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VIDEO: American Idol Shocker! “Big Mike” Lynche Voted Off; Judges Save Him

The American Idol judges disagreed with the rest of the country on Wednesday’s elimination night of the competition which was supposed to whittle down the finalists to a group of 8. They used their lone “save card” to keep Michael “Big Mike” Lynche on the show for another week RadarOnline.com can report.

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As his wife sat crying in the crowd (actually, even fellow contestant Crystal Bowersox was in tears), a focused Lynche sang for a reprieve with another soulful rendition of This Woman’s Work.

Simon Cowell seemed like he was going to bear bad news once again as he began his critique with: “Well, the frustrating thing is Michael, we all wished you did something like that yesterday and this is why you are in the position you are in right now- because of what happened yesterday.” However, unlike with Didi Benami who got cut last week, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

“This is unanimous, Michael, if that is any comfort. And we have decided that we are going to see you next week,” he added to thunderous cheers.

The drama leading up to the decision was built up better than past elimination nights since the contestants were separated in handfuls in the middle of the stage to hear their fate in smaller groups. Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus and Katie Stevens (the first grouping called) were all clearly nervous as they stood next to one another before breathing massive sighs of relief when they were allowed to sit down again after getting enough votes to stay in the running.

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The men were also split in an interesting way with Casey James, Lee Dwyze and Tim Urban being asked to stand on one end of the stage and Andrew Garcia, Lynche and Aaron Kelly asked to stand on another- with Lynche’s group of course being the bottom three as predicted by judge Ellen DeGeneres.

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The musical guests kept up last week’s upbeat, dance-heavy tempo thanks to Jason Derulo and Rihanna. Thrown in the middle was Idol alum David Archuleta who played the piano and sang the classic Imagine. Next week’s cameo will come courtesy of last season’s Adam Lambert and look for two people to be eliminated thanks to this week’s save.