American Idol Top 12 Recap: A New Contender Emerges...

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The remaining 12 finalists took to the American Idol stage last night, with one new contender emerging and one early favorite reminding viewers that she's still the one to beat.

Stefano Langone covered a Simply Red classic with an appropriate title, "If You Don't Know Me by Now." The wild card entry proved he belongs once and for all, hitting a high note few others in the competition could nail and earning praise that included J. Lo saying he could win the "whole competition."

Pia Toscano could also come out on top, of course, as she proved again with a rendition of Whitney Houston's "Where Do Broken Hearts Go." Increasing the tempo from past performances a bit, this beautiful singer earned another strong ovation and nothing but compliments from the panel.

Other noteworthy performances included:
  • Casey Abrams covered Nirvana for the first time in show history, taking a risk with "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
  • James Durbin roamed the stage like a rock star during his take on Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There for You," shaking hands with the audience and showcasing talent and confidence.
  • Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo likely placed themselves in danger of elimination, with the former wobbling in an attempt to make like Whitney and the latter being told by Randy her vocals on "What's Love Got to Do With It" were "kind of a mess."

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.