Jessica Shaw
May 13, 2010 AT 07:54 PM EDT

Image Credit: Nino Munoz/FoxWith so few people on the American Idol stage left to pick up, Michael Lynche, aka Big Mike, got picked off last night. Was it his rendition of “Will You Be There”? Not according to him. Blame the teen girls!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Big Mike! After you got voted off last night, you seemed to be walking around telling everyone it was okay. Did you feel like you needed to calm everyone else and not get upset yourself?

MICHAEL LYNCHE: You can’t go too far either way. You can’t be too happy or too crazy about anything. I always want to stay down the middle. It really speaks to my personality. I always want people to know they can rely on me in any situation that’s tough or stressful. Seeing some of my guys really upset, I wanted to tell them it was okay.

It looked like you and Simon had a pretty long chat. What did he say to you?

Simon just basically said I have a chance to be special. And to just keep going and keep doing what I’ve been doing.

When Ryan said Casey was safe, did you know you were going home?

The way the season has gone and who votes on the show, I always felt like I could be the odd man out regardless. My audience is not the one that votes on the show.

What do you mean? Who’s your audience?

Just older folks and families. I met so many people out who are like, “Oh, Big Mike! We love you! You’re the best!” and I’m like, “Are you voting?” And they’re like, “No.” And yeah, then you’re missing the point of the show and the competition. But I understand. I’m not the kind of person who would really vote for someone on this show. It’s just the way it is.

So you think other people had more young girls who can text a vote 3,000 times a minute?

Yeah. Those people are not necessarily my audience.

It looked like you had one little girl in your corner: your adorable daughter. Any regrets about missing her birth?

It was a tough moment. I don’t know about regrets. You can’t really live your life like that. Do I wish I had never missed it? Of course. But I feel like I needed to win for my own spirit to make up for some of it. Do I feel like I came up short? Of course. But I don’t feel like I disappointed anyone. I came out strong every week. I prided myself on my preparation being good.

Did you get to live with your wife and daughter during the show?

They got to move in with me once we got to top seven.

How did you cope with getting up with a baby in the middle of the night?

She’s a really good baby. She doesn’t wake up that much. And I don’t sleep that much.

Let’s discuss you picking everyone up, from Ryan Seacrest to Alicia Keys to Crystal Bowersox. What’s up with that?

I’ve always lifted people up. It’s just fun. I love to give big hugs. Who doesn’t like big hugs? A lot of people aren’t as tall as me so it’s easier on my back if I just lift them up to my level.

Since you were the resident personal trainer, did you ever train any of the contestants?

When we were in the top 24, Andrew Garcia and Lee wanted to work out with me. They came, they worked out with me for like 20 minutes, and that was the last time they ever came. They weren’t ready for my kind of workout.

Flashing back to when the judges used the save on you, I remember that look on Simon’s face and I remember thinking they wouldn’t use the save on you. Were you sweating?

No, given the opportunity to sing for my life and my family’s lives and my future, I felt I could do it. I felt like if you’re going to give me a chance to use my weapon, which is my voice, I was confident. At that point, my mindset was to leave no doubt and I think after I sang there was no doubt.

After the tour, are you planning on moving to Los Angeles to pursue music?

I haven’t gotten that far. I think we’re going to get a place out here and still keep our apartment in New York.  I think I’ve done enough to keep myself in the entertainment realm. I want to get my hand in everything in entertainment. But first I want to focus on putting out a great album.

Did you ever hear from Maxwell or Kate Bush about “This Woman’s Work”?

No, never heard from anyone. But our bubble is tight on the show. I’m hoping to perform with one of them in the finale.

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