The previous night, frontrunner Candice Glover had performed Paula's iconic 1989 hit "Straight Up," and it was one of the highlights of the episode. On Thursday, Paula's pal Randy Jackson gave a fairly good fakeout, when he claimed that he'd tried to reach out to Paula to get her opinion on Candice's cover, but hadn't been able to contact her…but then out sauntered Paula, all ravishing in red, and the crowd predictably exploded. It was PAULER!
But you know, regardless...that all-female panel of Nicki/Paula/Mariah looked pretty sweet. I would co-sign a judging lineup like that in Season 13--because if there's anyone who could make Nicki and Mariah get along, it's PAULER!
The "Idol" nostalgia continued with a rare appearance by Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken, who sang his signature cover song, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (take that, Lazaro Arbos!), followed by Season 3 champion Fantasia doing her fantastic new single "Lose to Win" and a where-are-they-now piece on Fantasia's S3 castmate, LaToya London. This all seemed like the producers' ploy to court the longtime "Idol" diehards that the show alienated this year with controversial casting choices and TMZ-leaked feuds. But you know what? The ploy worked. It was like the best episode of "American Idol Rewind" ever, and all that was missing was the triumphant return of Brian Dunkleman. "Idol" viewers were totally partying like it was 2003, and the entire results show was a very welcome reminder of the long-running, much-loved TV institution's glory days. It was a moment like this, we were flying without wings inside your heaven because we believed, and yes, it did make us proud. This was our now, and it was the time of our lives.
- VIDEO: Fantasia gives advice to "Idol" girls
- Nigel Lythgoe says current "Idol" judges have no chemistry
- PHOTOS: "Idol" Season 12 performances
- Arts & Entertainment
- Paula Abdul
- American Idol
- Nicki Minaj