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Who gave the best ''Idol'' advice?

Who gave the best ”Idol” advice? — Tim Stack rates this season’s coaches

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Who gave the best ”Idol” advice?

Our guide to which Idol mentors provided solid guidance, graded in number of microphones.

Diana Ross
Ross’ tutoring was considerably tamer than her wild hairdo. Take her instructions to LaKisha: ”I think you should wear somethin’ long, but very simple.” The music proved to be equally unmemorable, as Brandon, Stephanie, and Haley all forgot the lyrics to their respective Ross hits. 2 of 5

Lulu/Peter Noone
These 1960s icons were a mixed bag. The still-foxy Lulu coached Jordin to one of her best performances with ”I Who Have Nothing,” but Noone seemed lost, especially with beatboxing Blake: ”If you become a big star, I don’t want to sit in the front row, man, with all that [spitting noise].” 3 of 5

Gwen Stefani
Finally, a mentor who is under 40! Rocking a ponytail and a man’s tie, Stefani looked adorable but appeared far less comfortable (and awfully bored) coaching the Idols, especially little Sanjaya. Her sage advice to the teen on his decision to cover No Doubt’s ”Bathwater”: ”Good luck!” 1 of 5

Tony Bennett
The flu kept Bennett from performing, but his segments offered the best critiques of the season. Our favorite moment was when he interrupted Haley’s cover of ”Ain’t Misbehavin”’ by claiming ”it doesn’t make sense” and that her interpretation ”destroys the story of the song.” Way to keep it real, Tony!5 of 5

Jennifer Lopez
Lopez played to her strengths, focusing on dance moves for LaKisha and Jordin. (She was a Fly Girl, after all.) And she gets props for coaching Blake’s cover of her hubby’s ”I Need to Know,” telling him to add more emotion: ”I just want to see you pick that girl up!” Penalized one mic for gushing over Sanjaya. 4 of 5