Colton Dixon felt his past few ‘American Idol‘ performances lacked his patented rock element. He brought it back on tonight’s episode (April 18) where he was able to perform one modern song and one throwback.

For his modern hit, he went outside of the box and tackled Lady Gaga‘s sassy ‘Bad Romance.’ The hopeful and Jimmy Iovine tinkered with the arrangement, adding more guitars and changing the vocal pacing. The singer adopted a lower key in his interpretation, since he was able to rise to the occasion later. Dixon had to go low to get high but he did it in an exciting way. We think the Mother Monster would have applauded his rendition of the hit that really pushed her to the top of the pop food chain.

During his first song, Dixon was in the zone. He looked quite the rock star in red leather pants and striped black cloak with tails. He also dyed a chunk of his bangs red. Cute and stylish. It was very Johnny Depp-in-a-Tim-Burton-movie. Dixon is Season 11′s James Durbin.

For his throwback song, Dixon performed Earth, Wind and Fire’s ‘September,’ giving it the Colton touch. He performed while playing a piano. This rendition was right smack dab in his wheelhouse but it wasn’t the perfect fit for his voice. The judges felt it wasn’t exciting and that his voice was too big for that particular song.

They also said that he should have done something drastic, like flip a Lil Wayne song, to really and truly turn heads.

PopCrush thought he did a good job with both songs he chose to sing.