He got the judges' coveted "save" earlier in the season, but sadly, America chose not to keep Michael "Big Mike" Lynche for the Top 3. "As far as the save goes, I think it speaks to who you are as a professional and says to America, 'Think about this again. This person has showed us something to take another look at,'" says Michael, who is proud he was able to continue for as long as he did. "The Top 4 is not a bad place to be." After the nearly 37 million votes were counted, he was sent home to his family. Of course, viewers first fell in love with Mike in the early rounds, when the show highlighted him missing the birth of his first child while auditioning. "You can't say anything is worth missing that time," Mike said after the show. "But it gives my family a chance in the future. Of course, I didn't want to miss it, but this is something I had to do for the family."
Next week, the final three (Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Casey James) hit the stage to vie for a place in the coin toss that will determine who performs first at the show's finale, and who will be the next American Idol.
For more with Big Mike, click here.
Eliminated May 12
Did you think you might be going home last night?
I wasn't surprised, and it wasn't unexpected. America is a fickle creature, and you just never know. I think I was consistent each week and gave my heart when I sang. The only thing about doing that is it can get broken. But if it's received well, it can be really magical - it was like that on a couple of weeks.
It seems there were two sides to you: the tough guy and the softie. Is that who you are?
I am a Gemini, so there are always two sides. I have an extremist personality, so whatever it is, I take it to the max. I was fortunate I got to show multiple sides, as I am not just "Big Mike" - I am Big Mike the husband, dad, a brother and a son. They all make up my heart, so it was cool to show all that.
What did it mean to you to have your family onstage at the end?
It meant a lot because it started out with them in Hollywood Week. After that, it wasn't about hoping you did well - you had to do well. Because of the sacrifices I made at the time, it was important to do well. They'd have been there no matter what, as my wife always supports me. It was nice that I got to be the family man - that's what I am first. It really helped my heart out in a tough moment.
Do you have any advice for the remaining contestants?
I think you have to show all of the sides to you. With me, stepping outside of the R&B realm was risky. They have to stay true to themselves, stay comfortable and really pick songs that mean something to them. You have to give the fans what they want.
What's next for you?
Right now I am still focused on the show. The Top 10 will all be back for rehearsals starting Tuesday - we have the tour and rehearsals for that in June, - so right now, it's a good time to reunite with those who left the show early. I want to start putting together a really great album, that's the number one plan - to put out a great album.