Crystal Bowersox might have just pulled the 'Idol' crown from Lee DeWyze's head. Coming into this week, Lee had outsung her while she seemed to struggle with song choices and her ability to emotionally connect to her songs.
Last night, the judges clearly thought Crystal had won the night. Or maybe Lee just blew his chances. Each contestant sang three songs: one from earlier in the season, one picked by executive producer Simon Fuller and one they would release as a single if they won the top spot.
The two tied after the first round with Lee singing "The Boxer" and Crystal singing "Me & Bobby McGee."
Second round: Crystal took it with "Black Velvet." Lee sang an understated "Everybody Hurts," though some judges through Lee's song choice was perfect.
Third round: Knockout by Crystal with an emotion-packed "Up to the Mountain." Lee sang a presentable "Beautiful Day," but was he off-key?
Crystal did have some funny moments early in the show when she dropped her microphone while glad-handing audience members and then couldn't find her mark on the floor running down the aisle. Part of what's so likeable about her is her unpretentiousness.
From my colleague, Randy Salas, who was our Idol blogger in past years:
"Ironically, in recent seasons, the person who performs the best on the finals and is most praised by the judges didn’t win. David Archuleta had a better night than David Cook, even to the point of Simon belittling Cook for choosing original and previously unperformed songs while Archie did his best gigs from the season. And Adam Lambert was considered the shoo-in last year. I’m pretty sure Lee will win tonight, even if he wasn’t as good as Crystal."
Look for a two-hour final tonight with some surprises for Simon Cowell, who appears on 'Idol' for the last time. His show tribute may be what we remember best from this finale.