Carlile’s The Story. Though it was her best showing in awhile and beautiful to listen to, Simon warned it could be “in danger of being forgotten” despite giving her an overall good review. Falling flat on her face next was Katelyn Epperly singing Carole King’s I Feel the Earth Move. Kara DioGuardi called Katelyn out with her critique: “I didn’t feel like you were competing tonight. You were just going through the motions.”

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Randy was left out in the cold by the other judges over Didi Benami’s Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon which Ellen, Kara and Simon all loved. Kara and Simon even agreed that it was both one of their favorite moments of the entire season so far.

The foursome did concur on Charlie Chaplin’s Smile by Paige Miles. “It was all wrong,” Kara said, summing up all of the criticisms neatly. Simon felt it could be the “end of the road” for her.

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Finally, the highlight of the evening: Crystal Bowersox turning in an electric performance of Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason. It was like a match made in heaven. So much so that Simon told her, “you are the one everybody has to beat, I am telling you. It’s yours to lose.”

Having the tough job of following Bowersox, Lilly Scott turned in a serviceable version of Patsy Cline’s I Fall to Pieces that got positive- if not rave- reviews. While Kara thought she made Cline “current” and Simon thought she was “brave” for choosing that song, he reduced it to “cute and quirky” without the “wow factor.” 

Tomorrow night, the men!



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