By People Staff
May 06, 2009 12:00 AM

Despite a dramatic and dangerous pre-show, rock ‘n’ roll night at Idol Tuesday, mentored by guitar god Slash, was a good one — a terrific one — if you’re a member of that special legion of fans, the Lambertines.

Adam Lambert, who somehow wound up in the bottom two last week, came streaming back like a screaming missile. His performance of “Whole Lotta Lovin'” by Led Zeppelin was a flawless simulation of the thick, high vocals of a heavy-metal star, and the judges unanimously raved. “This is the Adam I love, dude,” Randy said, adding that the performance should erase any criticism that Adam is nothing but a Broadway singer.

More than that, Simon predicted no other performance would top it. And, as usual, he was correct.

Adam built on his triumph as Idol instituted yet another new feature: the final four were paired for duets. Adam and Allison Iraheta sang Foghat‘s “Slow Ride,” her roar nicely matching his wail. “A perfect marriage,” Paula said. “A beautiful thing.” Simon even thought Adam could help carry Allison into the final three.

Allison’s solo number was a Janis Joplin song, “Cry Baby,” but Randy and Kara both thought the song wasn’t really right for her. Yet Simon pinned down the essential point: Her progress has been “completely staggering.” Now, if only she can last another week …

That leaves the anticipated bottom two.

Danny Gokey took on Aerosmith‘s “Dream On,” building and building to that famous scream at the end. Did he nail it? No, he sounded like someone trying to evacuate a building in an emergency. Still, Randy and Paula both awarded him “A-plus” for his effort. Simon thought it was horrendous, but nonetheless told Danny he’d be safe.

It was not a good night for Kris Allen, who probably has shown the least aptitude for rock. Randy liked his guitar work on the Beatles‘ “Come Together” better than his vocals. Simon described it all as “rather like eating ice for lunch.” When Kris joined Danny for Styx‘s “Renegade,” neither seemed especially in sync with the song or each other. But Simon said Danny was the better of the two.

Now, it’s up to Allen’s Army to save their guy. –Tom Gliatto

Tell us: Who rocked the most? Do you like the idea of duets for the final four? And who will be going home?

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Chris Cuffaro/FOX