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AI9: Finals


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What does it take to be an Idol? Is it just luck? Or is it something else? Crystal. Lee. Who will be the next American Idol? This is their final chance and this is American Idol!

Good evening, welcome. Welcome to the Nokia Theater in LA live. There are 7000 fans in the audience tonight ready to get things started. Tonight we have Crystal and Lee competing to become your American Idol. Both are from Chicago, both are 24 years old and both are in it to win it. You will vote for your favorite and these four will guide you along the way: Randy Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi and his final week on the show, Simon Cowell! Tomorrow night is the 2 hour grand finale where we name the winner of Season 9 but who will it be? Get on your feet for Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze!

Crystal: This is a lot of people!

Lee: This is amazing, hello everybody!

These two are one step away from winning it all. They will each sing three songs: the first of their own choice, the second by producer Simon Fuller and the third will be the coronation single should they win. Crystal won the coin toss and opted to go second. So after this, Lee hits the stage first as the race to the finale kicks off.

Lee DeWyze didn't always have rock star ambitions. Run the video of Lee's parents reminiscing over his childhood and discovery of music. Tonight he's singing a song from Inspirational Week. With The Boxer (Simon & Garfunkel), here's Lee DeWyze!

With the acoustic guitar, this is kind of a plane start to the night, well sung and entertaining but not very exciting. I just don't feel the angst that the story conveys, but maybe a good choice to get over the nerves of performing on the big stage for the first time. Randy said a great way to start it off, this night will be a duel to the finish, a nice song but not very energetic, pick it up. Ellen said she couldn't be prouder if she had birthed him herself but he did that even better than the first time. Kara agreed that he has to punch harder, but a meaningful song that tells his story, it was believable and he was connected to it. Simon said to be honest, this is the big one and he expected a lot more passion and excitement; that was a kiss on the cheek when he wanted a kiss on the lips.

Now lets head down memory lane with Crystal. Roll the video of Crystal's father and how she discovered music. Reprising her song from Billboard #1s week, here is Crystal Bowersox with Me and Bobby McGee (Roger Miller)!

She starts out with pent up energy in her fingertips as she plays her guitar, hitting her sweet spot with the folksy, up tempo effort that kept building on each section before it, turning into a rousing victory in round one of this three round battle. Randy said round one, duel to the finish, it started a little slow but she picked it up in the middle and by the end it was Crystal they knew and loved, he hopes she makes a record with it, it was dope, dude. Ellen said it before, she has said a lot of things before, she's said pass the salt before and she doesn't care, but she thinks she is so compelling on stage, filling up the entire room, stunning. Kara loved it the first time she did it and love it tonight, it tells the story of who she is an an artist, she has fire in her belly tonight. Simon said this brought him back to the time when they absolutely fell in love with her, the last four weeks haven't been great but this was her back again and they have a competition tonight.

Round one is complete and on the other side, Lee is ready to fight back.

For Round Two, its the Executive Producer's choice. For Lee DeWyze, it's Everybody Hurts (R.E.M).

Another soft song, this is more in Lee's wheelhouse. With just a hint of Springsteen, he his vocal is solid, emotional, energetic and engaging. You could see this song in his eyes as the performance expressed the soul of the song. Randy said it was definitely better, he could feel his passion in that, started off a little weak vocally but it got much better and he could see the Lee that he loves come out, much better. Ellen said he went off a couple of times but it is really about the performance, a couple of times he was really getting into it but then pulled back again, she wants to see more of that from him. Kara said what makes him great as a performer is that he is telling a story and everyone can feel that; it wasn't a perfect vocal but she loves that about him. Simon said it was a brilliant song choice, he went a little off melody in parts, he feels he is nervous but he has another song to come and when he comes out, he needs to really understand what this night means and give a 10 out of 10.

It should probably be noted at this point that Simon was on Ellen's show this afternoon stating his opinion that Crystal will win. Why he said this I do not know, when it has obvious implications for how Lee and Crystal feel going into tonight's live performances as well as how the audience perceives the performances when deciding their votes.

After this, Crystal is back live as Round Two continues.

Up next, singing Black Velvet (Alannah Myles), once again, Crystal Bowersox.

Bathed in a sultry red and dressed in black, this was a great vocal even while she was distracted by watching her steps in high heels down the steps. Crystal has a much more natural stage presence, oozing comfort on the big stage. She is in total control of her performance tonight, belting out the power vocals with nuance and authority. Randy said yo, yo, mamasox, this is what he is talking about since day one, mamasox is in it to win it, let's go, let's go. Ellen says it is like a Cher concert with all the wardrobe changes, she knows it was hard walking down the stairs but that was fantastic; she gives a standing O. Kara said tonight is the night to give it your all, to hit those notes you've never hit before and that's what she was doing, she wants it, they can tell, and that's what tonight is all about. Simon said said he is almost allergic to that song, he has heard it murdered so many times during auditions, but he has to tell her, she took that song and absolutely nailed it, he was very impressed, it was really good.

