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Kree Harrison Sings ‘Crying’ on ‘American Idol’

Kree Harrison continued her effortless dominance of Season 12 of ‘American Idol‘ on Wednesday night (March 13), performing the Roy Orbison classic ‘Crying’ to the universal, effusive praise of the judges.The theme on Wednesday required the final ten contestants to sing a song that a previous winner had performed on the show, and she chose the Orbison classic because Carrie Underwood had delivered a standout version during her run on the show.

Like all of the judges, music industry powerhouse producer Jimmy Iovine is obviously an unabashed fan of the singer, who has easily been the most consistently strong contestant this season. “You have a fabulous shot on this show,” he told Harrison, cautioning her against over-singing just to show off her massive range.

He didn’t need to worry. Harrison delivered a restrained, perfectly-controlled version of the classic tune that struck the exact right balance between her mellifluous lower register and the impressive power of her upper range. Her voice is easily one of the best on the show this year, reminiscent of a young Linda Ronstadt.

“You could sing the phone book,” Keith Urban gushed. “If you made a record tomorrow, I’d go buy that record.”

Nicki Minaj had some bizarre praise for Harrison. “It was smooth, it was delicious, it was fun,” she said, likening the performance to a warm waffle with Aunt Jemima syrup — a comment that prompted Urban to comically smell her coffee cup.

“It made me feel good all over,” Randy Jackson said. “I love that you put feeling into everything you do.”

Mariah Carey was equally profuse in her praise. “You can sing any kind of song,” she said. “You can’t help but be real when you sing.”

Harrison seems like a shoo-in to move forward on the results show on Thursday night (March 14).

Next: Watch Janelle Arthur Sing Montgomery Gentry's 'Gone'

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