Paint store worker Lee DeWyze pulled off a stunning upset over Crystal Bowersox in winning American Idol’s ninth season Wednesday, and RadarOnline.com was front-and-center on a night that also included performances from Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera and Carrie Underwood, and an emotional send-off to departing judge Simon Cowell.
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Both DeWyze and Bowersox, among other contestants, performed alongside established stars on the program. The Illinois native DeWyze, 24, sang a medley of hits with the band Chicago, while Bowersox ripped off a powerful rendition of You Oughta Know alongside 90s sensation Alanis Morisette. Casey James, who finished third in the competition, was joined by ailing rocker Bret Michaels to perform the power ballad, Every Rose Has Its’ Thorn.
While DeWyze may have earned the title of American Idol, the evening belonged to Cowell, who ended a nine-year run as judge on the show marked by snarky comments, occasional praise, and classic exchanges with his fellow ex-judge Paula Abdul, who looked gorgeous in her one-night return to the show.
“American Idol‘s not going to be the same without you, but, as only I can tell you, it will go on,” Abdul told Cowell.
Bowersox, a 24-year-old Ohio native, said she “knew Lee would win” following the show.
“He deserves every minute of this,” she said to RadarOnline.com reporter David Viggiano.
DeWyze, in spite of weekly jabs he received from the judges, said he was confident that he was going to win; he has an album due to hit shelves this fall.
DeWyze, Bowersox, James and the rest of this season’s hopefuls will hit the road on the American Idol Live! tour, which starts July 1 at the Palace Of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.