Since Naomi and I have been watching American Idol (yes, I'm guilty) we've noticed something interesting during the elimination rounds. The contestants that get the boot usually sing better during their goodbye performances than they do during their actual competition round.
My theory? They have nothing left to lose. After the ax falls, they just let it all out with the most honest emotions, raw pain and passion getting the best of them. No worries about getting the lyrics right, winning the votes or pleasing Simon - they just sing their hearts out.