UPDATE: Big Mike is now in Top 4. ORIGINAL POST: Former UCF football player Michael Lynche passed the Shania Twain test on American Idol this week and is now amongst the final five contestants standing on FOX’s wildly popular singing competition.
Lynche chose “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing” out of the Canadian country-pop singer’s catalogue and moved both her, the audience and the judges on Tuesday night. Ellen Degeneres compared his soulful version to Luther Vandross, the smooth soulful singer best known to many sports fans as the voice behind CBS’s NCAA men’s basaketball tournament wrapping “One Shining Moment” until this past year’s change.
Next week will be even more crooning on American Idol as New Orleans native Harry Connick, Jr. mentors the five finalists on the timeless songs of Frank Sinatra.
Lynche played defensive tackle for the Knights from 2001-02. He made an immediate impact as a freshman out of St. Petersburg’s Gibbs High School which also served as UCF’s practice site for the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl. Lynche had 24 tackles in 2001, 17 of them solos, with eight tackles for loss and a sack. As a sophomore in 2002, Lynche played in all 12 games and started each of the last three. He had at least one tackle in 11 of those contests and finished the year with 46 tackles in all, including a pair of sacks and six TFLs. He left the team just before the start of the 2003 season, returned to his native St. Petersburg and helped care for his ailing mother, Michele.
For more on Michael the singer, visit his page on American Idol.