St. Pete native Michael Lynche shown auditioning on American Idol Wednesday
Lynche, 26, a standout football player from Gibbs High School, was described as a personal trainer on Idol. Even though the show broadcast most of the Orlando auditions on Jan. 20 -- releasing videos that evening of everyone who advanced to the Hollywood.Round, including Lynche -- his audition wasn't aired until Wednesday.
In it, Lynche is shown singing the ballad "Unchained Melody" just after noting that he and his significant other are expecting a baby. Judge Kara DioGuardi called him a "singing teddy bear" before the four judge panel voted to move him along to the Hollywood auditions.
Moments later, Lynche was shown bounding out of the audition area holding his golden ticket, picking up host Ryan Seacrest in a big bear hug. He is the son of former St. Petersburg Times columnist Michele Lynche and brother to Marque Lynche Jr., who made it to Idol's semifinals in 2004.
Idol often plays around with timing in the audition shows; singers like Lynche don't face the celebrity judges until they've passed through several rounds of auditions before talent scouts and producers. And the Hollywood Round, which was filmed in January, won't begin airing until Tuesday, with new judge Ellen DeGeneres.
Rumors surfaced after the Orlando audition telecast that Lynche might have been removed from the competition for violating the show's confidentiality agreement after his father confirmed to the St. Petersburg Times that the singer had survived the Hollywood auditions.
But Fox TV has declined to comment on the matter, saying the show's 24 semi-finalists will be revealed Feb. 17.