By Annie Barrett
Updated March 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT

“The competition. Starts. Now!” according to beaming host and wannabe judge Ryan Seacrest — there he is subbing in for Nicki Minaj, who’ll just be seven more minutes in traffic, she swears. (Really? In LA?) Keith Urban and Ryan have graciously left room for Nicki’s ghost.

Tonight the Top 10 take on “any song from any winner” of American Idol — paisley monster Curtis Finch, Jr. is currently cranking up the drama with Fantasia’s “I Believe.” Randy digs his “fly jacket”! The subsidized judging is already off to a great start.

My full recap will post overnight, but let’s discuss now: Who sang best tonight?

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Mariah Carey gets the Nicki Minaj phone call: A dramatization

Video reply time! Ask Annie anything about ‘Idol’ — or whatever — below.