"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest opened tonight's edition of Fox's "reality" competition by saying the producers were warning of "shocking" results.
The fact that "Big Mike" Lynche, 26, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., one of the most confident and professional of the finalists, found himself in the bottom two when the viewer votes were counted was pretty shocking.
But it wasn't so surprising that the other member of the bottom two was one-time favorite Andrew Garcia, 24, of Moreno Valley, Calif. Garcia has been fading for weeks.
In the end, it was Big Mike, who had the lowest vote total, and was forced to "sing for his life" before the judges, as Seacrest put it.
He offered an enthusiastic performance of Maxwell's "This Woman's Work," which was enough to get the judges to save him for another week.
The judges can only save one contestant during a season. Next week, two singers will be cut, without any possibility of a reprieve.
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.