The stage is finally set for the big finale of American Idol next week! It will be fan favorite Lee DeWyze Vs. Crystal Bowersox after Casey James was voted off the show Wednesday night.
In all, more than 47 million people cast votes after Tuesday night’s singing showdown.
Watch the video here on RadarOnline.com
Although James had been in the show’s bottom ranks a few times, neither Bowersox nor DeWyze ever came that close to elimination. Crystal and Lee hugged each other tightly and were overcome with emotion as soon as they learned they both made it into the final round.
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity,” James said after host Ryan Seacrest delivered the news. “It’s been an amazing, amazing journey and I’m so thankful that I’m here.”
The episode featured a montage from James’ homecoming visit last week when the 27-year-old was greeted by cheering crowds at Millsap High School (his alma mater), in the Fort Worth Stockyards, at Fort Worth’s Keys Lounge, and at an AT&T store in Grapevine. James was also shown visiting a local hospital, where he talked to medical staff who treated him after a motorcycle crash six years ago.
In Idol tradition, James also got to reprise a song, and he went with John Mayer’s Daughters, which the judges chose for him to sing Tuesday night. It turned out to be one of his best performances of the season, with James smiling and at ease, performing without his guitar and serenading a little girl he plucked from the crowd.
Also causing the teen girls in the crowd to go wild? Guest Justin Bieber who sang not one, but two, songs to get the auditorium in the mood.
The two-part Idol finale kicks off next Tuesday when DeWyze and Bowersox will have one last chance to impress America before a winner is crowned the next night.
One interesting note: Bowersox is the first female to make the final since Jordin Sparks did it back in 2007.
Next week’s American Idol finale will mark Simon Cowell’s final stint as a judge on the show. In January, he announced that The X Factor, a show he created and is a hit in Britain, will join Fox’s schedule next year and he’ll be appearing on that show instead.