The contestants traveled back in time to the 1980s on Wednesday night. Now that the save is off the table the stakes in the competition are higher than ever. It's do or die time and the removal of the save has lit a fire under all the finalists. Who has got what it takes to make it all the way? First they'll have to get past their 1980s performances. Season 7 winner David Cook visited the Top 8 this week to mentor the contestants through their 80s performances. The rocker, one of the most iconic winners of AMERICAN IDOL®, and one of the first performers to really put his own twists on rock classics, was the perfect choice to mentor this week.

Jena Irene wasn't rocking at all when she started her performance of "I Love Rock N Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts solo at the piano, but as she moved into the song she hit that rock n roll stride. David Cook thought the hardest part for Jena would be picking "the right starting point." What would the judges think of her rendition of the song?

The judges had mixed reactions to Jena's performance. Keith said that it was a great way to "start the show," but Jennifer had harsher criticism. "For me it languished a little bit in the middle." While Harry "wasn't really a fan of the arrangement," he did note that he loves that Jena always takes risks with her performances.

Dexter Roberts chose to perform "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" by the Georgia Satellites. In his mentoring session, David Cook urged Dexter to work on enunciating his words more because the IDOL™ winner had a hard time understanding the words during Dexter's performance.

Jennifer started off the criticism saying, "You always come out here and sing kind of perfect." Harry liked Dexter's performance, but noted that "I'm still thinking about what you did last week." Keith gave the most constructive criticism saying, the first part of his performance felt "stiff" and told Dexter to incorporate an unexpected moment into his performances.

Alex and Sam then hit the stage in what can only be described as a smooth and jazzy vocal battle for a girl with a cover of Michael Jackson's "The Girl Is Mine." These two fellas sure had all the ladies in the audience wishing they were singing about them.

Harry put Sam on the spot by asking him how he felt after last week's save. Sam took the opportunity to thank the judges and said he'd been practicing and focusing a lot more. Keith reached out to Alex saying he liked the way the contestants' voices blended together.

Malaya chose to perform "Through The Fire" by Chaka Khan. David Cook was impressed with Malaya's voice during the mentoring session, but urged her to "focus" more. Malaya's performance was high-energy and full of impressive vocal stylings, but now that the stakes have been raised in the competition it may not be enough.

The judges all had no qualms with the superiority of Malaya's voice, but both Keith and Jennifer urged the young singer to "relax" more during her performances. Harry was impressed with Malaya's ability to hit the high note, but thought she sacrificed the beginning of the performance for the sake of that note.

Harry just "couldn't stand it anymore" and had to be a part of the totally 80s crowd. He jumped into the audience to watch the next performance.

Caleb and Jena teamed up to perform "It's Only Love" by Bryan Adams and Tina Turner. The song choice was perfect for these passionate performers who played off each other really well on stage during their performance.

Before Caleb and Jena got any feedback from the judges, Harry Connick Jr. returned from the crowd with a visitor! What a dream way to watch AMERICAN IDOL®.

Jennifer had a moment to reflect on the duets. "I love what the duets are doing for you guys," she said, adding that the pairings were helping the contestants loosen up more during performances.

Jessica Meuse chose "Call Me" by Blondie as her song selection for 1980s week. When she hit the mentoring session with David Cook he noted that "technically" she was "spot on," but added that he wasn't enjoying her performance at all. He urged her to enjoy herself, smile and work the stage during her performance. Would she be up to the task?

"I will say this, you have a great voice," said Harry, but he urged her to feel the groove more. "You need to feel that groove. You need to sing that groove." Keith noticed that Jessica's performances are still a bit stiff. "I'm still waiting for the rest of the release," he said. "You're almost there, just go right in." Jennifer conveyed to Jessica that in order to pull off a song like "Call Me" that she needed to tap into her sexiness more. If Jessica can't do that then this wasn't the right song for her.

Sam Woolf had everything to prove this week after being saved by the judges. He chose to put his own spin on "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper. In rehearsals David Cook thought Sam's vocals were "money," but he urged the artist to "own the stage" and get out of his own way. Turns out Sam Woolf didn't even step foot on the stage until his performance was over. He sang the entire hit from the audience surrounded by his fans.

Keith loved that Sam "did that with the acoustic guitar, solo," adding that all Sam needs now is to loosen up more. Jennifer thought Sam did a great job and noted that she "felt" Sam trying to feel the performance. Harry praised Sam's progress week to week, but gave him permission to sing to the girls around him in the future.

C.J. Harris and Malaya Watson teamed up dressed in white for their duet performance of "I Knew You Were Waiting" by Aretha Franklin and George Michael. The duo really looked like they were having fun out there!

The judges aren't supposed to give feedback on duets, but sometimes they just can't help themselves! Jennifer thought the duo looked really cute together. Harry chimed in with some harsh words saying, "I thought it was a little more regional theater" than impressive entertainment.

David Cook really worked with Alex Preston on the technicality of the Police classic, "Every Breath You Take." Alex's understated performance of the 80s hit went over really well with the crowd, but sparked some disagreement with our judges.

Harry really liked that Alex put his "own touch" on the track, but added that there is a difference between being a performer and being an entertainer. Harry went on to urge Alex to find ways to make his performances "stage worthy." Keith agreed with Harry while adding that Alex's voice grabbed his attention right from the start. Jennifer disagreed with both the guys saying "I love your voice and I love what you do," even though she missed the melody of the iconic song.

Alabama natives Jessica Meuse and Dexter Roberts teamed up to perform "Islands In The Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. The song was a perfect choice for the country pair.

Jessica and Dexter got to review their own performance from the judges' table since Harry and Keith both went to watch to the show from the audience. Obviously they both thought they did an amazing job!

C.J. Harris took the stage next performing Tom Petty's "Free Fallin.'" C.J.'s rendition of the song really impressed David Cook and got him excited about the classic hit again. C.J. opened the song slowly and really took his time before hitting the stride in the chorus.

Jennifer was all praise for C.J. exclaiming that the singer really has "the ability to touch people's hearts." Harry also praised C.J.'s ability to connect with the audience, but said he also needed to work on singing the low notes correctly. Keith thought C.J.'s effort was a "great rendition" of the song and added that he loved "the survivor's tone" in C.J.'s voice.

Caleb Johnson closed out the evening performing Journey's "Faithfully." David Cook wanted to impress upon the rocker the need to treat the song more "reverently." Caleb took on the ballad like a pro delivering an emotionally charged performance to the IDOL™ audience.

Harry praised Caleb's performance saying "I've been waiting for that since the first day I met you." Keith thought it was the perfect song choice for Caleb and even had his virtual lighter up in the air during the performance. Jennifer thought that Caleb sounded amazing, adding that 'it's no small task to take on Steve Perry."

The Top 8 have given it their best, but it is up to America to see who stays in the competition! Tune in Thursday night at 9/8c on FOX as the Top 8 will definitely be forced to say goodbye to one of their own!

The contestants traveled back in time to the 1980s on Wednesday night. Now that the save is off the table the stakes in the competition are higher than ever. It's do or die time and the removal of the save has lit a fire under all the finalists. Who has got what it takes to make it all the way? First they'll have to get past their 1980s performances. Season 7 winner David Cook visited the Top 8 this week to mentor the contestants through their 80s performances. The rocker, one of the most iconic winners of AMERICAN IDOL®, and one of the first performers to really put his own twists on rock classics, was the perfect choice to mentor this week.

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