'American Idol': Was deer hunter Skylar Laine's 'Wind Beneath My Wings' the best of Top 8's '80s night?

Update: Annie’s recap is live.

Skylar Laine (pictured, far left) misses her deer-killin’ gun so much, but you know what she can’t shoot? The giant animated eagle behind her in the gaudy Idol Oval during Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings”! Because she’s flying so high above it, and because it’s not real! The country rocker surprised everyone by taking on the inspirational Beaches ballad. It was the showcase for Skylar’s big voice the judges had been waiting for after she landed in the bottom three last week.

“It’s the beginning of a great career, girl,” said Steven Tyler, who might not remember Beaches because he “wasn’t all there” for the 1980s.

“I THINK THIS GIRL WANTS IT TOO!” cried Randy Jackson, who tonight elevated his framing of a contestant’s potential and desire to remain in the competition from “in it to win it” to “gotta have it.” According to Randy, the singers who had to have it tonight were Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, and Skylar. After the jump, check out my ranking of tonight’s ’80s performances. Leave yours in the comments!


HOW I’D RANK THE TOP 8 PERFORMANCES FROM BEST TO WORST:

Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet, “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael

Skylar Laine, “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler

Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty

Joshua Ledet, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Simply Red

Jessica Sanchez, “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston

Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine, “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

Phillip Phillips, “That’s All” by Genesis

Elise Testone, “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner

Colton Dixon, “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper (I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was trying to sound like Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong)

DeAndre Brackensick and Hollie Cavanagh, “I’m So Excited”

DeAndre Brackensick, “I Like It” by Debarge

Hollie Cavanagh, “Flashdance” by Irene Cara

Let me know your own ranking of the night’s performances, and stay tuned for my full recap later on.

Read more:
Top 8 performance recap: ’80s Night and the Feeling’s Right
‘American Idol': 15 Best ’80s Songs — PHOTO GALLERY
‘American Idol': Name your Top 8 Power List!
Top 9 results recap: Take a Sad Song and Make It Better
Stevie Nicks tells Phillip Phillips he could have joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975
At home with the Top 9 in the ‘Idol’ mansion — EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Ask Annie anything about ‘Idol’ (or whatever) in the video player below. To see her answers to previous questions, click on the text links below the picture. This is *not live.*


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