There's no denying that Michael Lynche was a huge part of season 9 of American Idol
. And that's not just because, as he proudly told reporters, he stands at 6'1'', weighs 300 pounds and can bench press 505 pounds. (So, about 7.5 Ryan Seacrests ... right?)
No, Big Mike would've been a big part of season 9 no matter his stature because he had the story line reality TV dreams of: he missed the birth of his first child to audition
and he was rescued from an early elimination with the judges' save. At the center of much of this season's drama and excitement, there towered Big Mike and his big voice.
After his second elimination from American Idol
, Big Mike chatted with members of the American Idol
press about his Idol
journey, missing the birth of his daughter and singing for his life. Here are the highlights.
You missed the birth of your first child to be on American Idol. Were the sacrifices worth it?
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"I don't think you can ever say anything is worth missing the birth of your child. Only time will let those wounds heal. I think that it definitely gives my family a good chance, in the future, and gives my daughter a better chance that I did it, that I took that sacrifice. But, me personally--of course I didn't want to miss it. But it wasn't a choice. This is what I needed to do for the family at this time."
Do you think you took enough risks? Do you think whoever wins this season will have to take a big risk?
"I don't know if risk...I don't know if that's the right mind-frame to go with. I think you've got to show all the sides of you. I think with me stepping outside of the R&B realm, that's risky enough because they see you--they see me, they see how I look, and expect to hear R&B and when I do something different, sometimes it's a little jarring. The people who are left in it--I think they've got to really stay true to themselves. You gotta be comfortable up there, and you've gotta pick songs that mean something to you. I don't know if risk is what wins it, because at this point you've really got to solidify what your fan base is. You've got to give them what they want."
During the competition, did you feel like you needed to put your own spin on a song or stay true to the original?
"I felt like you should do something original. I think that everybody should always make a song their own. I think you get into the karaoke zone when you do a good version. I always wanted to have the song feel like I wrote it. I wanted to find that place in the song that was original for me, that was new for me. I think that's how you succeed on the show, by making it your own."
Arguably the most dramatic moment of the season was your save. What were you thinking when you sang for your life?
"I wasn't terrified. I liked that concept of singing for your life. And every week you were singing for your life because nothing is guaranteed for you on the show. Your time isn't guaranteed at all. I never wanted to take anything for granted. When I got to that point, it was literally 'sing for your life and the life of your family and your future.' Here's your one chance--I felt I could do that. I felt going in that I could stand tall in that moment. When it got down to Andrew and I, I wanted it to be me in that moment. Because, I didn't necessarily want him to go through that--he's a good buddy of mine and I felt strong enough, and prepared enough to take that moment on. It worked out. I wasn't surprised that they saved me, just extremely grateful to still be around."What do you think of the judges' save?
"It's two-sided. I think as far as the voting goes, it's really one of my favorite parts of the show, that people pick a champion. But [it] also depends on who's voting. I think that as far as the save goes, it really speaks to your work ethic, and your professionalism and what they see of you, not just on the stage in that little minute 30 that America really sees--the judges get to see a bit more of us, and how your reputation is around the set and whatnot, and around the crew. I think it just speaks to who you are as a professional for them to take that chance to save you, to say to America, 'Think about this again, this person has really shown us to be a professional and to be somebody worth taking a look at. I think it's two sided."What was your mindset going into this week's elimination? Were you expecting to go home?
"Not surprised, and not expecting it. I just think America is a fickle creature. And she's shown that as the competition has gone on. You just never know. I think that I was consistent every week and always gave my heart when I sang. The only thing with giving your heart is, it can get broken, but if it's received well, it can be something really magical, and special. It was that on a couple of weeks. I think that the way that the wind blows the votes, you just never know. It's really up in the air."
What did it mean to you to have your wife and daughter on stage with you as you sang your final song?
"It meant a lot, because it started out with them, in Hollywood Week. For me, is when the experience really got real. It wasn't about hoping to do well. I had to do well. Because of the sacrifices I made at that time, it just was very important for me to do well. They would have been there for me if I was working at Home Depot, or Domino's Pizza. My wife always supports me no matter what. It's nice that I get to be the family man. I'm not anybody else but that. That's what I am first. It was nice that, that was my story and people really saw that, and I had my wife there. It really helps your heart out in a tough moment."What did Randy Jackson say to you after your elimination?
"He pointed out that Daughtry got eliminated at 4, and I've got a chance to be special--just keep going--it's not a bad place to be where I am."What's next for you?
"I'm still focused on the show right now. The top 10 will all be back for rehearsals starting on Tuesday. We've got the tour rehearsals starting in June. It's really going to be a good time to reunite with some of the guys who left the show early, have a really good time this summer, and I'm going to start working on putting together a great album, and working with some great people. That's the number one plan this year: to put out a great album."(Image courtesy of FOX)