May 20, 2010 06:49 AM by Christine McDow
Michael Lynche did not make it into the top three on American Idol but he did make it into the hearts of fans across America.Â We had the pleasure of interviewing him and getting to know him a little bit better and we wanted to give all of you the same chance.Â Read below to learn more about his love for his wife and daughter, his college football career, the passing of his mom and what being on American Idol really meant to him.Â Do you think he should have made it into the top three on American Idol, or did his time fairly come to an end?
Question: You were probably the most consistent performer vocally. You were never pitchy for a lack of a better term. Do you think you took enough risks and do you believe that the winner will need to take a big risk to win?
Michael Lynche: I donâ€™t know if thatâ€™s the right mind frame to go with. I think you have to show all the sides of you. I think that with me stepping outside of the R&B realm, thatâ€™s risky enough because they see you, they see me, they see how I look and you expect to hear R&B. And when I do something different, sometimes itâ€™s a little jarring for people to see something different. I donâ€™t know risk is the right frame of mind, especially some of the guys still left in it, I think they really have to stay true to themselves. You have to be comfortable up there and you have to just really, really pick songs that mean something to you. I donâ€™t know if risk is what wins it because at this point, youâ€™ve really solidified what you fan base is. You have to give them what they want.
Question: They always call you Big Mike. Be specific, how tall are you? How much do you weigh? How much do you bench press?
Michael Lynche: Iâ€™m 6â€™1â€, 300, 505.
Question: What really impressed me was when you talked about your Broadway theater background in school and showed that you have some real chops in that, tell us a little bit about that. Whatâ€™s â€¦ school as far as musicals and so forth and what have you done in that?
Michael Lynche: I went through performance arts high school. Itâ€™s called the Pinellas County Center for the Arts. It was a special program â€¦ program inside of a regular high school. So at the high school, it was a regular high school where we have all the sport teams and all the extracurricular activities that come along in a regular high school. But then inside of the high school in a specialized program was this â€¦ program for performing arts.
So with the performing arts, we were able to take dance classes and photography classes and music theory classes. I got my classical singing training in high school. Actually, we were able to take a program where we could take college classes from a college professor in classical training and get college credit for it at the school. They just had so many great opportunities for you there. I learned to play steel drums there.
It just really opened me up to do anything I wanted to do besides the fact that I could play sports at the school. So it was just the best time that I ever had in school was when I was able to get into the theatre shows and you had to audition for the rolls. It was a big deal. It was a really big deal at the school.
Question: When might you get back and what are you going to next? What are your plans for what youâ€™re going to do with yourself now?
Michael Lynche: Right now Iâ€™m still focused on the show right now. The top ten will all be back for rehearsals starting on Tuesday. We have the tour and the tour is also starting in June. So right now itâ€™s really going to be a good time to reunite with some of my other guys who left the show early and have a really good time this summer. Iâ€™m going to start working on putting together a great album and working with some great people. Thatâ€™s the number one plan this year is to put out a great album.
Question: When might you come back to Tampa/St. Pete?
Michael Lynche: As soon as my schedule permits, Iâ€™m going to come home. My family is there. I really canâ€™t wait to get back home and just heal a bit and just feel the love down there and spread a little love in St. Pete. I love my town. Itâ€™s just as soon as my schedule permits, Iâ€™ll be back.
Question: Can you talk about what it meant to you to have your wife and child on the state with you at the end?
Michael Lynche: It meant a lot because it really started out with them in Hollywood Week for me is when this whole experience really got real. It wasnâ€™t about hoping that you do well anymore. I had to do well. Because of the sacrificing I was making at that time, it was very important for me to do well. So to have them there and they would have been there for me if I was working at Home Depot or Dominos Pizza. My wife just always supports me no matter what, so itâ€™s nice that I get to be the family man. Iâ€™m not anybody else but that. Thatâ€™s what I am first, so it was nice that that was my story and that people really saw that. To have my wife there just really helps your heart out in a tough moment.
Question: You talked a little bit even during the show about wanting to make the top three, so you could come home and feeling that pressure, did that become a problem at all having to deal with the pressure of wanting to live up to everybodyâ€™s expectations?
Michael Lynche: I live for pressure. I think if youâ€™re going to be something great, you have to be able to deal with a pressured situation. You just look at the â€¦ I sang well and performed well and felt good about what I did. It just so happened that it didnâ€™t happen for me to be in the top three this year. But Iâ€™m where Iâ€™m supposed to be and God definitely has a plan on my life and on all of our lives. I really feel that Iâ€™m where Iâ€™m supposed to be regardless of what that is. I donâ€™t feel like I let anyone down. I came out and did what I do and the people just didnâ€™t vote that way, so it felt good.
