American Idol mixed Billy Joel hits with Tommy Hilfiger looks on Wednesday night, debuting its first episode in which a fashion icon dresses and dolls up the contestants.

Leading the pack this week were Jessica Sanchez's cover of "Everybody Has a Dream," Phil Phillips' "Moving Out," Colton's Dixon's "Piano Man," and Elise Testone's "Vienna," though she took a risk by choosing a more arcane Joel tune.

"She's Got a Way" was covered by Joshua Ledet, but he had never heard of the song prior to his performance. He wasn't alone, though. Host Steven Tyler was also blissfully unaware, even though Joel has previously introduced Tyler as an "old friend" when they have shared a stage, according to the L.A. Times.

Ledet's performance was strong, but not everyone was wowed by the rendition. "I feel stupid trying to say anything negative," said Jennifer Lopez, explaining, nonetheless, that she thought Ledet failed to connect to the song. Tyler's blank slate, however, worked in Ledet's favor, and he said he "sang his life" into the song.

Phil Phillips was another success with his cover of "Moving Out," and while he hit all the right notes and brought forward some good energy, he didn't take Hilfiger's advice to avoid gray clothing on camera and not hide behind his guitar.

The jazzy Erika Van Pelt put her own spin on "New York State of Mind," but it was her look that really shocked the audience. Hilfiger chopped off her scraggly blonde locks and turned them black. Of both her look and her song, Tyler praised, "You wore it like beautiful."

Deandre Brackensick, Hollie Cavanaugh, and Heejun Han delivered more lackluster performances, with "Only the Good Die Young," "Honesty," and "My Life," respectively. "Are you happy that you took the piss out of that song?" Tyler asked Han after his karaoke-inspired performance. Ironically, Randy Jackson was the nicer of the two judges. "At least you had a good time," he said. "Vocally it was missing a bit."

Watch Dixon's performance here:

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1 Comments

  • Mijon Zulu
    Mijon Zulu on

    I can't wait to watch the performances.

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