After this, Lee performs the song he will release if you choose him as the winner. The final round is next!

It's now time for the last round. If Lee wins it all, this will be his single. With Beautiful Day (U2), here's Lee DeWyze. Another solid performance, but he needed a grand slam home run and only hit a triple. The energy was up but it wasn't a knock-out punch and Lee needed to make the audience forget about the competition with his last song and he just didn't do it. You could almost see it in his eyes that he knew Crystal had already won. Still, a very strong finish on a grueling experience. Randy said once again, what's cool, it started off a little interesting with him walking around while singing but by the middle of the song he got his groove back and that is the Lee he knows and loves, good on you. Ellen said watching the process, watching him grow, standing on the stage right now, she could see it in his eyes, he was fully present for that song, taking in every bit of people's energy, he did great and she is so proud. Kara said he got swallowed up a bit in that song, some good moments and some bad moments, but he has grown up on this show, he has one of the most commercial voices, and he deserves to be here tonight. Simon said he made the most of it, there was a lot more effort, but this is his last comment to him as a judge; this is what this competition was designed for, someone who needs a break, who worked hard, made the most of the experience, he's a genuinely nice guy and it has worked out, he really wishes the best for him.

Lee addresses his fans, saying the whole thing has been amazing from the beginning to now. He wants to be doing this for a long time and will be doing this for the rest of his life one way or another and he thanks everyone.

We have one more for you tonight, and it's the single Crystal will release if she gets the title, Up To The Mountain (Patty Griffin). Here is Crystal Bowersox.

Going old school playing guitar on a stool, this is a classic folk song with a gospel twist but it was not her best power vocal, but she was in control of the stage and the audience as she exuded nuance and emotion and as she brought her run on American Idol to a strong, confident, and heartfelt conclusion. Randy said culminating the 9th season on the show, the last season for his friend Simon, that was an amazing song by an amazing singer and he is so proud of her, one of the greatest performances at the perfect time, that was incredible, incredible. Ellen said they are always looking for someone unique, someone not out there already and she is unique, in a league of her own, a beautiful voice, so clear, if she makes an album she'll buy it, if she goes on tour she'll buy a ticket, if she makes a salad, she'll eat it, she really is so so good, she is so happy to be a part of witnessing the rise to her career. Kara said this was a very important song for her tonight, her only criticism in the past has been sometimes her walls go up and they can't really see what is inside of her, but tonight that was all they could see, she was really invested in the song and really blossomed with that song, amazing, congratulations. Before Simon can speak, Crystal thanks him for all the advice and since this is his last season, she wishes him luck on all his future endeavors, not that it matters coming from her. Simon thanks her and says since this is becoming a love fest tonight, that was by far the best performance of the night, and as the final critique he will ever give on this show, that was outstanding.

Crystal addresses her fans saying this has been an amazing experience and she is grateful for her life, her family, her son, everything. Now is the time.

Ryan also thanks Simon for all he has brought to the show and promises that tomorrow night during the Finale Results show there are a few surprises coming. We close out the episode with the winner of Idol UK, Will Young, singing "Leave Right Now" off his new album, on stage in front of a video tribute to Season 9.


Who thinks the clear winner tonight was Crystal who owned and commanded the stage in each of performances, although he enjoyed Black Velvet most of all the performances...

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Ditto Neb

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I want her to win just to hear her do that last song again...that was AMAZING.

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Paula looks fabulous

YAY Bret!!!

Honestly don't care which one wins... I like them both

Can they stop kissing Simon's ass now

Oh hell who dragged Fantasia out.... blech

Love everyone else

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I'm not surprised Lee won, and I was okay either way, but Crystal CLEARLY outperformed him last night.

Anyone notice that David Cook was the only past winner missing? He was in KC last night at the Daughtry concert, so I wondered if he would fly out today or not -- guess not!

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Chicago, our biggest turnout this season. 12,000 came but only 13 left with gold. But now, only 2 remain. What started in Chicago ends tonight. Crystal. Lee. But on this critical night, what have your votes decided? Crystal or Lee? This is the finale. And this is American Idol!

Thank you very much. Good evening and welcome to the final.

