American Idol Recap: Big Mike's Got SOUL!

by at .

American Idol's R&B/Soul night was the first episode of the finals to really shake things up, with a couple of unexpected standout performances and a few letdowns.

There were standouts you could have easily predicted, too, such as Michael Lynche, who won raves for a stirring rendition of India.Arie's soulful "Ready for Love."

Meanwhile, Lee DeWyze was terrific for the second straight week, this time turning the Cornelius Brothers' "Treat Her Like a Lady" into a contemporary rock song.

Both were enough to overshadow the outstanding Crystal Bowersox, who was solid just the same on "Midnight Train to Georgia" (with piano and no guitar even).

Andrew Garcia and Casey James both scored big with the judges and earned some badly-needed praise for "Forever" (Chris Brown) and "Hold On" (Sam & Dave).

Big Mike Lynche

Michael Lynche is one of the few who never disappoints.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Siobhan Magnus disappointed somewhat with her take on Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire," Aaron Kelly and Katie Stevens were average at best, and Didi Benami and Tim Urban will be the bottom two if we had to wager.

Agree with our take? Who do you think will go home tonight? Here's how we rank Tuesday's American Idol performances (with last week's ranking):

  1. Michael Lynche, "Ready for Love" (3)
  2. Lee DeWyze, "Treat Her Like a Lady" (2)
  3. Crystal Bowersox, "Midnight Train to Georgia" (1)
  4. Andrew Garcia, "Forever" (8)
  5. Casey James, "Hold On, I'm Coming" (5)
  6. Siobhan Magnus, "Through the Fire" (4)
  7. Aaron Kelly, "Ain't No Sunshine" (6)
  8. Katie Stevens, "Chain of Fools" (9)
  9. Tim Urban, "Sweet Love" (11)
  10. Didi Benami, "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" (7)

Click to enlarge photos of the finalists in action ...

C. James Picture
Siobhan in the House
A. Garcia Pic
Tim Urban Live
K. Stevens Pic
Crystal Clear
Didi Benami Sings
Show Comments

American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]