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Idol Results Night Shocker!

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Michael Becker/FOX

The votes are in on Idol!

After the best night of performances so far this season, the top 9 faced America’s decision on Tuesday — and the results were shocking. Keep reading to find out what happened!

Ryan Seacrest, at the start of the hour, informed the audience that “the judges have told me there are shocking surprises.”

Mother Superior, jump the gun! He wasn’t kidding!

Not only did Michael Lynche land in the bottom two for the first time — he was the bottom one, period, while Andrew Garcia was the one to escape to safety.

But Michael happens to be one of the singers most consistently favored by the judges. In fact, they unanimously voted him back into the competition using their one save of the season.

So what did the guy do wrong? Well, he definitely had an off night Tuesday, singing an overblown “Eleanor Rigby” — a contradiction in terms, really, and not of much interest to viewers more captivated by the mop top adorableness of Tim Urban, who avoided the bottom three altogether, for once. It might be a good idea, in fact, never to sing “Eleanor Rigby” on Idol.

But what did Michael do right? He reprised one of his most heartfelt performances, singing “This Woman’s Work” to his wife (and mother of his infant daughter) as she sobbed in the audience. For good measure, I would have had the baby there crying, too. But Michael put the song across with soul and just a hint of fighting defiance. He definitely deserved to be saved.

Andrew would not have been saved. And I doubt the judges would have reached out to Aaron Kelly, who was the third singer in the circle of doom this week. (Simon faulted him for never coming up with truly original interpretations.)

My guess is that Michael will be a little more strategic in next week’s song selection and make it onto further rounds, while Tim’s vacation from critical disaster will be shortlived.

All three women — Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus and Katie Stevens — were declared safe at the start of the hour. Ellen had correctly predicted Katie would finally be liberated from the bottom three, thanks to her cover of “Let It Be.” Katie revealed that she’d sung it for her grandmother, which is very sweet. I actually wish she’d win.

Rihanna performed “Rockstar 101” and looked sensationally sexy. David Archuleta sang “Imagine,” as he did long ago as a contestant, and was, as his fans expect, the humble antithesis of a rock star. If he and Rihanna ever did a duet, they would annihilate each other.

Adam Lambert is next week’s mentor. Should be wild — only not this wild. –Tom Gliatto

Tell us: What did you think of America’s decision? What about the judges’ decision to use the save? Who — if anyone — should have gone home this week?Michael Becker/FOX