Five weeks ago Big Mike Lynche was saved from elimination on “American Idol” by the one-time use of the Judges’ save. Was it any wonder, then, that he was the one eliminated on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 by the audience? Yes and no.
I’ve predicted for some time that American Idol’s Top Three were likely to be Crystal, Lee and Casey, but I also felt that Mighty Casey Had Struck Out after Sinatra night. It was not his singing prowess that kept Casey in the competition past that fateful night (Aaron Kelly was eliminated, instead). It was his “total package” good looks, guitar playing prowess, and the teen-aged girls voting.
On May 12th, Ryan Seacrest announced that a season high of 37 million votes was cast. Fantasia sang (wearing what appeared to be spandex tights that were from the scuba collection of Rhianna.) There was a Ford Fiesta commercial with the remaining four contestants. (The pushing of the Prius-like start button on the car was repeated a minimum of three times in the short commercial; we get it. It’s a Ford that starts like the Toyota Prius.)
The contestants were all asked about their desires and dreams, at this point especially if they were in the Top Three whose hometowns are visited, and Big Mike said that he wanted to get home to his puppy, while Crystal said she would like to go home to Ohio to play with Frankie May, her bass player. Lee said, “I want that to be me,” of winning and Casey said, “Hearin’ a bunch of people saying my name would be nice.” (If so, Lee had a chorus of “I love you, Lee” girls in the crowd, so Lee realized Casey’s dream on the spot.)
Daughtry performed their song “September” and mused on his success since “Idol”, (despite not winning the crown the year he appeared on “Idol”). He said, of performing with his own band, “Daughtry,” “It doesn’t get old. It’s an amazing feeling every night.” Of the song “September” that his band performed on the show he said it had to do with his childhood. “I grew up in a small town of 100 people. It’s about the simplicity of my childhood and how it made me who I am.” Randy commented, “I see that Chris is livin’ the dream. It feels good for us (the judges). I love it.” Chris Daughtry’s advice to the remaining contestants? “Stay hungry and stick with what’s true to you.”
After Daughtry, Bon Jovi took the stage and performed a song “Superman Tonight.” (Who’s gonna’ love you when you turn out the light. I wish that I could be your Superman tonight.”) The song sounded like a hit, to me; I was particularly glad, since I have tickets to see Bon Jovi at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 30th. When asked about their longevity and success, Jon Bon Jovi said, “Hard work and good luck. We’ve crossed the generations now, at this point.” (Anyone who has seen the old posters of Jon Bon Jovi with the big hair of the ’80s can testify to that.)
And then there were 3: Crystal, Lee and Casey. Michael Lynche said, “It’s been unbelievable. I just sit here right now and I think, I wasn’t even supposed to be here (referencing his “save” by the judges 5 weeks ago). “I came to ‘American Idol’ to take my family’s life to another level.”
Then it was time for Big Mike to sing his last song (which he performed brilliantly) and for the selected film clips of his journey, in which Simon said, “The best performance we’ve had on these live shows so far,” and Kara urged him, “Do not stop. Keep going. Write great songs. Record great songs. Go out and keep gigging, because you’ve got it in you.”
Next week, the show will visit the hometowns of Crystal, Lee and Casey, which, if memory serves, is a town so small (80 people) in Ohio that it had no town sign until Crystal made it this far on “American Idol.” (Now, the sign says, “Home of Crystal Bowersox”); Mt. Prospect for Lee, a Chicago suburb; and Cool, TX for Casey James.