This is one of television's biggest event and in just 2 hours your American Idol will be chosen. let me tell you just how close this is. Coming into tonight, less than 2% separated the finalists. Gasp, yes. Now who is here for Crystal? How about Lee DeWyze fans in the house? This is going to be fun. Please welcome your judges, Randy Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi, and on his last night of American Idol, Simon Cowell.

Now lets bring out the two people who have been fighting it out for months, surviving 18 eliminations, Crystal and Lee!

Lee, what's the vibe? I am happy to be here, to be here with her, its amazing.

Crystal, where's your head tonight? In the clouds, an amazing journey, thanks to all.

Let's take a look at Crystal fans in Toledo, OH. Now take a look at the crowd in Mt. Prospect, IL. It's amazing. One more time for your finalists.

As we celebrate the end of our season, please, give it up for your Top 12, America! Lacy, Paige, Didi, Andrew, Katie, Tim, Siobhan, Aaron, Michael, Casey, Crystal and Lee all in black-eye, singing School's Out For Summer by Alice Cooper and featuring Alice Cooper!

Tonight either Crystal or Lee will walk away with the title, forever changing their lives. Our next performer knows what that is like. Here is your reigning American Idol, Kris Allen singing his single, The Truth!

Kris Allen, everybody! As we all know, tonight is not only the end of this season but also the end of an era.

This is Simon's last night on American Idol and we thought it would be nice to pay tribute to a man who has made so many fresh breaths (Simon hands Ryan a mint) and dreams come true. Roll video with Ryan and Randy reminiscing about Simon's "professionalism" during auditions, with interviews from Paula, Ellen, Kara and clips of some of his best (and most biting) moments. The tribute quickly turns into a celebration for Ryan, Randy and Kara.

There will be more shared memories throughout the show but for now, here are Siobhan Magnus and Aaron Kelley performing How Deep Is Your Love by the Bee Gees, followed by the brothers Gibb themselves.

With Taking It To The Streets by the Doobie Brothers, here's Big Michael Lynche, joined by Michael McDonald!

Now we have a special song, Simon Said, set to some of Simon's greatest insults, performed by Dane Cook. Simon has said no so often the only time he says yes is when asked if he said no. His shirts can only be tighter if he fit Randy in there with him. Joining him on stage are some of the rejects who immediately battle for the microphone, sending us to break.

Next up are the Top 6 women, singing Beautiful by Christina Aguilera, followed by Fighter and then the incredible Ms. Christina Aguilera herself. The stage goes dark as the stage is set for Christina to solo You Lost Me.

Now, live via satellite is Ricky Gervais to say goodbye to Simon Cowell since half a mile was too far for him to go with a roast.

Many more superstars take the stage as we count down towards your results. Stay with us!

Lee takes the stage singing I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) by Hall & Oates and is joined by the top six men, moving into Maniac before being joined by Darryl Hall and John Oats, soloing You Make My Dreams!

Right now we go back to Toledo with Crystal fans and Janelle Wheeler. They are excited and rightfully so. Their girl is about to hit the stage and perform for you. Will she become your American Idol? it is down to Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze for that title. But first we talk to Crystal's father. How does it feel to be here on this incredible night? Not as good as what Crystal is feeling. Here she is now, singing Ironic by Alanis Morissette before welcoming Ms. Alanis Morrisette as they sing You Ought To Know together.

Welcome back to the Idol finale. It is hard to believe that it was 5 years tonight that our next performer was crowned your American Idol. Here with her band and her new hit is Carrie Underwood, with Undo It, co-written with Kara DioGuardi.

One of the perks of making it to the finale is a gift from Ford as Kris Allen introduces a video of Crystal and Lee getting surprised on the way to their Ford Music Video shoot with Fiestas customized by their own graphic designs. And then it is time for the Ford Music Video (commercial) featuring Crystal & Lee and all top 12.

Crystal looks at Lee and says they are getting closer. But first welcome to the stage someone who got so close to the finale, Casey James singing Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison, joined by Brett Michaels himself, fresh off his win on Celebrity Apprentice and his battle against an emergency appendectomy, brain hemorrhage and a warning stroke after which he was diagnosed with a hole in his heart.

In honor of the 10th season of American Idol, the auditions will be going online to MySpace. But now, here is a man with a band named after his home town, its Lee DeWyze with Chicago, singing Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, If You Leave Me Know and 25 to 6 to 4. they should have miked the brass better.

Lets see what the fans back in Illinois feel about that as we go to Matt Rogers in Mt. Prospect. Lee is De Wyze choice we are told.

