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Lee DeWyze wins 'American Idol' 2010

Gallery: Lee DeWyze wins "American Idol" | "Idol" finale reaches 23 million viewers

Wednesday's "American Idol" finale started with the Top 12 Idolettes dressed as the cast of "Gossip Girl" while singing Alice Cooper's "School's Out for Summer," with backup from the Prep School Zombies and Alice Cooper himself, looking like the proprietor of a haunted house in a strip mall parking lot in October.

Lee DeWyze wins season nine of Fox's "American Idol. (Fox) Click on the image to see a gallery of finale performance highlights.

2009's Super-Safe Kinda Beige Rocker Guy Idol winner Kris Allen lulls us to sleep with his new single, "The Truth," which is followed by a canned bit about show judge Simon Cowell, who is leaving the show after tonight, which features former judge Paula Abdul. Seeing all these retrospective clips of Simon and Paula, we're reminded of how manufactured the chemistry was between them. But, hey, at least it was chemistry.

Idolettes Siobhan Magnus and Aaron Kelly come out on stage and sing "How Deep is Your Love" which can only mean - here come The Surviving Bee Gees: plump Barry, looking like Old Jesus, and Robin, looking like something that just got up off of the slab on "CSI."

Idolette Michael Lynche duets "Takin' it To the Streets" with Doobie Brother Michael McDonald, after which America's least funny comic - seriously - sings a ditty and talks about Simon's best insults:

"Simon Says 'no' so often the only time he says 'yes' is when someone asks him if he just said 'no'," Dane Cook says.

"You, sir, have the honesty of Abe Lincoln and the charm of the guy who shot him," Cook tells Simon.

Cook's got plenty more where that came from! Fortunately, not on this show. During his number, a bunch of former Idolettes, including Ian Benardo and Renaldo Lapuz (he's the one who sang "We're Brothers Forever"), come out on stage and Benardo grabs the microphone and starts to scream:

Nobody cares! It's all about Ian Benardo tonight. And I'm going to replace you, Simon Cowell....Nobody cares about you! It's all about Ian Bernardo. And I want to say I'm replacing you, Simon Cowell, because I'm more entertaining than you!

After an eternity, a cameraman finally pans away from the guy and out into the audience, and they cut to commercial.

"If you missed it I got Kanye'd on American Idol," Cook tweets minutes later.

"That was not staged. Weirdo hijacked the song. Just glad he didn't hit me in the face w/the mic or 'American Idol' would b 'American Beatdown'."

Sensing the need for a strong comeback from that disaster, "Idol" producers send out all of this year's Idolette chicks to sing female empowering Christina Aguilera tunes, and then Aguilera herself comes out to sing "You Lost Me" to her dress, as she stands on stage in a black bustier and sequined stockings.

Ricky Gervais appears via satellite to talk about his good friend Simon and how he makes dreams become reality for aspiring singers "and you only take 80 percent of their wages." Of Simon's departure, Gervais says "I'm sure there is still some demand for a 58-year-old lap dancer."

Gervais has got plenty more where that came from! Fortunately not on this show.

The Idolette guys get to sing Hall and Oates tunes with Daryl Hall and John Oates. So far this is shaping up as another of "Idol's" trademark Singing in the Waxworks finales. The guest talent is amazingly lifelike!

Crystal gets to sing with Alanis Morissette; they duet her tune "You Oughta Know" which produces the best lyric change in the history of "American Idol." The lyric:

Would she go down on you in a theater?


Would she go down with you to the theater?

They hug each other after pulling that off.

Season four winner, Carrie Underwood comes out all superstar-like, putting all thoughts of Kris Allen out of our mind. She sings "Undo It"- a tune she wrote with "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi.

Oh wait - we're NOT through with Kris yet. He has to hand the keys to Ford Fiestas to this year's two finalists, Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox that were decorated with the custom graphics each of them created at the start of the season during some Ford Fiesta plug, who are now wishing they had created custom graphics that involved something a little less geeky than sunflowers and music notes.

These days, Kris is best known as the star of those Ford Fusion commercials that have run all season in "Idol":

In my old car, I had CDs all over the place.
In this car, if I want to play a CD, I push it in and I record it.
The music is IN THE CAR, you know, forever now.

Tonight, he tells Lee and Crystal, "On behalf of the Ford Motor Company here are the keys to your Ford Fiestas."

"This is pretty sick," Lee says. We agree.

