American Idol: Does Saving Big Mike Set the Stage for the Season's True Shock?
American Idol: Does Saving Big Mike Set the Stage for the Season's True Shock?
Abbey Simmons
Abbey Simmons
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Usually when Ryan Seacrest promises surprises and shocks, he's straight-up lying. Last night, when Seacrest said we were sure to be shocked by the night's outcome, he wasn't even exaggerating.

From an all new Bottom Three to the early use of the judges' save, the only predictable aspects of last night's results show were uneven guest performances and some unnecessary leg pulling from Seacrest.

Read all about last night's results show here.

In a night full of genuine surprises, the biggest was that Big Mike Lynche, one of the season's most consistent performers, received the lowest number of votes. Sure, his over-the-top version of "Eleanor Rigby" is something we wish had never entered our ears, but on personality alone Big Mike is worthy of more votes than nearly half of the Top 9. But the genuine surprises didn't stop there ... it was equally shocking that in a season where the audience clearly can't be trusted (they are voting for Tim Urban after all) ... the judges took a gamble and used their lone save on Big Mike.

While there's no denying that Big Mike didn't deserve to go before the likes of Tim Urban, Andrew Garcia, Aaron Kelly or even Katie Stevens, there's also no denying that Big Mike will not win season 9 of American Idol. Let's be honest, folks. Big Mike may be consistent and likable, but this is not a contest to find Broadway's next big star, and another version of Big Mike already won American Idol, back in season 2.

Furthermore, the save, when used on anyone other than the preeminent front runner, only seems to prolong the inevitable. Last year the judges used their save on bluesy piano man Matt Giraud during week 7. While Matt's supporters saved him from elimination the following week, he ultimately only survived to sing two more songs before America got their way and eliminated Matt. I suspect Big Mike will face a similar fate.

The biggest issue with the judges' use of the save on Big Mike last night is that it leaves room for what would truly be the biggest shock of the season: the elimination of Crystal Bowersox. (And, to a lesser degree, the possible eliminations of Lee Dewyze, Casey James or Siobhan Magnus.) With the save gone, there's nothing the judges can do if the Worsters continue to mobilize around Tim Urban, or voters continue to vote with their eyes and hearts, not their ears.

So the question remains: just why did the judges use the save on Big Mike? Was it to rescue one of the only personalities in a season about as exciting as plain oatmeal? To give a consistent singer a second chance after a pratfall of a performance? Because they have more faith in America and their voting habits than we do? Or was it to finally stir up some of the controversy and interest that has been so sorely lacking from this season?

Whatever their reasons, we certainly hope last night's shocking results haven't set the stage for what would be the biggest shock of all: the early elimination of Crystal Bowersox.

(Image courtesy of FOX)