It started a capella – and it ended with as much praise as an American Idol contestant has received in years.

Forget the judges for a moment. Check out what a group of impartial observers had to say about Crystal Bowersox’s rendition of “People Get Ready” last night, which brought the singer to such tears that she could scarcely finish.

MTV.com: “It was the best performance of the season.”

Salon.com: “Forget about goose bumps! I had been filled with the Holy Spirit and was jumping up and down in my humble living room screaming, ‘Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Alleluia, Alleluia!’ I became a born-again believer that “American Idol” could actually be redeemed, saved from its lost and depraved ways by its savior, Crystal Bowersox.”

GQ.com: “As frontrunner skeptics, it took Bowersox’s near collapse into heavy sobbing to finally convince us that her season-long steely calm was not professionalism, but rather a coping device. Despite the crumbling reputation, this is still a big deal, this American Idol show. Crystal seems to know that now.”