American Idol (FOX, CR: Michael Becker) One of last night’s most memorable performances came from none other than Malaya Watson, one of the few American Idol contestants who actually seems to be comfortable in her own skin. Granted, Watson’s rendition of the Ray Charles tune “Hard Times” had its creaky moments, but I’d chalk that up to a bit of nervous energy on her part. After all, it is Rush week on American Idol, and Watson managed to handle that pressure with charming aplomb.

During her intro segment before the performance, Watson told mentor Randy Jackson that she sees her music as a mixture of Sly Stone and Beyonce, a combo she described as “Slyonce.”

Click on the media bar to hear Malaya Watson talk about having confidence:

For making up that moniker and rocking braces and glaces like there’s no tomorrow, Malaya Watson is easily one of my favorite Idol contestants this season. Check out her performance of “Hard Times” and tell us what you think!!

The top 15 guys perform on tonight’s American Idol (Fox, 8 pm et/pt).

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi