Michael Slezak
April 07, 2010 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Only 14 episodes remain until two dogged American Idol season 9 contestants head to the Nokia Theater to tackle a maudlin ballad that could be interpreted as an ode to their Idol journeys, their parents, their fans, their significant others, and also a higher power. (I’m dreaming of a title like “My Journey Begins With You.” Or maybe “Lord Let Me Sell at Least Half of What That Underwood Chick Rakes In.”)

But anyway, to get ourselves closer to the final two, we needed to say adios to one (which studies show is, in fact, the loneliest number). SPOILERS AHEAD, west-coast friends, so please quit yer readin’ right about now, mkay? In the end, though, Kara, Ellen, Simon, and Randy used their veto power to overturn America’s peculiar decision, saving Michael “Big Mike” Lynche after he delivered an extremely somber cover of “This Woman’s Work.” There were no “ah, well, such is life!” smiles on the faces of Michael and his fellow bottom two dweller Andrew Garcia tonight: Dudes looked absolutely crestfallen to discover Aaron Kelly’s “Dull and Wheezy Road” had garnered more votes than their respective takes on “Eleanor Rigby” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.” And, of course, it figures the one week I actually really liked Big Mike’s performance would be the same week the nation shook its head violently and said “Enough!” (My usually above-average Idol prognostication powers have been like a broken compass for all of season 9, leading me into thickets of utter wrongness!)

In response to the save, the man who is the father of a baby — a BABY! can you believe it? — smacked his lips and slapped himself repeatedly on the chest in a display of…gratitude? Disbelief? Fury that the Idoloonie nation was willing to sacrifice his dreams of music superstardom on an altar of Tim Urban’s stray hair?

And so, next week, two contestants will be eliminated…and Top 9 déjà vu will be in full effect, with guest mentor Adam Lambert. To recap…

Bottom Three

Aaron Kelly

Andrew Garcia

Michael “Big Mike” Lynche

Bottom Two

Michael Lynche

Andrew Garcia

Lowest Number of Votes

Michael Lynche



On that note, I’m off to work on my full-length TV Watch recap. In the meantime, check out my Idolatry interview with Didi Benami, and follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak, where you can get all my Idol-related commentary and exclusive news.

More on ‘American Idol’

Tim Urban: ‘American Idol’ punching bag’s favorite pasttime involves…Simon Cowell?

‘American Idol’ recap: Revolution Nine

‘American Idol’: On the scene at Top 9 performance night

Adam Lambert exclusive: Confirmed as ‘American Idol’ mentor next week! What do you think?

‘Idolatry’: Didi Benami on writing with Crystal, getting ‘Terrified,’ and rejecting the sympathy vote

Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze talk about bringing didgeridoo and bagpipes to the ‘American Idol’ stage

Image Credit: Michael Becker/Fox

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