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St. Pete native Michael Lynche offically makes American Idol's Top 24 semifinalists



Michael-Lynche_sm His name was leaked on the Internet weeks ago.

But St. Petersburg native Michael Lynche was officially announced as one of American Idol's Top 24 semifinalists Tuesday night, as the show parceled its reveal of the show's Hollywood Round survivors over two nights for the first time.

Lynche was among seven semifinalists revealed Tuesday, including Katelyn Epperly, Didi Bernard, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Lee Dewyze and Todrick Hall. The fate of the other area resident shown in the competition, Tampa resident Janell Wheeler, will be revealed in tonight's show.

The contestants each walked down to the stage in the Kodak Theater, ambling up to a chair onstage across from the judges to hear the fateful news. Lynche was the first contestant to take the long walk, told by judge Simon Cowell that their decision to pass him through was unanimous.

"Don't pick me up again," shouted judge Ellen DeGeneres just before Lynche enveloped her in a giant bear hug. Cowell advised Lynche, a beefy personal trainer, to "give Ryan (Seacrest) a big, big squeeze," as the singer left the hall.

(Some have theorized the show decided to announce some semifinalists Tuesday to blunt the impact of NBC's Winter Olympics; I agree, but this elaborate and time-consuming way of sorting through more than 40 contestants makes me think Idol producers planned an early reveal a while ago). 

This makes Lynche the second person from his family to get past the Hollywood Round on Idol. Back in 2004, his brother Marque Lynche Jr. made it to the show's semifinals, but was cut before the final 12. Michael Lynche, a standout football player from Gibbs High School is the son of former St. Petersburg Times community columnist Michele Lynche.

Though there were rumors that Michael Lynche was eliminated from the competition because his father confirmed his son made the final 24 weeks ago, the show did not feature any such information. Michael Lynche's father Marque Lynche Sr., has since said that he was quoting Web sites he had seen on the Internet, which featured leaked lists of semi-finalists. 

The show has 17 more singers to reveal tonight, 10 females and 7 males, to round out the show's top 24 contestants. Then, America gets its shot at making the decisions.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:05pm]


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