Simon Cowell was granted his final wish on “American Idol.”
Lee DeWyze, the bashful paint sales clerk championed early by the biting British judge on the Fox singing contest, was crowned “Idol” on Wednesday over single mother Crystal Bowersox. His victory was based on votes cast after Tuesday’s performances, which drew more acclaim from the judges for Bowersox, though DeWyze was Cowell’s favorite from the outset.
DeWyze knew it, too. Back during Hollywood Week, the show’s rapid-fire post-audition phase, he took note of Cowell tapping along as he crooned The Fray’s “You Found Me.” It became clearer after his rendition of Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” during the first round of the semifinals that Cowell was pushing for the throaty underdog from Mount Prospect, Ill.
“I fought for you to be here,” he told DeWyze. “I still believe in you.”
Such affirmations helped the unassuming rocker to overcome his shortcomings, namely a lack of self-confidence, to take down Bowersox, arguably the ninth season’s most powerful singer. Despite his innate shyness, DeWyze solidified himself as a contender early in the finals with deft takes on The Box Tops’ “The Letter” and the Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden.”
Listen to a short montage from last night’s episode of American Idol, with the announcement of the final results between Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox.