updated 03/27/2013 AT 10:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/27/2013 AT 10:45 PM ET
“We’re down to the last eight contestants on American Idol – and all of them are very talented,” said the legendary Smokey Robinson, who was on hand as a mentor for Motown week.
Candice Glover – who later admitted that she was sweating the pressure of having to sing first – didn’t let the nerves show during her bluesy take on “Through the Grapevine.” The judges’ verdict: “You’ve got one of the best voices in the competition,” Randy Jackson said, summing up the whole panel’s response.
Later, Lazaro Arbos took the stage to sing Stevie Wonder’s “For Once in My Life.” The audience loved it and although the judges weren’t 100 percent positive, Keith Urban shared his take, calling “exponentially better than last week.”
Janelle Arthur brought the house down with a slowed-down, countrified arrangement of “You Keep Me Hanging On” by the Supremes that she came up with when she was just 14. Mariah Carey’s response: “Janelle at her finest!”
And Randy sang her praises by trotting out his old “She’s in it to win it” line.
Chicago’s Devin Velez – who’s been a frequent member of the bottom three – tackled the Smokey-penned song “The Tracks of My Tears” and got an audience ovation so loud it almost drowned out Keith’s kudos.