On American Idol last night, Lee DeWyze beat out heavily favored contestant Crystal Bowersox in an upset win to take home the top prize, leaving many to wonder WTF happened. The evening was full of surprises both sweet and sour. Bret MichaelsAmerican Idol appearance, for example, was thrillingly unexpected and we loved every minute of it. On the other hand, watching the wrong contestant win American Idol yet again was not so much fun.

Lee DeWyze wins 'American Idol' (FOX)

Lee DeWyze wins 'American Idol' (FOX)

After re-watching Monday night’s American Idol performances by Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze, we still cannot fathom how voters chose DeWyze as the winner. Going back through the season and watching performances from both singers throughout the show, we are dumbfounded how anyone could compare the two and pick DeWyze over Mama Sox.

We aren’t bashing on DeWyze here, that’s not the point. Although we do think the guy has serious vocal control issues and epic pitch problems. No, the point is that it seems obvious to us Crystal Bowersox is so much more naturally gifted as a musician and singer than DeWyze. Head to head, song to song, Crystal Bowersox beat out Lee DeWyze every single night on American Idol with the possible exception of one – the night DeWyze sang “Hallelujah”.

So why did Lee DeWyze win and Crystal Bowersox fail to capture the voters? Why did we end up with a Kris Allen topping Adam Lambert scenario yet again?

Well, let’s face it, whether we like it or not, a girl with dreadlocks and lip piercings is still too ‘out there’ for a decently large swath of Middle America. Just like Adam Lambert was way too gay for them even before he was officially out. Then of course we have to factor in the ‘tween girl’ vote – because they are always going to vote for whoever the cutest boy left is. Even if he isn’t all that cute.


We also have the Vote for the Worst people who are intentionally voting for the least talented contestant. They actually do make a small difference; we’ve seen their work succeed too often to ignore their tiny power block. Lastly, there are those people out there who honestly didn’t want Crystal Bowersox to win because she – for a while – didn’t seem to want to win. We get cranky about people not appreciating the ‘gift’ of our rabid fanness.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter all that much if Crystal Bowersox lost or Lee DeWyze won. It may even prove to be the best result. Bowersox may squeak by as the runner-up with a bit less rigid control on her image and her music. Which seems to have worked out pretty well for Adam Lambert. She will, of course, easily land a record deal of her own and tons of offers to do all kinds of cool things  once she is done with the American Idol Live Tour. Some folks may have even voted against Bowersox just so she wouldn’t be weighed down with the stricter restrictions of being the Idol winner.

Without the American Idol title though, Lee DeWyze might have ended up fading away into distant memory even faster than we think he will anyway. Everyone in my house said it nearly at the same time when the winner was announced: DeWyze needs it, Mama Sox doesn’t.

So for now, at least, Lee DeWyze can enjoy his American Idol winner status. And Crystal Bowersox can get back to doing what she does best – making amazing music and singing the hell out of it. We know which album we’ll be buying when it hits the shelves…

>> Previously:  American Idol Last Night: The Final Performances



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