The remaining eight women took to the stage on Tuesday in hopes of securing a place in the elusive Top 12 (the Top Ten compose "Idol's" touring group), but it was the dreadlocked 24-year-old mom from Elliston, Ohio, who had the judges going gaga.
"Love that, love you, love the song, love the honesty," Randy Jackson said of Crystal's rendition of Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason." "I'm a fan, I'm a fan! That was hot."
And Simon Cowell said Crystal was assured of a Top 12 spot.
"You are one million, billion percent gonna be in the Top 12 next week," Simon said, adding that the "Idol" competition was "yours to lose."
So what about the other ladies? Here's our rundown of how things went:
After a reference to Simon's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" appearance on Monday, where he said Ellen DeGeneres, like Paula Abdul, would eventually come around and end up on his lap during the season, the show opened with Ellen… on Simon's lap.
But they moved on quickly from the laughs and into the competition as teenager Katie Stevens took the stage, performing Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway." The move was a bad one, according to Randy.
"Kelly Clarkson's one of the greatest contestants we've had. This is one of my favorite songs ever written in the modern times of today. It paled in comparison. It was almost like karaoke to me," he said. "She's so good and so stylized. It didn't work for me. I didn't get it. Wasn't great."
Siobhan Magnus, 19, took a risk during her rendition of the classic folk song "House of the Rising Sun," singing – at first – without accompaniment. But her stripped down performance engaged most of the panel.
"You are why I love music, because it's supposed to move you, it's supposed to do what you just did to me. I was captivated," Ellen raved. "I love what you did with the song, you made it current and you're spectacular."
Lacey Brown tried out Brandi Carlisle's "The Story," and her performance reminded the judges why she made it into the Top 24. "You're back on your path," Kara DioGuardi said. "You really are."
Curly-haired Katelyn Epperly tried out the Carole King classic "I Feel The Earth Move," but the judges weren't swayed. "It was kind of like request night on a Friday night in a restaurant," Simon said.
Didi Benami took a chance when she performed "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac, and like Lacey, she too redeemed herself with the judges.
"One of my favorite moments of the show so far this season," Kara said.
An emotional Paige Miles, inspired by Michael Jackson's funeral, took on Charlie Chaplin's "Smile," the song Jermaine performed at the King of Pop's public memorial last summer, but she left the judges with frowns.
"The arrangement was just awful," Simon said. "It was the sort of thing you'd hear in the Holiday Inn in 1974."
Finally, Lilly Scott closed the show with Patsy Cline's "I Fall To Pieces," but performing after Crystal Bowersox, who took the stage second to last, hurt the white-haired chanteuse.
"That didn't have the wow factor. It was cute, it was quirky, it plays into what you're all about, but that could have been a risky thing for you to do funny enough," Simon said.
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