American Idol crowned its ninth winner, Lee Dewyze, on its anticipated season finale Wednesday, also paying tribute to outgoing judge Simon Cowell. While the night was intended to be suspenseful, it ended up being focused more so on the actual departure of Simon and less about this year’s Idol (Dewyze). Featuring performances from past Idol winners and runner ups including Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Kris Allen, and Jordin Sparks, Wednesday’s ‘Idol’ showcased Simon Cowell more emotional than most have seen him after years of harsh criticism. After a special appearance from Paula Abdul, Cowell took the stage stating “I didn’t think I was going to get this emotional â¦ I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support, the fun, and your sense of humor. â¦ It’s been a blast, thank you!” After being crowned the ninth “American Idol,” Lee DeWyze, a former paint salesman from Illinois, was equally emotional, stating “Oh my God. Thank you guys so much, everybody, I can’t believe this. This is amazing. I love you guys. Crystal, I love you. I’m just a happy man. I’ve never been happier in my life.” His win, while sweet, was a close one. According to Idol sources, DeWyze beat Crystal Bowersox by a two percent margin. In addition to current and past American Idol contestants, the season finale also featured rousing performances and appearances from Michael McDonald, Alanis Morrisette, Bret Michaels, Christina Aguilera, and Janet Jackson. Alice Cooper, Hall & Oates, Alanis Morissette, Chicago and Joe Cocker also performed in addition to appearances from Dane Cook and Ricky Gervais, like Paula Abdul, paying a roast like tribute to Cowell.
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