Question: Randy Jackson came up to you and hugged you after you were eliminated. I was just curious to know what he said to you.
Michael Lynche: He was just pointing out that Chris Daughtry got number four and that I have a chance to be special if I just keep going. Itâ€™s not a bad place to be where I am.
Question: Did you feel you always had to perform an original take on each song or just a good one?
Michael Lynche: I felt like you should do something original. I think that everybody should always make the song their own. I think you get into the Karaoke zone when you just do a good version. So I always wanted to have a song feel like I wrote it. I wanted to find that place in the song that was original for me and that was new for me. In my opinion I think thatâ€™s how you succeed on the show is really making it your own.
Question: We obviously got to know and love you as this big tough guy who bench presses Ryan Seacrest and whatnot. I also saw, though, the romantic and soft side of you. Has that always been the dynamic with you, this big guy but a real softie at heart?
Michael Lynche: Iâ€™m a Gemini, so thereâ€™s always two sides to it all. I have a pretty extremist personality type. So whatever it is, Iâ€™m going to the max with it, whatever side that Iâ€™m showing. I think we all have a bunch of different sides to show of ourselves. I was fortunate enough to stay on the show long enough that I got to show multiple sides of me because Iâ€™m not just Big Mike. Iâ€™m also Mike the husband and Michael the father. Iâ€™m dad and Iâ€™m a brother and Iâ€™m a son. All those things make up your heart. It was cool. It was cool to get the chance to show more of yourself.
Question: Are the romantic songs, though, always very, very close to your heart?
Michael Lynche: Oh, yes. Music for me, I love love songs. Thatâ€™s what really speaks to my soul is when somebodyâ€™s in love and itâ€™s just raw and honest. Thatâ€™s what I love.
Question: I want to go back a little bit to the top nine when there was the whole bit with the save. What was going through your head when you were singing for your wife? Were you terrified and were you surprised that they decided to save you? It was such an amazing moment for us.
Michael Lynche: I wasnâ€™t terrified, no. I felt like going into the season, that I like that concept of sing for you life. Really every week to me is sing for your life because nothing is guaranteed for you on the show. Your time isnâ€™t guaranteed at all. So I never wanted to take anything for granted. When I got to that point and it was literally sing for your life and the life of your family and your future, hereâ€™s your one chance, I felt like I could do that. I felt going in that I could stand tall in that moment. When it got down to Andrew Garcia and I, I wanted it to be me in that moment, because I didnâ€™t necessarily want him to have to go through that. Heâ€™s a good buddy of mine and I just felt strong enough and prepared enough to take that moment on. It worked out, so I wasnâ€™t surprised that they saved me, just extremely grateful to still be around.
Question: Whatâ€™s your memory of the University of Central Florida and how important was it to you in deciding where you were going to go with your life?
Michael Lynche: My memory of UCF is all the construction. It always looked different every time you get there. My wife and I, we moved away to college four days after we graduated high school. We moved into Lake Clair apartments and thatâ€™s a memory I always see of how that dorm room looked when I first walked in, never having lived on my own really or ever seen a dorm room. Here I am and I had nothing to really decorate my room with. So I took as many posters from the football office as I could and just wallpapered my walls with full football posters. So that a memory and a vision that I see when I think of UCF. What was the second part of your question?
Question: What did you learn from your experience here? How important was it to you formative for you?
Michael Lynche: Everybody should go to college. Itâ€™s like just the best time to get out and start living on your own and finding out who you are outside of your family. It really matured me in that time from being in high school and focused me more. I was very focused in college. I was never really into partying and I had my wife there, so we really were homebodies. It did make me also realize how much I missed home and my family. I didnâ€™t realize how much I would miss them until we were away.
Question: What was your mindset going into last night? Did you expect to be the one going home? Were you surprised to go home?
Michael Lynche: Well, not surprised and not expected. I just think America is a fickle creature. Sheâ€™s shown that as the competition has gone on. You just never know. You just never know. I think that I was consistent every week and always gave my heart when I sang. The only thing with giving your heart is it can get broken. But if it gets received well, it can be something really magical and special, which it was that on a couple of weeks. So I think that the way that the wind blows the votes, you just never know. Itâ€™s really up in the air and you never know.
Question: Back to your days at UCF, letâ€™s talk a little football. In a strange sort of way, do you think your background with football helped you prepare for the full experience?
