Jersey Girl Jax will be honored by her hometown Friday when she returns to the Garden State. She took one step closer to the American Idol finals this week, becoming the only woman in the competition's top 4.

Jax performs "Empire State of Mind" on "American Idol" (YouTube)

The East Brunswick resident's two performances Wednesday were the culmination of a whirlwind week that included a visit to Nashville and a chance to sit in the same seat where Idol season mentor Scott Borchetta first saw Taylor Swift.

Jax, who celebrated her birthday on Tuesday, also sang with former Idol judge Steven Tyler on the trip. Jax told Dennis & Judi earlier this  week it was the "best week of my entire life...epic."

Jax heads home to East Brunswick for another busy weekend which will include a parade and performance at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center on Friday afternoon. "I've always watched the idol homecomings growing up and now I'm actually going home..... Is this even real?" she tweeted on Friday morning. Host Ryan Seacrest reminded her that she will also get to see her dog Jeter.

Jax was also mentored on her trip to Nashville by country singer Martina McBride but is looking forward to a possible final episode performance with the Aerosmith lead singer."Must. Get. To. The. Finale. Must. Jam. Out. With. Steven. Tyler," she tweeted.

First up for Jax on the "Judge's hometown" part of the show was Alicia Keys' "Empire State Of Mind" which Judge Jennifer Lopez criticized. While giving Jax a vote of confidence that she could win the competition, Lopez questioned whether or not it was the best song choice.

"I wasn't feeling it," Lopez said. "You need to really be careful in the songs you choose from now on."

Harry Connick detected a bit of hoarseness in her voice that he says showed what kind of performer she is.

"You sang through it...and nobody cared and you killed it and it was great," Connick said.

Keith Urban said he liked the song choice and complimented Jax for "powering through" even when she wasn't at 100 percent.

Former contestant Savion Wright bitterly tweeted that the judges criticized the contestants for being sick during Hollywood week "and yet he (Urban) "brings it up to be endearing now. #HypocrisyMuch."

Jax's second song of the night, for the "I am what I am" theme was an introspective performance of Christina Perri's "Human" which included the 19-year-old falling to her knees.

Despite "pitch problems all over the place," Connick said she "completely let herself go" which he said "ultimately trumps everything else."

Urban said she "killed it" while Lopez said she noticed how Jax "looked into people's eyes" in the audience but said she "loved it too."

Tyanna Jones received the least number of votes last week and was eliminated from the show. The Twitter save was not used during Wednesday night's show.

There are three ways left to vote for Jax by noon on Tuesday.

  • Super Vote via the American Idol app
  • Facebook
  • Search “American Idol Vote” on Google