“American Idol” has honored everyone from Michael Jackson to Carole King in her Brill Building days on dedicated performance episodes, and last night (March 21), the Piano Man joined the ranks. The 10 contestants left in the running for the title of “Idol” season 11 performed Billy Joel songs on Wednesday’s show. Song selections – and quality – ran the gamut, from an overly-emotional ballad take on Joel’s signature song, “Piano Man,” to a slowed-down train wreck of “My Life.” Watch the four best covers of the night in clips below.
1. “Piano Man” – Colton Dixon
J.Lo had “goosies [goosebumps] from head to toe,” and Diddy said he was going to buy the track when he finished singing. It was one of the simplest treatments of the night, and it worked.
2. “Vienna” – Elise Testone
Testone’s raspiness and intensity knocks the cover out of the park, but towards the end, she channels the song’s original vulnerability.
3. “She’s Got a Way” – Joshua Ledet
Ledet’s performance completely transformed the ballad into a gospel-meets-rock celebration complete with choir.
4. “Everybody Has a Dream” – Jessica Sanchez
Sanchez’s song choice may not have been one of Joel’s biggest hits, but she glided through the final track off 1977’s “The Stranger” and hit all the glory notes with impressive ease.