Poison front man Bret Michaels makes his second death-defying Reality TV appearance in four days when he comes out on stage to duet with Casey James the Poison tune, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Michaels, you'll recall, suffered a brain hemorrhage in late April and was rushed back to the hospital just one week ago after suffering a "warning stroke," then, this past Sunday, made it to the live finale of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" to win that competition.

Lee then sings a medley of Chicago tunes with Chicago. They all sound out of key. But the Chicago members are really old and, we're guessing, lived hard. What's Lee's excuse?

Time for another Simon Cowell tribute tape. I know this was supposed to be a send-up of Simon, but every scene just points out the giant personality deficit among the other judges compared to him.

Anyway, Seabiscuit begins to faux reminisce about the best performances ever on "Idol" over the years: Fantasia singing "Summertime," Adam Lambert's version of "Mad World." This season, of course, produced no best-performance, which makes this the perfect segue to General Larry Platt singing "Pants on the Ground." Platt's the guy who showed up at this year's auditions in Atlanta singing this number he wrote himself:

Pants on the ground
Pants on the ground
Lookin' like a fool
With your pants on the ground

He's joined by male dancers with their pants around their hips, then their knees, and finally their ankles. Oh, and William Hung, who is wearing his pants up around his armpits.

Some people, when discussing the ho-humness of this season of "Idol," point to the loss of judge Paula who, for the first eight seasons, was the show's resident weirdsmobile den-mother. Paula took a powder after the show's producers and Fox network would not give her a big raise for this season, as they gave to Simon and Seacrest. Paula makes a return visit on the finale tonight to strut her stuff on the "Idol" stage, just two days after CBS announced it would tailor a new dance-competition series to her.

"Hi, Ellen," says Paula, looking all hot-pink minidress and legs, to comic Ellen DeGeneres, who was hired to replace her and did nothing to move the ratings needle.

"Hi," Ellen said uncomfortably. "How are you?"

"Want to dance?" taunts Paula.

"Kara, you look beautiful," says Paula, who looks so much better - and knows it.

"You look amazing," Kara says generously.

"Where's Ryan," Paula cooes. "Ryan, wherever you are, you're sooo cute and I want my lip gloss back."

Paula should have stopped there and gone out a winner. But Paula never did know when to stop. So she delivers a longish speech about Simon with all the comic timing of the host at a downsizing party at an office supply company. Then they make it worse by following Paula with a clip job of Simon, to Frank Sinatra singing "My Way."

At which point, all of the American Idol winners, except David Cook, come out on stage, along with a boatload of current and prior-season non-winning Idolettes, to sing "Together We are One" to Simon.

Wonderful, guys, Wonderful," Seabiscuit says, channeling Lawrence Welk. In final triumph of mediocrity, the acid-tongued Simon, always the dose of showbiz realism, is brought up on stage to be reduced to the centerpiece of this Disney-esque production number. Only disappointment: He wasn't hoisted up by Michael Lynche and held up before the audience, like the Lion King's cub.

"Thank you very much indeed; it's been a blast. Thank you," Simon says.

Idolettes duet with Janet Jackson. Crystal and Lee get to duet with Joe Cocker. Crystal, at least, seems very excited; Lee does not seem to know, or care, who Cocker is. Years ago, Cocker's voice was a rockin' growl. Now he sounds like an old guy clearing phlegm.

Time to dim the lights.

After a nationwide vote
I can now tell you
The winner of 'American Idol' 2010
Lee DeWyze!

"Oh my god! Oh my god!" gasps Lee - apparently the only one who had not predicted a DeWyze walkover.

Once again, texting tweener chicks and perimenopausal women, having not yet slaked their thirst for Super-Safe Rocker Boys, have added Lee to their list of "American Idol" winners, beating early front-runner Crystal. Lee becomes the franchise's third consecutive Super-Safe Kinda Beige Rocker Boy winners.

DeWyze follows the super-safe Kris who, similarly, in 2009, beat the spectacularly talented but ultra-polarizing guy-linered Adam Lambert, and 2008'super-safe David Cook, who beat out the spectacularly talented but creepily daddy-dominated David Archuleta.

Weirdly, tweener girls and middle-aged women seem to love to vote for these super-safe guys - they just don't buy their albums or download their singles much.

That's in marked contrast to most of the "Idol"-winning chicks who have become bona fide stars, such as first-season winner Kelly Clarkson and fourth-season victor Carrie Underwood. The most successful male Idolette to date, Chris Daughtry, was booted out with three rounds to go the same year that viewers picked Taylor Hicks to be that year's "Idol" winner.

So Bowersox escapes the whole "American Idol" beauty pageant Syndrome -- shilling for Ford, etc. -- and instead becomes the latest front-runner to be fawned over by the show's judges for most of the season, only to lose in the final viewer-vote.

