On American Idol last night, the contestants tackled songs from the 80’s with varying degrees of success. One underdog came out swinging with their best performance in weeks, while a favorite stumbled a bit with their song choice. Overall, American Idol 2012 last night was a bit drab, but there were a few real wow moments that made the Top 8 performances worth watching.

Here’s our American Idol 2012 recap of 80’s night with the Top 8 performances on video. You can click through on each performer’s name for a longer, individual recap.

DeAndre Brackensick – “I Like It” by Debarge

Even though I’m not a fan, I have to give DeAndre props for his opening performance on American Idol last night. His rendition of the Top 40 hit “I Like It” by DeBarge may have actually been one of his better songs of the season. Jennifer Lopez ”liked it” and said DeAndre “sounded amazing.” Steven Tyler called it “totally captivating” and Randy Jackson even said it was “the perfect song” for him.

Elise Testone – “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner

Normally one of the strongest singers of American Idol 2012 in my opinion, Elise Testone just fell flat on American Idol 2012 Wednesday night. No, even worse, she fell flat and sharp — all over the place. For some crazy reason, she just could not seem to stay on pitch throughout the song. The judges were not pleased.

Steven Tyler bluntly said he thought the song just was not right for her (the kiss of death!). Jennifer Lopez tried to play it up sweetly by telling Elise she could “sing anything” with that “powerhouse voice” of hers. However, she countered by saying “it wasn’t totally right every single moment, and that’s all it was.” Randy Jackson probably summed it up best when he told Elise that it just was “not your greatest performance.” Even more direct, Jackson told her the song was “out of tune everywhere for me; honestly.”

Phillip Phillips – “That’s All” by Genesis

Phillip Phillips is a natural artist and his talent is strong enough that it is hard for him to sound bad no matter what he does. Wednesday night on American Idol, however, he was not — as judge Jennifer Lopez told him — in his “comfort zone.”

The first part of Phillip Phillips’ performance of “That’s All” by Genesis was weak and wavering. He just did’t feel connected to the song the way he usually is to what he is singing and he looked weak in comparison to Phil Collins singing the original. He ddid manage to pull it mostly together by the end of the song, but this will not be remembered as one of his best nights on the American Idol 2012 stage.

Joshua Ledet – “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (redone by Simply Red in the 80’s)

Joshua Ledet sang the absolute hell out of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, which was redone by Simply Red in the 80?s. Jennifer Lopez was so taken with Ledet’s performance that she went gospel on him. “Ask and ye shall receive,” Lopez gushed. “We asked for a powerhouse performance, and that’s what we got.” Lopez said his whole performance was just “spectacular.”

Steven Tyler was equally blown away by Joshua Ledet’s performance, asking the 19-year-old in wonder: “How can someone sing like you at your age?” Randy Jackson, who is usually a little harder to please than Lopez or Tyler, was heavy in his praise of Joshua Ledet on Wednesday night. “It’s very rare that I want to stand up from beginning to end,” Jackson said. “That’s how great that song was.”

>> American Idol 2012: Top 8 Performances Part Two (VIDEOS)

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