American Idol Top 13 Cover Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder: Who Was Your Favorite?

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The road to the American Idol crown, however, is littered with the wreckage of Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder songs done very, very wrong.

It’s a testament to the Season 11 Top 13, then, that on a night where the ladies were asked to cover Whitney, and the gentlemen tackled Stevie, we barely heard the sound of tires squealing and metal combusting against metal. Oh, sure, there were a couple of minor fender-benders (from contestants whose names rhyme with Man-In Da-Pain and Yer-Pain Moans), but for the most part, the current crop of Idol contenders ranged from solid to downright spectacular.

I’ll be back in the morning to post a full episode recap, but until then, here’s my pithy thoughts on the evening’s performances:

Joshua Ledet, “I Wish”: Sung what he brung. And he didn’t bring a boring-ass ballad, either! What’s his 866-number again, por favor?
Elise Testone, “I’m Your Baby Tonight”: So they basically asked a tennis pro to play basketball, then criticized her for not being able to slam dunk? I rather liked her drowsy-blues twist on this pop piffle!
Jermaine Jones, “Knocks Me Off My Feet”: Exciting as getting another credit-card offer in your mailbox.
Erika Van Pelt, “I Believe In You And Me”: Hit all her notes, but might’ve sounded (and dressed) better in her rehearsal clip?
Colton Dixon, “Lately”: Does exactly what he sets out to do (but I liked Stefano Langone’s Idol version better).
Shannon Magrane, “I Have Nothing”: I’d rate that No. 6 on the list of seven Idol covers of “I Have Nothing” over the last 11 seasons. And let’s be honest: Leah LaBelle isn’t exactly the gold standard by which Idol performances are rated.
Deandre Brackensick, “Master Blaster”: The funky chicken in an assembly line of processed poultry. J’adore!
Skylar Laine, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”: I love her so much, I might rent Country Strong this weekend. Or at least dig out my copy of Reba’s Greatest Hits.
Heejun Han, “All in Love Is Fair”: He’s no Pia Toscano, but he was plenty good enough to survive into next week.
Hollie Cavanagh, “All The Man That I Need”: With great power comes a great need for proper mentoring.
Jeremy Rosado, “Ribbon in the Sky”: A very nice performance, but nice is often the deadly adjective that lulls one’s fan base into a false sense of security.
Jessica Sanchez, “I Will Always Love You”: How can J.Hud have been reincarnated into this child’s body when J.Hud is still alive and in her prime? Yowza!
Phillip Phillips, “Superstition”: A little less screameration, a little more subtlety please. Still your originality brings satisfaction to me.

Who was your baby tonight? Hit the comments with your thoughts!