The top 12 girls perform; Randy admits the judges were useless on Tuesday. You're all still beautiful!

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March 01, 2012 at 08:55 AM EST

A few performances into Wednesday’s Ladies’ Night, Randy Jackson admitted that the judges hadn’t done any judging on Tuesday for the Top 13 Guys. “I must say, Ryan” — because Mr. Lythgoe’s been checking the internet again and my NigelNotes are telling me to — “We were a little lenient on some of the boys. Some of them were a little…. Not….”

I’m so glad he clarified that issue so specifically. Good looking out! I knew less right at that moment than I ever had in my entire life. Anwyay, this non-apology apparently licensed Randy, J. Lo, and Steven to go ahead and kill the Top 12 Girls with some deadly watered-down constructive criticism. But does it really matter what the judges say, ever? Let’s get to the performances.

Hot mom alert! Chelsea Sorrell has one. She isn’t one herself — that would have meant much more screentime prior to her first live performance. The country-singing cannon fodder tried Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova” and hit a big note at the end, but throughout the rest of the song it seemed like she was playing catch up and was overly aware of any tiny mistakes. I also don’t think she could move in those heels because she kept rooting herself to the ground and just squatting awkwardly. “It SUCKS to go first!” J. Lo announced, as if to seal the poor girl’s fate even further with a sloppy kiss-off.

Did anyone notice that when Ryan tried on Heejun’s glasses, Deandre Brackensick was ALSO wearing glasses? Heyyyyy girl.

It sucks to go second, too, because I’m not sure many voters will have remembered the beautiful (agh, sorry) tone and relaxed confidence of Erika Van Pelt on Heart’s “What About Love.” This was so good! Her voice is always so grounded even when she’s going high, and she looked like she was having so much fun out there — but in a casual, sly, “check out where I am” way instead of in a manic fit like Skylar Laine. But there’s certainly no wrong way for a girl to wanna have fun, and in this week’s sea of nervous nellies it was good to see anyone kick back and go with the flow. J. Flo acknowledged that Erika was “one of our power voices,” but felt she “could have gone a little further…next time let loose on us.” What?! This was one of the loosest performances we’ve seen. Just because it’s not her personal best in Erika’s past, present AND future doesn’t mean it wasn’t one of the best performances on the Idol stage all season. That was wack. Randy just couldn’t believe there was a DJ who could sing. “What do you think of that? Dude! I’m saying!” Another great critique by Mr. Jackson.

Esteemed Colleague Email Interlude

Agreed. In any case, Erika far and away wins Best Makeover. Love the straightened hair with kicky red streaks. Work it, girl (give a twirl)!

NEXT: This! is American Adele….

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Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
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