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. “It was the best performance of the season.” “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.” “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.”