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Lee DeWyze

Lee Dewyze American Idol Finale

The ninth season of American Idol came to a dramatic end last night as Lee DeWyze was crowned the Idol winner, beating out favorite Crystal Bowersox.

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?

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The final 2 battle has been set on American IdolCrystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze are the last two standing and will battle each other for the “American Idol” title next week.

With over 47 million votes cast, eliminated last night was Casey James, a native of Forth Worth, Texas. “I never thought I’d get this far,” said Casey to Ryan Seacrest. “But to me, it’s like winning $10 million in the lottery and $100 million in the lottery. It’s so much more than I expected, so it can’t be bad.”

Lee was the first to be announced safe last night, which was no surprise judging by his amazing performance of Leonard Cohen’s classic “Hallelujah” on Monday night.  A performance which moved both the judges and the audience.

And while Crystal, 24, has been the front runner all season, Lee, 23, is steadily catching up. Judge Randy Jackson said Wednesday that Lee had “blossomed beyond belief” since the start of the season.

Next week is the two-part finale during which the 2010 “American Idol” will be crowned live on May 26, and will win a recording contract.

TELL US: WHO SHOULD WIN THE AMERICAN IDOL TITLE? CRYSTAL OR LEE?

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Michael Lynche found himself the latest hopeful to be eliminated from American Idol on Wednesday night.

The 26-year-old St. Petersburg, Fla. native also known as Big Mike was touted one of the early favorites to win the show. However his numerous appearances in the bottom two made his elimination not so surprising.  According to Ryan Seacrest, almost 37 million votes were cast this week, the most this season.

“It’s been unbelievable, man,” he said. “I just sit here right now and I think, ‘I wasn’t even supposed to be here.’ Thank God for the judges saving me, I got to spend more time here, and be with the people, perform for my wife, you know? It’s all good, man.”

Michael had performed Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There” on Tuesday’s movie-themed performance night.

And this brings up to the final three.  Casey James, Lee DeWyze, and Crystal Bowersox now have a one in three chance of winning a $1 million recording contract. The three will also be filmed visiting their home towns and their fans next week.

TELL US: WHAT IS BIG MIKE’S TIME TO GO HOME?  WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN IT ALL?

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American Idol finally pared down to its top 12 finalists last night in what most are calling a shocking elimination.

Out of the four singers eliminated, many viewers were shocked to see Lilly Scott (top right), and Todrick Hall (top left) leave. The two singers earned rave reviews for their performances this week.

“I thought that I was appealing to a lot of people,” said Lilly. “A lot of incredible talent is going home tonight. I don’t know what America wants to hear.”

Teen power seemed to be come out on top of the show last night as teen singers Katie Stevens, 17 and Aaron Kelley, 16, made it to the top twelve.

And now the real competition begins! The judges have already declared Crystal Bowersox, 24, of Toledo, Ohio and Michael “Big Mike” Lynche, 26, as the two to beat.

A photo of the top twelve is below -

american-idol-top-12-finalistsAmerican Idol finalists: Tim Urban, top left, Siobhan Magnus, Lee Dewyze, Paige Miles, Michael Lynche, Andrew Garcia, Didi Benami, Lacey Brown, Aaron Kelly, Crystal Bowersox, Casey James and Katie Stevens.

TELL US – WERE YOU SHOCKED BY THE ELIMINATIONS? WHO ARE YOU ROOTING FOR?

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The top 24 competition has yet to officially began and there has already been a major shake up on American Idol.

Curly-haired contestant Chris Golightly was removed from the competition this week and replaced by Tim Urban in the Top 24.  Chris is the 19-year-old Texas native who spoke in the audition rounds of living in 24 different foster homes as a child.“It has been determined that Chris Golightly is ineligible to continue in the competition,” says FOX in a press release.

The show’s  host Ryan Seacrest echoed the same statement on his Twitter page, where he also announced that for the first time in the show’s history, the contestants will have MySpace, Twitter and Facebook pages on the Idol hub. Ryan did not elaborate on why Golightly was booted.

However, Joes Place Blog was able to score an interview with Chris and revealed the exact reason he got booted. According to Chris, he had an old contract with a Boy Band that expired in June 2009.  Chris tried out for AI in July 2009 and when asked if he was entered into any contracts, he answered no.

After making it into the top 24 in January 2010.  Chris’s former manager then called Chris and American Idol and told them that he still had a valid contract. Chris denied this but couldn’t find his copy of the release. American Idol unfortunately decided to cut Chris when he couldn’t prove he wasn’t under contract.  Chris’s old manager ended up finding the contract release and emailed it to American Idol, but according to Chris, the people at AI are not taking his calls.

Even worse, Chris was told by American Idol he can no longer audition for the show again because he made the top 46.

Also, no word yet on whether or not Michael “Big Mike” Lynche was dismissed from the competition. It was reported back in January that he got the axe after his father revealed to a Florida newspaper that he made the Top 24, breaking the confidentiality rule of the show. As of today, his profile is still intact on Idol’s website.

The official Top 24 semifinalists are as follows:

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Could the Semifinalists of American Idol’s ninth season have been revealed? That answer is yes according to Joesplace, who has managed to correctly reveal the identities of American Idol’s semifinalists for the last two years. He has now released the alleged names of nearly all of the ninth-season’s Top 24 semifinalists.

Four of those alleged semifinalist include contestants — Katie Stevens, Tyler Grady, Ashley Rodriguez and Jermaine Sellers — whose auditions aired last week during American Idol’s two-night premiere, from Boston and Atlanta.


This spoiler list is even more likely to be accurate because unlike previous AI seasons in which Hollywood Week occurred in the fall and ended with the final 50 contestants returning to California to learn their fates at a later date, this ninth-season’s Hollywood round took place just last week with the contestants learning their semifinalist status on Friday.

American Idol’s ninth-season Hollywood coverage which will feature the introduction of new judge Ellen DeGeneres, is set to officially begin airing on Tuesday, February 9, continuing into the following night. The top 24 semifinalists — 12 males and 12 females — will then officially be revealed on the February 17 show.

According to Joesplace spoilers, 20 of the ninth-season Top 24 semifinalists are:

- Lacey Brown, a 23-year-old from Amarillo, TX

- Michelle Delamor, a 19-year-old from Miami Beach, FL

- Lee DeWyze from Chicago, IL

- David Duke, a 23-year-old from Waxahachie, TX

- Katelyn Epperly from Des Moines, IA

- Andrew Garcia from Moreno Valley, CA

- Christopher “Chris” Golightly from Orange County, CA

- Tyler Grady

- Benjamin “Ben” Honeycutt from Ringgold, GA

- Casey James from Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

- Aaron Kelly, a 16-year-old from Sonestown, PA

- Alexander “Alex” Lambert from North Richland Hills, TX

- Michael Lynche

- John Park from New Jersey

- Ashley Rodriguez from Boston, MA

- Lillian “Lilly” Scott from Denver/Boulder, CO

- Jermaine Sellers, a 25-year-old from Joliet, IL

- Katie Stevens

- Haeley Vaughn, a 16-year-old from Fort Collins, CO

- Janell Wheeler from Orlando, FL

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