Michael Lynche Sent Packing On 'American Idol'

The judges used their 'save' on Big Mike five weeks ago, carrying him all the way to the final four.

This week on "American Idol," the final four tackled the songs of the silver screen, and somewhat fittingly, Wednesday night's (May 12) elimination show was a dramatic ride, one that kept the audience guessing until the last moment.

Most assumed front-runners Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox would make it through to the top three, especially following their much-praised duet on "Falling Slowly" (from the Oscar-winning "Once"). Knowing this, "Idol" producers left both hopefuls in the lurch, instead revealing that Casey James — who, once again, seemed to be the favorite to be sent packing after he plucked his way through a version of "Mrs. Robinson" — would be moving on to next week's show.

That left Bowersox, Dewyze and Michael Lynche staring down the specter of elimination, though host Ryan Seacrest quickly announced that Dewyze would be joining James in the top three. (Of course, he did so by announcing: "Friends, Lee is headed back to Chicago" — a reference to the show's annual visits to the top three's hometowns — which most in the crowd seemed to interpret as meaning Dewyze had been booted from the show, at least judging by the gasps in the room.)

That meant that either Bowersox or Lynche would be sent packing — and after even more drama (in the form of a Bon Jovi performance and a pair of commercial breaks), we finally found out for whom the bell tolled. It was Lynche, who couldn't overcome his rather lackluster performance of Michael Jackson's "Will You be There" (from "Free Willy").

When his name was called, Lynche — in keeping with his big-hearted demeanor — wasn't bitter. In fact, he thanked the judges for saving him five weeks ago and said that he'll leave "Idol" with only fond memories.

"It's been unbelievable, man. I just sit here right now, and I think, 'I wasn't even supposed to be here,' " Lynche told Seacrest. "Thank God for the judges saving me. I got to spend more time here, be with the people ... it's all good, man."

And with that, he performed the "Free Willy" song once again. It wasn't exactly a Hollywood ending, but we'll take it. Now, on to the top three.

Were you sad to see Big Mike go? Let us know in the comments.

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