American Idol Top 10, Usher

Michael Becker / FOX

The tables have turned on American Idol, as R&B night produced more rhythm and less blues than we'd seen in awhile this season.

Sure, Crystal Bowersox remained the gold standard, Siobhan Magnus the wild card (too wild last night) and Tim Urban the lucky loser whose unlikely run has extended all the way to a spot on the Idols Live tour this summer.

But the overall quality of the performances ticked up a notch, with Andrew Garcia finally not sucking, Casey James rocking the house and Lee Dewyze having a potentially life-changing night, according to Simon Cowell.

We at least thought Michael Lynche had a great night, too, so why was the frustrated personal trainer poised to throw Ryan Seacrest off the stage?

Maybe because Ryan was messing with him, implying the beefy personal trainer was in the bottom three when he was really safe as a savings bond.

Meanwhile, America got it exactly right (based solely on Tuesday's performances, at least), voting Tim, Katie Stevens and Didi Benami into the bottom three.

It was ultimately the increasingly morose and combative Didi who was sent packing, her pitchy encore of Fleetwood Mac's "Rihannon" not doing enough to save her.

"Didi, it's bad news, sweetheart. We're not going to save you, sorry," Simon broke the news.

So the smiley Tim train chugs on, just as the Brit predicted. And Katie, who remains caught in a country vs. pop-R&B war being waged by Simon and Kara DioGuardi, got her reprieve before the final commercial break, instead getting to enjoy the world-premiere Diddy-Dirty Money performance of "Hello Good Morning."

Ruben Studdard, who's heading off on tour with Clay Aiken this summer, sang tonight, as did R&B week mentor Usher, who performed "OMG" with

Next Tuesday, the top nine get to dip into the infinitely deep Lennon-McCartney songbook for your voting pleasure.

Did the voters get it right this week? Are you happy to see Didi go, or steamed that your least favorite didn't get the boot?


The debate over American Idol's legitimacy is ongoing, but what about Dancing With the Stars? See what our Conspiracy Corner has to say about DWTS being rigged...

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