AMERICAN IDOL: The Final 8: Clockwise from Left: Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, Paul McDonald, Srefano Langone, Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina and James Durbin. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

AMERICAN IDOL: The Final 8: Clockwise from Left: Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, Paul McDonald, Srefano Langone, Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina and James Durbin. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

And then there were eight – but they better stay on their game if they want to remain in the competition on American Idol, Randy Jackson says.

As the elder statesman of the judging panel on Idol, Jackson knows precisely what it takes to prompt fans to pick up the phone and vote.

“They have to sing their faces off and be as interesting and charismatic as possible,” Jackson insists. “You’ve got to be interesting for people to engage and hopefully you’ll get the votes.”

Click onto the media bar to hear Jackson’s advice for a winning strategy.

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American Idol continues with the top eight competing tonight, 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.