*Michael “Big Mike” Lynche received the least amount of the nation’s votes on “American Idol” this week, but the judges felt America got it wrong.
Instead of being kicked off, the 26-year-old personal trainer and father from Queens, N.Y., was saved Wednesday by the four-member judging panel, using their one-time-only power to keep a contestant in the competition.
Lynche performed an R&B take on “Eleanor Rigby” during Tuesday’s performance show featuring tunes from the John Lennon and Paul McCartney songbook, but he chose his most well-received song of the season – a rendition of Maxwell’s “This Woman’s Work” – to sing for the judges Wednesday night. And it worked.
“We have decided we’re going to see you next week,” Simon Cowell declared. [Watch clip below.]
With Lynche safe this week, that means two contestants will be booted next week. Joining Lynche in the bottom three were 25-year-old musician Andrew Garcia from Moreno, Calif., and 17-year-old high school student Aaron Kelly of Sonestown, Pa.
The “save” power, introduced last season and previously used on piano-playing fifth-placer finisher Matt Giraud, must be a unanimous decision by the judges and may only be used until the round in which the top five finalists have been selected.