American Idol, Michael Lynch

Michael Becker / PictureGroup for FOX

At 6'1'' and 300 pounds, Michael Lynche was literally the big man on American Idol. Unfortunately, we had to say fare-thee-well to Big Mike last night, as his rendition of "Will You Be There" by the late, great Michael Jackson was not enough to keep this "saved" contestant in the final three.

This elimination was a harsh one, because as most Idol lovers know, the top three get special hometown celebrations with parades, appearances, and hopefully, a break from those damn Ford commercials. Mike was clearly bummed when we talked to him on the phone earlier, but a certain someone was even more bummed than he was…

His precious little girl, Laila, who was heard in the background, crying and cooing up a storm. Michael was vocal about his devotion to his family from the start, even though he had to miss the birth of his daughter to even audition for Idol. "I don't think you can say anything is worth missing the birth of your child," he said solemnly. "Only time will let those wounds heal, but I think it definitely gives my family a good chance in the future and gives my daughter a better chance that I took that sacrifice."

Though his body stats would say otherwise, Mike has always been just a big ole softie. "Well, I'm a Gemini, so there are always two sides to it all," he noted with a laugh. "I was fortunate enough to stay on the show long enough that I got to show multiple sides.  I'm not just Big Mike; I'm also Mike the husband, and Michael the father. I'm a brother and a son." And quite the sucker for love songs, which any good Michael fan could tell you.

"I love love songs. That's what really speaks to my soul, when someone is in love and it's just raw and honest," he said. America was surely in love with him, having pushed him past nearly getting voted off to the top four. He said of his save: "I wasn't surprised that they saved me, just extremely grateful to still be around." And just like there are two sides to Mike, there are also two sides to the Idol voting process: hope and heartbreak.

"America is a fickle creature. You just never know," he told us with a sigh. "I think I was consistent every week and always gave my heart every time I sang. The only thing with giving your heart is it can get broken. But if it gets received well, it can be something magical and special." It's hard to say, but we think Mike just wrote himself a love song right there. We guess being in the "Idol bubble" will do that to you. He pointed out that the contestants don't know much about what's happening outside of their Idol schedule, so he didn't have any comment when asked about how Crystal Bowersox handles all the reports that she is and always has been the front-runner.

As for his own future, Michael mentioned putting together an album of his own and of course, getting ready for that tour. And when the inevitable comparison to a certain other Idol fourth-place finisher comes up, Mike simply agreed to the Chris Daughtry name-drop by saying, "It's not a bad place to be where I am."

Are you singing your own sad love song over Mike's elimination? Or did you think it was definitely his time to leave? And who will be stalking joining the top three at their hometown festivities? Plan your carpools in the comments below!

—Reporting by Jenna Mullins


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