"American Idol" Scandal: Was a Top 24 Singer Cut Over Confidentiality Breach?

January 26, 2010 12:00 AM ET

After all the recent drama surrounding American Idol's judges, Season Nine finally has its first contestant scandal. According to reports, Michael "Big Mike" Lynche, one of the 24 contestants to make it out of Hollywood Week alive, has been booted from the show after his father confirmed the news to the St. Petersburg Times. The revelation was a violation of Idol's serious confidentiality agreement, so Lynche was reportedly nixed and a singer named Antwan Michael, who missed the initial cut, replaced him, according to Idol blog Joe's Place, who first reported on Lynche's exit.

Check out all of Rolling Stone's essential Idol coverage.

The story was quickly picked up by the New York Post and People, but Fox and AI producers haven't yet commented on the allegations. Still, if news of Lynche's eviction from Idol prove true, the punishment seems excessive. Even before Lynche's father spoke out, Idol destination MJ's Big Blog reported (spoiler alert) that Lynche was among the Top 24. Ellen DeGeneres will make her Idol debut during the show's Hollywood Week episodes, which begin airing February 9th.

According to the St. Pete's blog post that confirmed Lynche was in the Top 24, "Big Mike" was plucked from Idol's Orlando auditions, though his stint in front of the judges wasn't shown on television. Back in 2004, Michael's brother Marque Lynche Jr. also made to Hollywood but was ultimately cut before that season's Top 12 was selected.

Related Stories:
"American Idol" Returns: Live Blogging Season Nine's Debut
Randy Jackson Promises "Interesting Wrinkles" for Ninth Season of "American Idol"
Cowell's Fear of "Overexposure" Led to "American Idol" Exit

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