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Single Mommies Bring It on 'Idol'

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Three of the best contenders on 'Idol' this season? Two single moms who brought the RAWK -- and a dad whose wife went into labor during his big moment!

Mary Powers, Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynche

momlogic's Vivian: Howdy! It's me, your faithful American Idolator. The first round of contestants have touched down in Hollywood, and it's time for the judges to commence the merciless exercise of filtering the contestant count down from 181 to 24. The brand new judge -- our beloved Ellen DeGeneres -- was on point, doling out a fair balance of sharp criticism, clarity and compassion to the hopefuls. Girlfriend is not afraid of callin' it like she sees it, that's for SURE. But a few contenders shone a little brighter amongst the throngs, because they were soulful single moms (and one first-time-dad-to-be) who brought some much-needed passion and RAWK to the enterprise.

Among the evenings best belters was 28-year-old Mary Powers from Burbank, CA. During the initial tryouts, she impressed the judges with her feisty rendition of Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield," being duly backed by her 8-year-old daughter (who got to meet her idol, Simon Cowell).

Last night, Mary garnered even more praise from the judges when she worked the SHIZZ out of Pink's "Sober" -- receiving an appreciative nod from Ellen, who said she has "an amazing voice" and really "got into that song." Overcome by tears of relief when she was waved through to the next round, Mary sighed, "My whole life and my family's life is going to change ... and it's amazing."

Next up among the moving mommies, 24-year-old Ohioan Crystal Bowersox, who celebrated her victorious trip to Hollywood by getting a gorgeous new tat of her adorable baby boy's name. Check it!

With an unused guitar slung over her shoulder "for comfort," Crystal made it to Hollywood with a sweet, down-home rendition of the Janis Joplin classic, "Piece Of My Heart." But it was last night's lively rendition of "Natural Woman" that got her through Hollywood's first slice and dice. Simon called her performance "infectious" and "real," and Randy gave props to the "mad love" she got from her fellow contenders.

Another special performance from last night deserves a shout-out, but this one's from a first- time-daddy-to-be. Beefy Michael "Big Mike" Lynch learned that his wife had started having contractions right before he was due to take the stage. "She would not be happy if I didn't come home with a victory this week," he said from the stage -- right before blowing everyone away with his take on John Mayer's "Waiting For The World to Change." He then added cheekily, "Also, I'll pummel anyone who disagrees!" Simon called Big Mike's performance "different" and "good," and when he made the cut, Simon said, "Michael ... it's a good day."

Indeed! Stay tuned to see how the "Idol" moms fared during the second round of contender cuts!

next: Mom of Two Eliminated on 'Biggest Loser'
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