Why Crystal Bowersox Will Win 'American Idol'
Crystal and Big Mike FOX

Michael Lynche couldn't be saved by the "American Idol" judges this time. The burly R&B crooner known as Big Mike was eliminated from "Idol" on Wednesday night (May 12), leaving Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Casey James in the top three.

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Lynche also faced elimination five weeks ago and could have placed ninth instead of fourth, but the judges had used their lone save of the season on the 26-year-old St. Petersburg, Fla. native. Lynche said on Wednesday that he felt lucky to have had more time to sing for "Idol" viewers.

Video: Michael Lynche is eliminated from "American Idol"

"It's been unbelievable, man," he said. "I just sit here right now and I think, 'I wasn't even supposed to be here.' Thank God for the judges saving me, I got to spend more time here, and be with the people, perform for my wife, you know? It's all good, man." Lynche performed Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There" on Tuesday's movie-themed performance night, and he sang the "Free Willy" ballad again after his elimination.

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Casey James, this year's perpetual underdog, was the first contestant to be proclaimed safe by Seacrest followed by DeWyze, and for a moment it seemed that season favorite Crystal Bowersox might be headed home until the final result was announced. Almost 37 million votes were placed by "Idol" voters on Tuesday night, according to Seacrest, the highest total of the season to date.

Season five alum Chris Daughtry brought his band Daughtry to the "Idol" stage to perform new single "September," while season three winner Fantasia performed "Bittersweet," from her upcoming third album. Arena rock outfit Bon Jovi performed "Superman Tonight," from its latest album, "The Circle."

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