05/12/2010 10:18 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Idol Season 9: Top 4 -- Big Goodbye for Big Mike

Well, it was probably a close call, but Michael Lynche is headed home from American Idol while Casey James makes it into the top 3 alongside Lee Dewyze and front-runner Crystal Bowersox (who hasn't won a thing yet, so you've got to keep voting).

In an oddly structured evening in which three big acts came out and did solid performances of so-so songs, we found out first that Casey James was safe. Naturally, that meant the only suspense would be if Lee was going home but then he was announced as safe too. That left Michael and Crystal, though Ryan Seacrest had been careful at the top of the show to announce the results were presented in "no particular order." So why group Michael and Crystal as the faux "bottom two?" It just meant everyone knew that Michael was going home after the first 10 minutes of the show but wouldn't know for certain until the end. He then reprised "Will You Be There" and if Michael had been that forceful and focused on performance night, he'd probably still be in it. Of all the contestants who got to sing in defiance of going home, Michael can take comfort in delivering the most.

So is it clear cut that Crystal and Lee will be the finalists or can Casey sneak in there? And is it foolish to think Crystal is a lock when last season most people thought Adam Lambert was a lock over Kris Allen?

Thanks for reading. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his weekly music radio show at Popsurfing and enjoy the weekly pop culture podcast he co-hosts at Showbiz Sandbox. Both available for free on iTunes. Link to him on Netflix and gain access to thousands of ratings and reviews.