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Stefano tackled Lionel Richie's "Hello" (he'd never heard the song before — why, why, why must "Idol" keep reminding us how old we are?), vowing to pull back a little, keep his eyes open and connect with the audience. None of which, alas, he did, turning in a schmaltzy performance. The judges congratulated Stefano on his pipes before letting him know that the connection was missing. "I don't want the intensity coming from you want[ing] to do well," Jennifer said in a rare moment of critique, noting that to reach the audience, the song "has to come from the heart."
March 16, 2011