Our American Idol 2012 recap continues as we run through the performances of the contestants for 80′s night. If you missed our American Idol recap part one for this week’s performance night, you can catch it here. For full reviews of each contestant’s performance last night, just click on their names.

Jessica Sanchez – “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston

Jessica Sanchez may be only 16-years-old, but night after night on American Idol 2012, this teenager has shown she has the chops to be a serious competitor for the crown this year. On American Idol last night, Jessica Sanchez proved once again that she knows what the hell she is doing. The tiny whirlwind of talent belted out the Whitney Houston song with fierce power and looked like she has been performing in front of millions of viewers since she was an infant.

Steven Tyler, sounding like a blissed-out hippie, told Sanchez “everything you do is beautiful… everything you do is great.” Randy Jackson said Sanchez had “big shoes to fill” doing a Whitney Houston song but that she did “an amazing job.” Jennifer Lopez also praised Sanchez with conviction for her “powerhouse” vocals.

Hollie Cavanagh – “What a Feeling” by Irene Cara

Hollie Cavanagh was much too stiff for the very upbeat, vibrant song all about celebration, defiance and movement. The judges across the board told Cavanagh she seriously needs to loosen up and go with her gut and her heart on stage. “You are listening to what everyone is telling you, you have to let it go, with the movement it felt like you don’t let go, you have to free fall, you have to feel it from your haeart and soul,” Jennifer Lopez told Cavanagh.

Judge Randy Jackson agreed, telling Cavanagh: “You have the talent, your voice is amazing. I think you have to stop thinking and live it.” Steven Tyler was more blunt than usual in his critique of the 18-year-old singer, telling her flat out that her “pitch was all over the place” but kindly added that her songs “are always great at the end.”

Colton Dixon – “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

Colton Dixon not only did not wreck the Cyndi Lauper song on American Idol Wednesday night, he actually rocked it out quite fabulously. Dixon pumped up the volume on the song, giving it a bit of a punk edge and making it his own. I felt it was one of his best performances in recent weeks.

The American Idol 2012 judges were also quite taken with Colton Dixon’s Cyndi Lauper song performance. Steven Tyler gushed over Dixon with a dreamy expression, telling him he “could do a record right now.” Jennifer Lopez praised Dixon for being in sync with the band and said she “felt so many different things as I was watching that.” My favorite comment on Dixon’s performance came from Randy Jackson, who said “that breakdown with the half-time things with the drums was sick, dude.”

Skylar Laine – “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler

As I sighed and sat back to listen to Skylar Laine sing Bette Midler on American Idol Wednesday night, I experienced a strange feeling. I didn’t hate it. I wasn’t bored by it. In fact, I actually kind of liked it. Then, right at the end, when Skylar Laine suddenly exploded and her voice went through the roof of the American Idol 2012 stage, I was like… WOW. That was really impressive!

The American Idol 2012 judges seemed to agree with me across the board. Randy Jackson echoed my “wow” with several more ‘wows’ and said he thought it was her “best performance on the show to date. Jennifer Lopez said the song proved American should not count her out. “You can sing with the best of anybody who’s here,” Lopez said. Steven Tyler was also impressed, telling Laine it was “the best song you could have picked for your voice and the end of the night.”

>> American Idol 2012: Top 8 Duets (VIDEOS) *coming soon


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