In a similar fashion to last week's electrifying Kelly Clarkson & Robin Thicke 'Duets' opening number, Jennifer Nettles and fellow celebrity mentor John Legend kicked off week three of competition with a flashy, choreographed performance of the 1974 Kiki Dee original 'I've Got the Music in Me.' The solid performance set the stage for a big night for Nettles, who remains the judge to beat after three impressive weeks with hopefuls J Rome and John Glosson.

Glosson took the stage first with his hometown hero to perform 'How Great Thou Art,' the hymn the young hopeful first sang to snag his spot on the televised singing competition series. After a misstep in last week's song choice, Glosson redeemed himself, earning critical praise from the the three remaining celebrity judges.

“I’m secretly trying to find a way to get you kicked off the show,” said Kelly Clarkson, who gave the performance the first standing ovation of the evening. "You’re so damn good! It sounds like you’ve been singing together forever. Great job! That was so good — I can’t stand you!”

Also on his feet was John Legend, who also had nothing but positive things to say to Glosson. “I felt everything,” admitted Legend. ”You sounded so beautiful together. The arrangement was gorgeous. You should be proud!”

Just before taking the stage, Glosson spoke about his personal reason for choosing the original hymn to spotlight his soaring vocals.”It’s more special because today is the day my mom found out she was pregnant with me,” said singer.

“The next day my parents lost their oldest son to Leukemia,” added a somber Glosson. “I would like to dedicate this song to my parents. And a brother someday I will get to meet.”

With his story in mind, Thicke was able connect with the performance on a whole new level. “I have a two-year-old boy myself. I was definitely thinking about my son and your family,” said the soul singer. “You had me feel every feeling I needed to feel during that song.”

Glosson was given an early first place lead, but was knocked to second place by his fellow Nettles protege later in the episode. The Georgia native remained in second the rest of the show.

Also choosing his song for intensely personal reasons, J Rome dedicated his heartfelt duet of the Michael Bolton ballad 'How Am I Supposed to Live Without You' with Nettles to his late grandfather. The pair’s emotional performance resonated greatly with the remaining three celebrity mentors, especially a tearful Clarkson.

“Team KC — we love you!” confessed Clarkson. “I love this show. You’re so good. I hate you!” joked the Texas native.

“What can I say after that? I’m running out of nice things to say about J Rome,” said Legend.  ”Phenomenal vocals. This is the tearjerker episode. I can’t take it anymore.” An overwhelmed Thicke was left speechless, offering only a congratulatory round of applause following the performance.

“I’m honored,” said the Sugarland singer following the performance. “That was a dedication for his grandfather. I’m honored to be a part of that.”

J Rome's performance earned him another first place finish, which he was able to maintain throughout the rest of the show. The impressive young talent has placed No. 1 on the scoreboard every week since the beginning of the series. Glosson's second place finish marked the first time in the competition that the same celebrity mentor held the top two positions with their teammates.

With their high standings, neither of Nettles' hopefuls had to sing for their lives this evening. Thicke's Alexis Foster and Clarkson's Jason Farol placed in the bottom two, with Foster sent packing in the show's first elimination. The ABC reality show will go live in three weeks, when a viewer vote will decide the fate of the remaining aspiring singers.

Tune in to ABC next Thursday night at 8PM ET for another exciting episode of 'Duets!'