In an eerie replay of last season, Bowersox had walked off with Tuesday's final performance night -- as did Lambert last year, and Archuleta two years back.

Notice how, for the first time on an "Idol" season finale, Seabiscuit did not say how many votes were cast by viewers? Last year, he boasted of nearly 100 million votes.

To see a gallery of performance highlights from "American Idol's" season nine grand finale, click here.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  May 27, 2010; 12:30 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Next: "Idol" finale crowd hits 23 million


So sad that Crystal did not win -- but her future is secure.

Lisa -- thank you for making this oh-so-bland season bearable with your fabulous wit. I nominate you to be the next American Idol judge!

Posted by: cscheuer | May 27, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

This is one perimenopausal woman who knows off-key singing when she hears it, and who accordingly voted Crystal down the line. Oh, well. I look forward to changing the station when Lee's U2 cover comes on the radio.

Posted by: buffybot | May 27, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Crystal was great. She will far surpass Lee just the way Adam is outperforming Kris. Lee is a nice guy with some talent while Crystal is a nice lady with lots of talent and stage presence. I wish both well.

Posted by: bsbelsley | May 27, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Most thankless job in show business: Paula Wrangler.

Posted by: molsonmich | May 27, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

This column is genius! Thank you, Lisa, for the hilarious recap.

Posted by: vesto_slipher | May 27, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa.....don't blame the perimenopausal and menopausal women for this one. We're the generation of Carol King and Joni Mitchell - we LIKE talented singer-songwriter women. We don't like boring little boys with patches of hair on their chins who don't seem to know anything about music or other musicians.

Crystal will be fine. She's an actual musician - not a flash-in-the-pan pop star.

Posted by: GroovisMaximus61 | May 27, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Why does Lee have to release a U2 song as his first single? Couldn't Kara write him an original song?

Was upset Dane Cook didn't get to finish his parody, they need to fire the producer who thought it would be smart to have Idol cast offs run up on stage.

I could have slept through the performances by Siobhan, Kris Allen, Bee Gees, Hall & Oates and Christina Aguilera. Thought the performances with Alanis Morisette and Bret Michaels were great.

Posted by: MasonNation | May 27, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm a classic rocker dude (and mid 40's, btw), but IMHO....

Chicago = lousy
Mourisette = awesome
Barry Gibb = still amazing(Robin was just eh, when I could hear him. I miss Maurice, RIP)
Brett Michaels = so overdone
Joe Cocker (or was it Belushi?) = Still rocks. Totally nailed "the scream"
Janet = well..she's Janet. Gotta love her
H&O = snore.
Aguilera = very talented.

That is all. I'll go back under my rock, listening to Zep and RUSH, until next year.

Posted by: Bebunk | May 27, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

WAA. Oh, well, hopefully Crystal will have a fine career and give her son the life she never had, her stated goal from the begining.

Lisa, Joe Cocker sounds exactly the same as he always has.

Favorite moment of the show: Crystal's joyous, out-of-body experience singing "With A Little Help From My Friends" with Cocker. What a head-rush that must have been...very cool.

Christina Aguilera's beautiful performance was ruined when the cam went behind to reveal her exposed buttocks. Seriously? Instead of "Pants on the Ground", more like "Pants Back at Home." Women of the music industry, please just say no, will ya?

Have a great summer, everybody!

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | May 27, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Funny ... all this sneering, mocking, and ridicule, and yet not one TRUE word about the most awkward and painful moment on the show - the "Pants on the Ground" guy. (Not that I'd want to see it. But neither do I want to see it about anyone else, either.)

I wonder why that is .... hmmmmm .... It sure is a mystery. ... Wow, it's a big mystery. .... No telling why that is. ... I really can't figure it out. ... What a puzzle. ... Oh, well.

Posted by: couwnt | May 27, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"So Bowersox ..snip.. instead becomes the latest front-runner to be fawned over by the show's judges for most of the season, only to lose in the final viewer-vote."

This is not an accurate description. It makes it sound like the Archuleta season, where the judges fawned on Archuleta regardless of whether he was good or mediocre. While Crystal was fawned over early, and deservedly so, the judges started fawning over DeWyse late in the season. I didn't think Lee's performances deserved any fawning, so the whole thing appeared conspiratorial to me.

I still don't get Lee's appeal. He is particularly charismatic or charming. He is not articulate. He is not very attractive or physically attractive. He is not smart. He is young enough to be a tween favorite. He is not even pathetic or dumpy enough to be "cute". And most importantly, he can't sing well. He can't sing in tune to save his life. Where is the appeal?

