Lee DeWyze Wins American Idol on Simon's Final Show
Not only did she not win American Idol, Crystal Bowersox just lost her boyfriend, who had cheered her on throughout the season. She revealed the news to Ryan Seacrest on his radio show Thursday morning.
"He wasn't cool with the lifestyle. He's a small town guy and that's fine. I'm a small town girl, but I want this. I want this more than anything, this career, this lifestyle."
She said they broke up the day before the big American Idol finale.
"I am a little sad that he did it on performance day, but then again it gave me that fire in my belly."
Hours earlier, the nation was shocked when underdog Lee DeWyze, a former clerk in a Benjamin Moore paint store, became the new American Idol.
Single mom Crystal Bowersox had been the judges' favorite going in. But her loss was proof that it's the viewers's votes that matter.
"Everybody who calls and votes, they're the judge," said Bowersox.
Crystal told us about Simon's parting words to her, saying, "He said, 'I'm sorry.' I told him not to be sorry for me. That I've had an amazing journey and I'm happy no matter what and he said, 'Well fine, I'm not sorry.' "
Some of music's biggest stars, including Christina Aguilera and Janet Jackson, gathered for the season finale. Janet wore her hair in a new cropped style, not to mention her skintight bodysuit.
There was also an unprecendented gathering of Idol's past winners. Even Kelly Clarkson was there, despite years of trying to distance herself from the show. And some of the most memorable faces from past seasons joined in the performance.
But where was last year's runnerup Adam Lambert? He tweeted, "I was never asked to appear on the finale in any capacity," prompting rumors that producers were worried about his sometimes over-the-top behavior on stage.
And there was one unscripted moment. It took place as comedian Dane Cook turned Simon's notorious insults into a song.
Just as some of Idol's most famous rejects joined Cook on stage, came a bizarre moment. Season seven's Ian Bernardo took the mic and started heckling Simon. Producers quickly cut to commerical. Dane Cook later tweeted, "If you missed it, I got Kanye'd on American Idol. That was not staged. Weirdo hijacked the song."
Paula Abdul made a memorable first return to the show since her controversial departure, to pay tribute to Simon, saying, "No, American Idol's not going to be the same without you. But as only I can tell you, it will go on."
When Simon finally took the stage, Mr. Nasty showed his softer side.
"I didn't think I was going to be this emotional, but I genuinely am," said Cowell.
Now there's a national debate about whether the show can continue being successful without its star judge.
Taylor Hicks said, "Simon will be missed but I think ultimately it's about the viewers, voters and the contestants living the American dream."
Jordin Sparks said, "I'm definitely going to miss him."
"I will be sad, yeah," said Cowell.