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LEE DEWYZE WINS THE 'AMERICAN IDOL' REALITY SHOW

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LOS ANGELES – Former paint salesman Lee DeWyze was the surprise winner of "American Idol" on Wednesday, beating front-runner Crystal Bowersox on a night that saw the talent show's former champions reunite to bid farewell to Simon Cowell.
DeWyze, a 24-year-old Chicago native, won the coveted title and a recording contract after a nationwide phone and text vote based on the contestants' performances the night before.
  • "Idol" judges had all but anointed Bowersox the winner after her three songs on Tuesday outclassed a nervous DeWyze. But Americans made up their own minds and chose DeWyze.
  • "I have never been happier in my life," said a stunned DeWyze, choking back tears after the result was announced at the climax of a two-hour finale that featured performances by Christina Aguilera, Janet Jackson and Joe Cocker.
  • "It felt like a huge weight is off my shoulders. Now that this big step is done, it's on to the next step, which is to make an album and go on tour and do all the things I've wanted to do for a long time," he told reporters later.
  • Initially shy, he blossomed in later rounds of the show, and emerged as a serious threat to Bowersox after a rousing version of the Leonard Cohen classic "Hallelujah" last week.
  • His cover of U2's "Beautiful Day", his first single, was made available immediately on iTunes. His debut album, on a Sony Music Entertainment record label, will likely follow in the fall.
  • Bowersox, 24, said she had sensed before the show that DeWyze would take the title. "I knew Lee was going to win and people seem to be surprised by that, but I just had a feeling.
  • "I couldn't be happier for him...We both win. Both of us are going to have very successful careers and we're going to be friends for a long time," she told reporters backstage.
Source:Reuters
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