This was a fitting end to an abysmal season. Had Crystal won, we might think back and forget about how pathetic the season was. Other than Crystal, is there anybody in this cast that could compete with anybody in the top 4 last season? Has there ever been a more undeserving American Idol? Has there ever been a less talented American Idol? Perhaps Taylor Hicks - I don't know, I didn't see that season. But Lee is definitely in the bottom two.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | May 27, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Called it!

Posted by: ozpunk | May 27, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Lisa -- I've written you on this before -- why are you such a David Cook hater? I think he's extremely talented. when he sang Hello I had never heard of him before but got off my couch and played it again; terrific and, his Billie Jean was one of the top 5 idol moments I'd argue in all 8 seasons. oh, and his debut album went platinum and broke the digital sales record for a debut artist. not too shabby in this itunes era. no way david archuletta deserved to beat him and his post idol failure is evident. there was nothing safe about david cook -- his appearance, his emo stylings; simply put he's a very talented artist who would sing circles around Lee or most other artists the show has had on.

Posted by: teddyt | May 27, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if the outcome would have changed if Crystal didn't have the tatoos, piercings and dreads. The pm women must have voted for Jordin Sparks. Agreed - Crystal looked so happy singing with Joe Cocker. Lee looked confused.

Posted by: kirstenpaulson | May 27, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

American Idol proved this season that the producers are the ones who pick the "winner" of the show. This seems ridiculous, since we're the ones who vote. But it's true.

Early in the season, the judges had an unnatural affection towards Katie Stevens. They overwhelmingly complimented her on her performances, even if they were sub-par, and the show constantly had a focus on her. However, the people didn't bite. She gradually digressed as a performer and the producers and judges switched their focus away from her. She was no longer the American Idol by the showmakers' choice. Then she got voted off.

Had the showmakers assaulted us with appeal for Katie the way that they did with Lee, Katie most likely would have won. Lee would have been forgotten. But next thing you know, Lee's performing last almost every performance (thus making him the last person we see/remember), the judges give him infinitely amazing responses even if he performs weakly (Beatles week, anyone?), and so forth. Lee was told to have the "perfect story," a rags-to-riches opportunity. But they completely ignored the fact that the other top-three finalists had arguably worse lives than him and harder musician careers.

But I digress. He won, his sales will be bad, and I'll be content buying Casey James' or Shioban Magnus' album that'd undoubtedly come out at the same time. This article is well-written, even though I enjoyed last night's performances. I just wish I could convince my friends about Lee and his lack of overall talent.

Posted by: Jesse_H | May 27, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Jesse_H wrote:

(first line) "American Idol proved this season that the producers are the ones who pick the "winner" of the show."


(last line) "I just wish I could convince my friends about Lee and his lack of overall talent."


Posted by: couwnt | May 27, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Another perimenopausal woman here to assure you that I do not get hot (flashes) for Lee. It was remarkable last night to see how comfortable Crystal was with the likes of Alanis Morissette and Joe Cocker, while Lee looked terrified to be playing with the big boys. Crystal will do just fine.

Posted by: chantooz | May 27, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"That's in marked contrast to most of the "Idol"-winning chicks who have become bona fide stars..." Carrie and Kelly make just two out of four, Pookie! The truth is, most of the Idol winners of either sex go on to a poor-to-middling career. It's a tough business. And to all those lamenting how lame this season was---remember the year we got a Jordin vs Blake finale? At least some true talent got through to the end this year (I'm talkin' to you, Crystal).

Posted by: chantooz | May 27, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree with teddyt -- David Cook is waaaay more talented than white-bread boy Archie, any day of the week.

I noticed Cook wasn't at the finale, and neither was Glambert, which was too bad as they would both have added some class rather than the msotly sad shtick we endured.

Chicago's brass was fab; Darryl Hall looked amazing for his age; Joe Cocker and Crystal were just awesome; Paula was gorgeous (but agreed was on camera a bit too much); Janet Jackson -- I could hardly make out her singing, her voice is just so weak; and a big underwhelming surprise when Lee 'won'.

I didn't care much for Crystal early in the season, but she won me over the past three weeks. Alas, as Simon has reminded us regularly the past few years, AI is not a signing contest, it's a popularity contest.

Posted by: lanehatcher | May 27, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"The Surviving Bee Gees: plump Barry, looking like Old Jesus, and Robin, looking like something that just got up off of the slab on "CSI". Once again, Pookie, you made me snort coffee out of my nose. Actually I thought Barry looked a lot like Sam Kinneson, without the beret.

