"American Idol" - The Final 4: from left, Phillip Phillips,...

"American Idol" - The Final 4: from left, Phillip Phillips, Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez. Credit: Fox

Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet waged an epic duel on "American Idol" with what may have been the most memorable back-to-back performances ever on the show.

Ledet channeled James Brown on "It's a Man's World," taking over the stage with vocal power and charisma.

"I never heard anything like that in my life!" Steven Tyler said, with Randy Jackson calling it, "one of the greatest performances in the history of any show!"

And then Sanchez closed the show with an emotional, over-the-top version of Jennifer Holliday's "And I'm Telling You."

"This is crazy... I mean there's nothing to say... you just let out so much through your voice," said Jennifer Lopez. "It was a real moment."

If there's any justice they'll get to carry their duel all the way through to the finals. But somehow I think the girl power fans of Phillip Phillips will have something to say about that (Hollie Cavanagh got ripped by the judges on her last song and is almost certain to be voted off next.)

It's especially too bad there was a 33-minute dead zone smack in the middle of the show, as between Sanchez's first song and Phillips' second, "Idol" wasted our time with random duets, a group sing and an extended commercial for what looks like a flabby film that'll flop, "Rock of Ages."

Below's how I ranked everyone tonight; put your own thoughts in the comments, or using #ndidol on Twitter.

1) Joshua Ledet's "It's a Man's World" brought the judges to their feet as Jackson simply kept yelling, "Crazy! Crazy! Yo! Yo!"

2) Jessica Sanchez's powerful "And I'm Telling You" had an unbelievable amount of raw emotion in it; one of the most memorable performances I've ever seen on this show.

3) Phillip Phillips's "Volcano" was smoldering, as he ditched his usual paint-by-numbers performance and finally ditched the smirk and really went for it.

4) Hollie Cavanagh's version of "Faithfully" didn't give us a moment, but was a pretty compelling performance of a great song that had just the right touch of drama.

5) Jessica Sanchez's "Steal Away" was sophisticated and tricky as always, with Jackson saying flatly, "your vocals are ridiculous."

6) Joshua Ledet found a great match for his voice with "You Raise Me Up" -- I kept waiting for goosebumps. Even though they never came I enjoyed it.

7) Phillip Phillips's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" was unimaginative but had a good tone, with Lopez calling his vocal quality "perfect" for the song.

8) Hollie Cavanagh's "I Can't Make You Love Me" did more for me than the judges, who panned it universally. Jackson called it, "the wrong choice at the wrong time."

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter using #ndidol.

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