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"American Idol" Recap: Final Four Performances

Posted Thursday May 10, 2012 12:18 AM GMT

Just two weeks away from the season 11 finale of "American Idol," the top four contestants took the stage to sing their hearts out on Wednesday night's (May 9) episode.

This time around, Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Hollie Cavanagh treated viewers to tunes all about California and inspiration.

For the first round, the contestants were told to sing their rendition of a song about California or a song written by a Cali artist. For round two, the final four chose a song that was so inspirational to them that they would have loved to claim it as their own.

During the Golden Gate centered first round, Phillip offered up his version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" as well as a duet with Ledet of Maroon 5's "This Love." After their paired performance, Steven Tyler gave a rave review, calling the stage effort "brilliant" and "perfect."

Meanwhile, Hollie chose to go for Journey's "Faithfully" with Joshua Ledet opting for Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up," for which he received praiseful reviews.

Finishing out the first round's performances was Jessica with her rendition of Etta James' "Steal Away," after which Randy Jackson called the rendition "ridiculous." Sanchez also took part in a duet with Cavanagh of the Bangles' track "Eternal Flame".

As the second round got underway, all of the contestants turned to inspiration as Phillip took to the stage first while getting rave reviews after he showed off his version of Damien Rice's "Volcanoes".

Not receiving such positive comments was Hollie, who opted to show her inspiration via Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" - which ended up seeming like a wrong choice by Randy and didn't seem to be Jennifer Lopez's favorite either, as she said, "A little too much vibrato, too much shaking."

Next in line, Joshua landed some of the best responses of the night for his performance of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." After finishing up, the judges were on their feet in praise with positive remarks including one from Tyler, who gushed, "I can go home right now! I've never heard anything like that in my life!"

Closing out the night was Jessica with a rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" - with the quartet of remaining "Idol" hopefuls to be whittled down to three on Thursday night's results show airing at 8pm ET on Fox.

If you didn't catch Wednesday night's episode, check out a few of the performances below!