Why all these Boomer-oriented waxworks when clearly the target demo of the show is 40 years younger? I don't get it. Is it because Idol pays better than the casino circuit these people came off of to do the show? You didn't see Chris Daughtry there, did ya?

Surprised you didn't say anything about Siobahn's S&M leggings or Christina Agulera's hair (or Janet's for that matter, which looked fab).

The crass maniuplation by the producers to manufacture the guy they want to be Clive Davis' towel boy for the next year has become less slick and more cynical than ever. They've never actually said they make decisions based on the votes, just that people get to vote, then the producers do what they want, clearly. Even so, it's a thousand times better for Crystal, who at least will get a better record deal and have a better career than the tone-deaf guy who "won".

Posted by: pookiefan | May 27, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Radio is dead. Ain't no one downloading Lee DeWyze doing a U2 cover, except maybe Fox geeks who need to pump up stats.

I stuck with my promise not to watch or even record this stupid show after Siobhan's exit. This is as close as I get.

Percy Foxwhacker.

Posted by: DoorKnob1 | May 27, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Of the"fallen Idols" performing last - two stood out. Star power. Casey James intro-ing and then joining Bret Michaels in "ev'ry rose". And Siobhan Magnus.
Her style (hot), looks, fine lead vocals on "Fighter", and that odd couple pairing with Aaron Kelly for a duet. A duet that was working so well that I was disappointed they had to break from it and split to do duets with actual BeeGees.

Props to Paige Miles as well for showing she had the stuff on her part in "Fighter".
And Crystal for doing her part on the same number dead perfect with minimal rehearsal. And then to Christina Aguilera for singing so well Siobhan and Crystal know what sort work lays in front of them - someone whose skills they can aspire to match one day.
Nice Finale.
Crystal also took her loss with class.
No woman will win and more early Siobhan-like departures will continue to happen until Idol makes their voting sytem more honest and eliminates "make 3,000 votes yourself, kiddie!" powertexting.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | May 27, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I think Crystal will be the most successful Idol since Carrie Underwood. Having said that, I think you are being way too harsh on Lee. He's definitely an improvement on Kris Allen.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | May 27, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Count me as another "woman of a certain age" who doesn't get Lee at all, and saw Crystal as the kind of independent, spunky young woman I could relate to, even if I'd never be caught dead in dreads. I'm totally in agreement with "niceshoes1." Although to her final question, Taylor Hicks is way more talented than Lee -- he was at least musical and sang on key, and had a goofy, outgoing persona which is probably why he won. However, he did beat out three better singers: Chris Daughtry, Eliot Yamin (who had a fantastic voice, great backstory but horrible teeth that made him very homely), and Katherine McPhee, who was lovely and had a gorgeous voice, but lacked Hicks' stage presence. At least Hicks had personality to spare and was fun to watch, which can't be said for Lee.

Crystal's loss ended the whole season on a sour note for me. But I always enjoy time spent with the Pookie Posse. Have a great summer everybody!

Posted by: owingsmills | May 27, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Just watched some great Bowersox on youtube - performing some of her original tunes. It occurs to me that what's so great about her is that she's subtle. AI doesn't do subtle - they promote and reward bombast. I fear Crystal fell into that trap too in the later weeks, and it didn't always serve her well. Hope her records are more like what I just listened to - I'll buy.

Posted by: ncPA | May 27, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh no! Crystal Bowersox loses Rex Kwon Doe

Crystal Bowersox loses ‘Idol’ — and boyfriend

Posted by: niceshoes1 | May 27, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Another one of the "women of a certain age" here - who remembers the Waxworks when most of them really rocked. Most of these amateurs should only HOPE they could approach the level of many of those acts in their heydays. Had he done more lyrics, I think Joe Cocker still has it and Lee sounded like a wannabe in comparison.

Yes - we love our singer-songewriter women; and no we never loved "safe boys".

I never heard of Bret Michaels before this year's "Celebrity Apprentice" - and though I think his extensions are stitched to the bandana and the song was forgettable - he's still a guy I think I'd love to have drinks/dinner with - and his pairing with Casey just reaffirmed that Casey has that "it" factor, too. Since I'm entirely too old for Casey, I was hoping maybe he and Orianthi might hook up. I can still live vicariously, can't I?

AI just can't handle tatooed chicks - or rather it must be tweener female AI voter fans who cannot handle that. I guess it's because, as MC Hammer once sang, "You can't touch this."

Posted by: jqw3827 | May 27, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

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