We grade the latest ''American Idol'' performances. Asked to sing songs from the Big Band era, Tamyra, Kelly, and Justin prove why they are the stars of this hit Fox series

By Jessica Shaw
Updated August 08, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Tamyra Gray: Fox

The judges’ favorite (shown), decked out in a pin striped suit with flowers in her slicked-back hair, kicked off the show on the highest of notes with a brilliantly bluesy ”Minnie the Moocher.” After her scat-tastic performance, Randy said she could ”sing the phone book and make it sound good,” while Simon gushed, ”How did you remain undiscovered for so long?” A

After last week on loser row, Justin needed a comeback song. He might have been served a little better by a slow, swoon-worthy Chet Baker number, but he performed the hell out of the ever-cool ”Route 66.” He certainly looked the lust-worthy part in a fitted tuxedo with an untied bowtie, and the judges fell for him all over again. Simon hailed the peformance as ”great,” while Randy pronounced, ”Justin is back. That was fabulous.” A-