Michael Lynche: Oh, of course. Itâ€™s the way that I continue to train my body. Itâ€™s way that I mentally prepare. Itâ€™s really my only experience with game planning or making a plan and being goal oriented. Also, I wanted to have a warriorsâ€™ mentality while I was in the competition. So thatâ€™s why I took the approach of having a game plan, sticking to that game plan no matter how the wind blows you and also being able to adapt and change the game plan as the game goes on. So that was my approach. It was the approach that I took and it served me well up until this point. Top four is not such a bad place to be, so I feel good about it.
Question: Can you elaborate a little bit on how you come to drop out of playing football there, what happened?
Michael Lynche: My mom had failing health for a long time. She was diagnosed with cancer. My heart really was missing home and missing my mom and being with her. My plan at that time was just to transfer to the University of South Florida because that was much closer. It was just the next town over. And then my mom ended up passing away and it just really threw me for a loop for a bit. I kind of lost my way and I started working with kids at a middle school, special ed kids, and it just really was the best thing for my heart at the time and really was the best work Iâ€™ve ever done in my life.
At that same time, I bought a guitar again. I hadnâ€™t had a guitar in a while because my plan was to play professional football. I bought a guitar again and started writing music. That side of me started growing again. It really had been there all along. I just hadnâ€™t explored it because I was really focused on athletics.
So when I left UCF, it was a really, just a confusing time in a young guyâ€™s life, just really trying to find my way. I got to spend some great last time with my mom, which was super important. We would sit up late night and watch infomercials. She loved to stay up all night long and that was really a highlight in my life in general, that time I got to spend at home with her in the last little bit of time she had on earth.
Question: How old was she?
Michael Lynche: She was 53.
Question: This is the second time that the judges played the saving cards this year. Now none of those times whoever the judges saves didnâ€™t manage to get into the top three. Now from the point of view of the one being saved, do you think that itâ€™s necessary for the show because after all whoever makes you pass through to the finals or not is the viewers and not the judges, even if they think youâ€™re worth saving? So what do you think about this?
Michael Lynche: I think itâ€™s two sided. I think as far as the voting goes, itâ€™s really one of my favorite parts of the show that people get to pick their champion. But it also depends on whoâ€™s voting. I think that as far as the save goes, it really speaks to your work ethic and your professionalism and what they see of you behind, not just on the stage for that little minute thirty that audience and that America really sees. The judges get to see a bit more of us and how your reputation is around the set and whatnot and around the crew. I think it just speaks to who you are as a professional for them to take that chance to save you and to say to America think about this again because this person really has shown us to be a professional and to be somebody worth taking a look at. So I think itâ€™s two sided with it.
Question: From our point of view from my point of view the media gets a lot of attention to Crystal Bowersox. Do you feel that there?
Michael Lynche: From the media or from the judges?
Question: From the media. Crystal gets a lot of attention from the media. Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m saying. Do you feel that?
Michael Lynche: Weâ€™re in a bubble and we donâ€™t really get too into the media or whatâ€™s going on online. Itâ€™s interesting that you donâ€™t really know the pulse of how people feel about you unless we leave the apartment and go out to CBS, as far as we go really. We donâ€™t really go far from the Idol bubble, which is nice because itâ€™s keeps your confidence intact. So Iâ€™m not quite sure what all the media attention is. Hopefully, itâ€™s good and hopefully she can withstand it.
Question: Now that itâ€™s all over and considering that your whole journey started with Hollywood Week and the birth of your daughter happening at the same time, would you say that itâ€™s all worth it and are you most looking forward to spending time with her now?
Michael Lynche: I donâ€™t think you can ever say anything is worth missing the birth of your child and only time will let those wounds heal. But I think that it definitely gives my family a good chance in the future and gives my daughter a better chance that I did it and took that sacrifice. But me personally, of course, I didnâ€™t want to miss it. Of course, I would choose that over, but it wasnâ€™t a choice. This was what I needed to do for the family at this time.
Iâ€™m definitely looking forward to spending more time. But my schedule isnâ€™t really just being off at this point, doesnâ€™t mean your schedule thins out. Iâ€™m back in LA on Tuesday. I go to New York. Iâ€™m working the whole time. While Iâ€™m back in New York, Iâ€™m really not going to get a chance to go to my apartment. So my schedule really hasnâ€™t thinned out yet. Really, itâ€™s still the time to keep sprinting and keep charging ahead, so that you use this opportunity that youâ€™ve been seen on TV all these weeks to the best of your advantage.
Question: Do you have any closing remarks?
Michael Lynche: No. I appreciate you guys taking a little time with me and I look forward to seeing you later on as my career progresses. I just appreciate you guys a lot. I really do.