Michael Becker/FOX
People Staff
May 12, 2010 12:00 AM

Tuesday on American Idol, the top four contestants performed songs from Hollywood movies like Caddyshack and Free Willy. Wednesday on Idol, one of them was eliminated. The others will continue on the road to the finale, stopping in their hometowns along the way.

Keep reading to find out who’s journey reached its end.

Bye bye, Big Mike.

Michael Lynche, the physical trainer with the torso of a colossus and a voice built on a similar scale, was rescued from elimination by the judges’ save earlier in the season, but he had trouble escaping voters’ indifference ever since. It was going to be either him this week or Casey James — and Casey was proclaimed safe 20 minutes in, effectively ending any suspense in the hour.

Mike was always very assured on stage: He seemed to have a pretty strong sense of what sort of music he liked and what sort of performing style he preferred. This could come across as either heroic confidence, fueled in the early weeks by the fact that he’d just become a father, or polished smarminess, and it varied from week to week. I never quite recovered from his cover of “Eleanor Rigby.”

He may also have commited a tactical error — caught by Ellen DeGeneres — by telling Ryan that he’d originally aspired to be in the top three, instead of hoping to go all the way to the top.

There are so many traps for an Idol contestant! So many variables!

Casey, after all, is just as — if not even more — predictable than Mike, and his performance of “Mrs. Robinson” this week was both too modest and too earnest. But he probably cuts a more exciting figure in the dreams of young girls with cell phones.

So, in the end, after Casey and then Lee DeWyze had officially advanced into the final three, Michael was left standing on stage next to Crystal Bowersox and smiling rather sadly. In old France you would have described him as being “in the shadow of the guillotine.” He took his loss very well.

The finalists’ families were seated onstage for the glory and the shame of it all — and it added a small dramatic jolt when Crystal was declared safe and Mike declared gone. His wife, crying, craded their baby while he reprised Free Willy‘s “Will You Be There.”

Tell us: Did the right person go home? Which of the top three will win it all?Michael Becker/FOX

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