The nation lost its favorite singing teddy bear Wednesday night when Michael "Big Mike" Lynche was voted off from American Idol - leaving only three contestants left.
Of course, standing atop the chopping block wasn't anything new for the R&B crooner. A few weeks back, Lynche was supposed to be voted off the show but the judges- who loved his melodic voice as well as his story (Lynche recently became a father) saved him from elimination.
Watch the clip here on RadarOnline.com
Once Big Mike was finally given the boot, he sang a soulful rendition of Michael Jackson's Will You Be There amidst a sea of tears from his wife, newborn baby and fellow contestant and friend, Crystal Bowersox. But in typical cuddly-teddy-bear fashion, Lynche took his elimination in stride saying, "It's been unbelievable. I wasn't even supposed to be here!"
As for who's left on Idol, the folksy Bowersox is the clear frontrunner, with the soul-rocker Lee DeWyze and goldi-locked Casey James trailing well behind.
James was the first to be deemed safe from the tense eliminations Wednesday, which came as a surprise to him (and perhaps much of America as well). The 27-year old Texan has recently been fading into the middle with his lackluster performances, so it's no shock that James later said to host Ryan Seacrest, "I thought when you said my name I was getting ready to go home. I was ready to sing!" Guess we'll have to wait until next week to possibly hear that final song.
After all, it's Bowersox and DeWyze that will most likely go head to head during Idol's final eliminations in two weeks.
To lighten the heavy elimination mood, Idol producers came through with three solid performances from artists spanning the pop spectrum. Former contestant Fantasia returned to the Idol stage singing Bittersweet, the first single from her upcoming summer album while Chris Daughtry (of Season 5 fame) sang his new and somber song, September.
But before the night wound to a close, Bon Jovi fired up the stage with their hit Superman Tonight.
American Idol returns next Tuesday at 8/7c on Fox.