Crystal Bowersox, 24, received the judges' highest praise on the singing competition for her traditional take on Janis Joplin's Me And Bobby McGee.
Simon Cowell told her he wouldn't have changed a thing, but the other judges wanted a bigger reaction, with Ellen DeGeneres pleading: "These people love you - take it all in and respond."
But Paige Miles was a long way from getting any love from the judges, who were equally against the smiley 24-year-old pre-school teacher from Houston.
Randy Jackson said her rendition of Mariah Carey's Against All Odds was "honestly terrible" while all Ellen could compliment was Miles' ability to stay standing on the stage in a pair of high heels.
"You didn't fall down, and that's a good thing," she said.
Also slipping even further out of favour with the judging panel was Tim Urban, who punctuated his performance of Queen's Crazy Little Thing Called Love by sliding across the stage on his knees. Kara DioGuardi and Ellen compared his acrobatic exploits to a bad High School Musical audition, while Randy declared: "The dopest thing that you did was the slide, dude."
The judges again voiced their frustration with 24-year-old Andrew Garcia after he turned in an awkward rendition of Marvin Gaye's Heard It Through The Grapevine.
They also weren't fans of a sexed-up theatrical version of Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good by Didi Benami. Simon said: "It was like a musical. The bad part of a musical."
:: American Idol is shown in the UK on ITV2 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm.