Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lee DeWyze wins 'American Idol'

Former paint salesman Lee DeWyze was the winner of "American Idol" on Wednesday, beating Crystal Bowersox.When asked by Ryan Seacrest how he felt, an emotional Lee DeWyze said, "I don't know. It's amazing, thank you, guys, so much ... I love you. Crystal, I love you."

"I have never been happier in my life," said a stunned DeWyze, choking back tears after the result was announced.

"It felt like a huge weight is off my shoulders. Now that this big step is done, it's on to the next step, which is to make an album and go on tour and do all the things I've wanted to do for a long time,".

They just have 2 percent voting gap between them coming into the finale. DeWyze's victory was based on votes cast after Tuesday's performance show, which drew more judges' compliments for Bowersox, 24, of Toledo, Ohio, than for Lee DeWyze, also 24, of Mount Prospect, Ill.

The finale also featured Simon Cowell's last appearance as a judge.

Paul Abdul, who quit last year after a contract-renewal dispute, appeared on stage to bid Simon a teary farewell.

"My darling Simon. I've worked with a lot of people over the years...but none of them holds a candle to you, my friend.

"I have loved all the fun we had together. 'American Idol' is not gonna be the same without you. But as only I can tell you, it will go on," she said.

Cowell was also emotional on-stage.

"I didn't think I was going to be this emotional and I genuinely am. ... Everybody asks who's going to replace me, who going to be the next judge. The truth is," he told the audience, "you guys are the judge of this show and you've done an incredible job over the years."

Cowell announced in January that he would be leaving "American Idol" at the end of this season to launch a U.S. version of his "The X-Factor" talent show on Fox in the fall of 2011. His replacement has not been announced.

Kris Allen, last year's winner, sang "The Truth," with Carrie Underwood, Michael McDonald, Christina Aguilera, Hall & Oates, Robin and Barry Gibb, Janet Jackson and Joe Cocker were among those whose performances were scattered throughout the two-hour show.

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