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Spoiler alert: The following contains details of the May 12 episode of ABC's "American Idol."

Only three contestants are "still standing" after Sunday's "American Idol" featuring Elton John tributes. 

The final five Idol contestants each had three song assignments this week: one hand-picked by mentor Bobby Bones, another chosen by the contestant as a tribute to his or her heroes, and a third by the Rocket Man himself. 

"We all appreciate the hard work and sacrifice it takes to make music," John told contestants in a prerecorded video message, adding that he was honored his songs could be a part of their musical journeys. 

Alejandro Aranda, 24, slowed things down on the piano with a cover of "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" that left Katy Perry "so sad" — in the best way possible. 

"You are owning the night, my friend," judge Luke Bryan fawned. "Wrap your head around being a ginormous star, please. Because there's no other way around it." 

17-year-old Madison VanDenburg had some big platform shoes to fill with "Your Song." And fill them she did, with a cover Bryan dubbed "soulful" and "truly amazing." 

"You're coming into this competition with a bat to knock everybody out. It's so amazing," judge Lionel Richie added. "Just take us on the journey, because your star is shining bright."

Laine Hardy, 18, donned a sparkly all-silver suit that Richie thought might have been taken from his own closet. The judges agreed that Hardy's style and voice were equally on point in a cover of "Something About the Way You Look Tonight." 

"You've got this gravelly thing that's your signature, but we heard you singing tonight," Bryan said.

But Sunday night wasn't all "holding hands and skimming stones." The candle burned out for Wade Cota and Laci Kaye Booth, whose respective covers of "Rocket Man" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" weren't enough to save them from elimination. 

Still, Richie found a silver lining for the two contestants heading home.

"Whether you get sent home on this round or not, you are all going to work," he said. "Because the stars have been set right here. This is the best group ever."

Now down to the top three, Hardy, VanDenburg and Aranda head into the season finale of "American Idol" live Sunday (8 EDT/PDT). 

More 'Idol': Ranking the Top 6 contestants, including frontrunner Alejandro Aranda

And: 'American Idol': Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon channels Freddie Mercury with emotional Queen cover

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