After saying goodbye to Tim Urban, this week on American Idol the remaining contestants will perform songs by Shania Twain — and the Grammy-winning country star stopped by to mentor Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynch, Aaron Kelly, Lee DeWyze, Siobhan Magnus and Casey James as they reworked her hits. PEOPLE was there to check out the top six as they rehearsed on Monday before Tuesday’s performance show. –Jessica Herndon
SIOBHAN MAGNUS: accompanied by a violin and Dobro/resonator player, the singer stood front and center, clapping her hands over her head as a lively rendition of a Twain classic began. After starting at the mic stand, she walked toward the judges’ table and continued to the platform behind it. Get ready for the strongest ending she’s offered yet.
CASEY JAMES: After gushing over meeting actor Antonio Banderas at the Shrek premiere — “He had zero ego,” he says — James sang a swoon-worthy interpretation of a Twain hit. On the first take, he stood with his acoustic guitar front and center, but moved to the platform behind the judges’ table on the second. “I forgot I had a voice until just this morning,” he said, adding that this is his favorite performance to date.
CRYSTAL BOWERSOX: In a giggly mood, “Mama Bowersox” will bring back the guitar after her hands-free performance last week. Backed by musicians playing the mandolin, stand up bass, snare drum, guitar, and Dobro/resonator, the singer will have the crowd swaying as she strips down one of Twain’s tunes, making it slow and sweet.
AARON KELLY:: Framed on stage by a piano and electric guitar player, Kelly belted out his ballad in a raspy, mature tone that proved he’s fully found his lane. While sitting on a stool, he received a little instruction on how to move his arms and body to make the most of his space. After his third take, his serious gaze quickly transformed into a big smile as the crew applauded him. But will the judges be sucked in or say his performance is too sleepy?
MICHAEL LYNCH: Alone on stage and without an instrument, the saved one bounced on his toes, threw his arms up and kicked his legs out while belting crisp notes. On his second attempt, he opted for sitting on the stairs at the back of the stage, which slowly moved forward as he sang the first verse. Standing just in time to sing the last line of the first verse, he walked toward the judges’ table as the chorus kicked in.
LEE DEWYZE: After sharing a computer with Magnus to surf the Web, DeWyze performed a dreamy version of a Twain classic. His voice traveled from smooth to raspy and back again. A little pitchy at first, he seemed unsure of the revamped arrangement and wandered around the stage, strumming his guitar and humming to himself as he tried to get it right. In the end, his version could have Simon and Kara saying it’s radio-ready.
Tell us: Which singers are you rooting for tonight? Who will do Shania Twain proud?Michael Becker/Fox