Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey and Lil Rounds wowed the judging panel, while Anoop Desai and Jorge Nuñez struggled to impress Kara, Paula, Randy and Simon when "American Idol" introduced the talents of their 13 finalists last night.
Lambert, a 26-year-old theater actor from L.A., sang "Black or White" for the show's Michael Jackson theme on Tuesday. "You've got the whole package going on," Paula told Adam after his energetic performance.
Early frontrunner Gokey stayed in a top spot with his rendition of "Pretty Young Thing." Cowell praised the 28-year-old Milwaukee native's vocals as "brilliant," but suggested he work on his dance moves. Lil Rounds remained a favorite with her show-opening performance of Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," delivered with a bright, original style -- although Simon hated her outfit.
While some "Idol" hopefuls soared, others fell flat -- and faced harsh criticism. Anoop's performance of "Beat It" prompted Randy to announce that the 21-year-old's pick of the tune was a "wrong choice," while Simon simply dubbed his performance as "horrible." Nuñez may have won the favor of A-list fans Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, but the 20-year-old college student failed to win praise from the judges, who slammed his music choice "Never Can Say Goodbye."
Cowell announced that two finalists would be dismissed on Wednesday's show -- and teased that an alteration to the "Idol" judging panel would also go down tonight. Host Ryan Seacrest furthered the suspense by saying the "AI" surprise would change "the entire theme and concept of the show."
Which two contestants will be the first to be sent packing? Find out when "American Idol" airs tonight on Fox.