The judges on "American Idol" stunned both contestants and viewers when they announced the reality competition's first-ever Top 13 finalists during the wild card round Thursday night, and when AccessHollywood.com caught up with them at Top 13 afterparty, they all stressed one thing for the new crop of singing hopefuls – pick the right song!
AccessHollywood.com's Dish of Salt, Laura Saltman, caught up with "Idol" judges Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi at the "American Idol" Top 13 party at AREA in LA, where they broke down the ins and outs of song selection.
"[It] falls into the elite arena of knowing who you are as an artist," Paula explained. "When you know who you are, you know what's your arsenal to pull from."
"Some just aren't comfortable with knowing who they are, yet but they're still talented," she added.
New judge Kara agreed with Paula.
"You have to know at the core who you are as an artist," she told Access. "Choose songs that… accentuate your strengths and not your weaknesses. Could you imagine Rihanna singing a country song?"
As for the addition of an extra contestant, Paula said it's a bittersweet decision.
"It's like putting [us] through torture because two will go home next week," she revealed.
As for Kara, she's welcoming the extra singer.
"Why not?" she said enthusiastically.
Two contestants' fate will be decided on March 11 during the Wednesday results show, the same night Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson and Kanye West are slated to perform.
Related Content from AccessHollywood.com:
PLAY IT NOW: Dish of Salt: American Idol Season 8 Top 13 Party
PLAY IT NOW: Dish Of Salt: Meet The Next Three 'Idol' Top 12 (March 5, 2009)