Michael Lynche, the 26 year old personal trainer from St. Petersburg, Florida began his American Idol journey in Season 9 a little while before I hopped on board, but that’s because I generally don’t pay attention until they get down around the Top 10. I began watching Season 9 regularly around Rolling Stones week.
“Big Mike” was eliminated on May 12th, finishing in 4th place, which was a big disappointment to his fans. It’s still quite a respectable place to end up when you consider he was actually eliminated on April 7, then given the benefit of the one time the judges are allowed to save a contestant they think deserves another chance. That means any other contestant after that who may deserve another chance is out of luck, so the judges are very cautious using it. Since Mike just missed being in the Top 3, the judges obviously made good use of the save.
Here is a recap of my reviews of Mike’s performances since Stones Week on March 16. As you will see, Mike was criticized for song choice and other nitpicky things, but never for his outstanding vocals. Out of all Big Mike’s performance, I particularly loved “The Way You Look Tonight” in Sinatra Week and my favorite song that he chose was “When a Man Loves a Woman.”
Stones Week 3/16/2010
Michael “Big Mike” Lynche launched the competition with “Miss You.” Randy said he “slayed” it. Ellen and Kara loved it. Simon sought to bring in some of his particular brand of “honesty,” and said he thought the performance a little “corny” and a tiny bit “desperate.” Ryan took Simon to task, marching up to the judges’ table with some Seacrest menace. Simon told him to go back onstage because it was making him feel uncomfortable. He said they could discuss it later in his trailer. Ryan told him to keep his criticism “constructive.” I think I would have told him to stick to his own job before I knocked him on his skinny butt.
Billboard’s No. 1 Hits Week 3/23/10
Michael Lynche’s performance of the Percy Sledge classic, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” was excellent. The judges were unimpressed with the song choice.
Soul & R & B Week 3/30/2010
“Big Mike” Lynche – “Ready for Love” – Mike definitely proved he is “Ready for Stardom” with this number. Randy said “You’re in the zone, I’m loving every performance.” Ellen said “that was beautiful.” Kara’s comments included: “you did an incredible job … you got to the true emotion of the song.” Simon said he could actually take Mike seriously as an artist … Mike demonstrated “the difference between being original, having a moment or being a silly little karoake singer …”
Lennon/McCartney Songbook 4/6/10
On the 6th of April, I said … Big Mike performed “Eleanor Rigby” and gave a fine performance which got him rave reviews from 3 of the judges. Guess which one didn’t give him a good review? On the strength of that performance, Big Mike should be safe. But Big Mike was not safe. On the 7th of April, he was eliminated but the judges used their one time save to keep him in the competition.
Elvis Week 4/13/10
Michael Lynche tried his hand at “In The Ghetto” while he played the guitar. Adam said Mike could redeem himself by connecting with people’s hearts and was an amazing singer who deserved to get right down to the end. Mike did a great bluesy rendition that he sang very well but much slower than it is usually done. The judges gave him unanimous applause, although Randy said it was sleepy.
Inspirational Songs Week 4/20/10
Michael Lynche chose Chad Kroeger’s “Hero” and played the guitar. He gave a fine performance, but once again, Kara and Simon did not agree. Simon Cowell showed his ignorance by saying the song was not inspirational, but was about Spiderman, although he also said he thought Mike would still be around next week.
Shania Twain Week 4/27/10
Shania told Michael Lynche “you’re one of those guys who can sing the phone book ….” He sang “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing.” Shania had tears in her eyes. Randy said he was “really in the zone” and Ellen compared him to Luther Vandross. Kara thought he put his mark on it and Simon said the Luther Vandross comparison was spot-on, though he thought the performance was a “little wet.” He said that meant a little bit girly.
Frank Sinatra Week 5/4/10
Michael Lynche sang “The Way You Look Tonight.” Talking about sleepy, Mike started this off really sleepy, but then picked it up. Then, he was in his element just as I predicted he would be. Randy clearly thought it was the standout performance of the evening, and the remaining judges concurred.
Songs from the Cinema 5/11/10
Michael Lynche chose Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There.” Big Mike seemed pretty nervous during his mentoring session with Jamie Foxx withholding the artist shirt, but encouraging Mike to come back and grab it up. I thought Mike earned it, but Randy was not digging it. Randy thought it was just all right. The women were less than enthusiastic. Simon wanted to know about the movie the song came from: “Free Willy.” Simon did not know what Free Willy is. Mike told him “It’s a whale,” which caused a little bit of tittering given Mike’s size, as you might expect, but even that seemed to go over Simon’s head. Ultimately, Simon said Mike at least gave it 100%.
The reason most cited for Michael Lynche not getting a lot of votes was usually that he was perceived as cocky, which is rather amusing when shy contestants are often criticized because of their lack of confidence. Even if there really is a point of perfect balance between the two, Mike is married (and yes, it was very sweet that he became a father during his time on American Idol), but because of that situation, he lost any votes from viewers who like to fantasize about dating and marrying the male contestants. If you don’t believe that, you can look at the teen idol stories of any number of great singers whose popularity waned once they tied the knot.
It’s still not really goodbye, as they say. Michael Lynche will be on the Top Ten Tour when Season Nine finishes up. We also wish him a lot of success in the music world in the future and hope he is one of the contestants who does well and comes back for a future live performance, assuming the American Idol show can survive for a few more years.
Sources: Embedded and
American Idol on Fox 5/13/10