Lee DeWyze Joins Elite Circle of American Idol Champions

Crystal-and-LeeLee DeWyze has been named as the winner of the ninth season of American Idol joining an elite circle of champions. He is the first winner of the franchise that came from the northern states.

Crystal Bowersox took the runner-up honors. It was announced by host Ryan Seacrest that the two were only separated by less than 2% of the votes.

For the top two competition, DeWyze, 24, performed The Boxer, Everybody Hurts and his first single Beautiful Day. Meanwhile, Bowersox, 24, performed Me and Bobby McGee, Black Velvet and Up to the Mountain.

This is the third straight year that a male contestant won the competition.

Judge Simon Cowell has also appeared for the last time in the show. A tribute was paid to him throughout the show. Former judge Paula Abdul showed up to personally salute Cowell. Various American Idol alumni finalists also joined in a song tribute.

The just concluded season is the second season to have a final two that were never publicly announced as bottom three or bottom two. The first season was during the seventh season when the feat was achieved by David Cook and David Archuleta.

Guest performances were rendered by Alice Cooper, Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Michael McDonald, Dane Cook, Christina Aguilera, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Alanis Morissette, Bret Michaels, Chicago, Larry “Pants on the Ground” Platt, William Hung, Janet Jackson, Joe Cocker and American Idol winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordan Sparks and Kris Allen.

The very first Pop Idol, and for that matter the very first Idol franchise winner worldwide, Will Young, performed at the end of the finals competition Tuesday, May 25. He performed Leave Right Now, this season’s exit song.