When a singer born in the 1990s manages to accurately channel the spirit of the ’70s in song, you know it works. Amber Holcomb made it work like no other during the “American Idol” Top 6 performances on Wednesday (April 10). Her rendition of Dionne Warwick‘s “Say a Little Prayer for You” brought down the house and brought out the praise from the judges.

It was only the second song of the night, but Amber’s entry into the “Burt Bacharach/Hal David catalog” theme was easily one of the best of the night.

Not only was the song excellent, but Amber successfully rocked a pale blue pantsuit. The entire effect pretty much made you think that the girl had brought the 1970s — a decade Amber missed by years — back to the present.

To say the judges were impressed would be an understatement. Nicki Minaj was practically ready to leap out of her seat, declaring Amber to be her favorite girl of the season. Keith Urban, meanwhile, compared her to a summer breeze floating into the studio. Mariah Carey‘s commentary was barely comprehensible with her excitement, but she did declare it to be an A+ performance.

In an additional bit of fun, Nicki pointed out that maybe Amber had a reason for doing so well this week. “Sometimes, when your boyfriend ain’t around, you can really focus,” Minaj said. Everyone obviously knew who that referred to — last week’s elimination, Burnell TaylorRyan Seacrest took the chance to make a bit of a joke. “Is it Paul Jolley or Devin Velez?”

They didn’t make Amber answer (for the record, they’re taking it slow and planning to define their relationship better during the “Idol” tour). But she didn’t have to. She had already sung it all.

Posted by:Laurel Brown