Lee, a shy 24-year-old painter from Chicago, appeared shell shocked after being announced the next winner of AI by host Ryan Seacrest. “This is amazing!” said Lee. “Thank you guys so much for everything… I can’t believe this… I’m so happy right now. I’ve never been happier in my life!”
Lee continued, “Throughout the season, the word ‘confidence’ has come up with me a lot. I think looking confident and being confident are two different things for me,” he said. “If I wasn’t confident, I wouldn’t be able to do this.”
However the night wasn’t all about Lee, as it was also judge Simon Cowell’s last night on the hit show. Simon, who is leaving AI after eight years to become a producer and judge on the American version of The X Factor, set to debut in 2011, got a bit teary eyed during his farewell.
“I didn’t think I was going to be this emotional, but I genuinely am,” said Simon as he joined past AI contestants onstage. “The show will go forward, it’ll be different, but I just want to thank you for the support, the fun and… everyone, your sense of humor, thats what’s been the best part.”
Along with past Idol contestants, former judge Paula Abdul also returned to bid farewell to Simon. The finale show also included a hot performances by Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Alice Cooper, and Alanis Morisette, as well as a surprise performance by rocker Bret Michaels.
TELL US: DID THE RIGHT CONTESTANT WIN AI? WHO DO YOU THINK WILL HAVE A BETTER SINGING CAREER?