Let's get back to Simon's favorite subject, himself as we roll video on Simon the flirt with clips and comments by Paula, Kara and Ellen. Simon is a flirt - if he's looking in the mirror. Kara says he likes girls that are somewhat enhanced. Simon wants her, says Ellen. He was a flirt, Paula concludes, but his hands usually ended up on his own chest. But he only ended up in bed with one judge, Randy in a clip for a previous finale.

So many great memories on this show, like Fantasia singing Summer Time, Kelly Clarkson's performance of A Moment Like This or Adam Lambert's version of Mad World. But this year history was made with four simple words: Pants On The Ground. General Larry Platt with the fully produced version of, you guessed it, Pants On The Ground!

You are back with us at the Nokia theater live for the finale. Tonight we are celebrating Crystal and Lee but also the guy who has touched the lives of people around the world as we roll another video narrated by Paula looking back at Simon's kinder moments during auditions. They became America's dysfunctional family. The best moments were when they were just laughing hysterically. Though all the ups and downs, he taught her to be strong and she is grateful and proud to be his friend. To Sir, with love.

Gracing the Idol stage one more time, Ms. Paula Abdul!

She thanks the audience and says it is fantastic being here tonight, says hello to the judges. Randy looks charming. Asks Ellen to dance. Tells Kara she looks beautiful. Ryan looks so cute and she wants her lip gloss back. And Simon. That's all she's got, goodnight everybody. Let's face it. The only reason she's back tonight is to give the real reason she left. There's a baby back stage with Simon's hair cut and his turn to feed him. Look Simon, I've worked with hot cheerleaders, famous recording artists, movie stars, even an animated cat. But they don't hold a candle to you, my friend. Our relationship, a partnership really even though you thought of it more as a teacher student thing, has brought me immeasurable joy. American Idol is not going to be the same without you. But as only I can tell you, it will go on. (Simon applauds).

Another video of Simon to the tune of Frank Sinatra's My Way. It's been a great 10 years of his life, Simon says in a recorded message, thank you, and I'll miss you.

On the stage is Kelly Clarkson, singing Here We Are Together As One by Delta Goodreem as she is joined by Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks and Kris Allen! See what they have all become. Together they are one. More idols come out of the woodwork, dressed in white. Too many to list as Paula assumes her place in Simon's lap.

Wonderful, wonderful. Simon, come up here for a second. Judges, push him. Ryan hands him the mike.

Simon says he didn't think he would be this emotional. He just wants to say its great to have Paula back, but she is right, the show goes forward. It will be different. Thank you from the bottom of his heart for their support, their sense of humor. Everyone asks who will replace me, who will be the next judge and the truth is the audience is the real judge. And even Ryan, he will miss him too. Thank you to the production team, everyone who put this together, it's been a blast. Thank you.

We'll be back.

With lasers flashing out from the stage, the bottom 10 are back with I'll Never Fall In Love With You Again by Janet Jackson who joins them on stage with her new do. Taking the stage solo, she performs the tender ballad Nothing and then brings down the house with a pop dancers, a wardrobe change and her signature moves with Nasty.

Tonight is about Crystal and Lee and for those two, its been a crazy ride, one that started together. Watch as we roll video from their initial auditions to the tune of All Things Go by Chiddy Bang. They were just two faces in a sea of dreams. Ordinary people, ordinary lives.

And now they take the stage together, singing With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker and are joined by Joe Cocker to bring it home.

It has come down to our mother from Toledo and our paint salesman from Chicago. Which one of them will be the American Idol from Season 9? With the official envelope with your results, please welcome the founder and chairman of Tellescope.

We go through the theater of certifying that the results from this season have been suitably certified and contained in this envelope.

Good luck, guys, its been a heck of a year. Dim the lights, let's get to it. Lee is visibly nervous as Crystal stands next to him with a nervous smile.

After the nationwide vote, I can now tell you the winner of American Idol 2010 is...

Lee DeWyze!

That means Crystal Bowersox is our runner up.

They are joined on stage by the other idols.

Lee: OMG

How does it feel to be the new American Idol?

I don't know, its so amazing, thank you guys so much (fans), thank you guys (the judges). Crystal, I love you.

Are you stunned?

I am so happy, I am so happy right now, never been so happy in my life.

Can you describe the feeling when I said your name?

No, I can't. I appreciate everything everyone has done.

Here he is, Lee DeWyze, your new American Idol with Beautiful Day!

Lee celebrates against a backdrop of sparklers, streamers, lasers and confetti singing the U2 song. Tomorrow will indeed be a beautiful day for Lee DeWyze.


Who congratulates Lee on his win and thanks all of you who have followed his recaps this season...

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