"He was texting me and telling me who to save!" the "Chained to the Rhythm singer confessed to ET after the show. "He was like, 'You better save Dimitrius [Graham], and I was like, 'Don't worry! We got this one .'"
"We had no idea, first of all, because I asked the producers during commercial break. I was like, 'Was that scripted? Did you guys plan that?' And they were like, 'None of this is scripted'... Lionel Richie just took it!" Perry exclaimed.
"Lionel Richie pulled a 'I'm Lionel Richie,'" Bryan chimed in with a laugh. "He hadn't pulled that card yet! He said, 'I'm Lionel Richie! I don't care what nobody says!'"
Richie -- who initially passed on Uche during auditions -- was so impressed by the singer's performance of "Diamonds" that he just couldn't wait to get him in the Top 10.
"I go, 'Wait a minute -- this is the entertainment business. This is not a singing business. It's just, did you entertain us?'" Richie reasoned to ET. "And night after night, this kid is crushing it. Tonight, I just couldn't allow it. I had a spiritual moment, kind of rushed the stage."
"Lionel threw a curve ball right before the end of the show, but I think we have a fantastic Top 10," host Ryan Seacrest added. "The judges picked the right three [to save]."
Uche couldn't have been more grateful. "Oh my God, that was so trippy! Like, what in the world?" he asked after the show. "He just dragged me to the seat. He was like, 'Come here, boy! You're sitting here.' So that was really, really cool. I just feel so blessed. Like, look at God! This is crazy."
Raghu, meanwhile, told ET that it was not her "plan" to sing Perry's "The One That Got Away" -- and then have the pop star save her from elimination. "Obviously my dream was to make the Top 10 and not have to get saved, but I felt like that came in handy. Honestly, I wanted to slow that song down to really make it even more emotional than Katy already made it, and I'm really glad it paid off," she said.
And Graham admitted that he's feeling "a lot of pressure" from the judges -- and Bloom! "But it's definitely motivating, and it makes me want to go home and prepare and get lots of practice and come back with some fire," he shared.
The Top 10 are headed to Disneyland next week, where Rebel Wilson is the guest mentor. Perry said the contestants better bring it.
"They better like, turn some tricks and know how to light themselves on Instagram or sing 'My Heart Will Go On' to get some votes," she joked.
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. See more on the series in the video below.