Lee Dewyze

"Idol": Sometimes, just ignore the judges

A couple years ago, Paula Abdul told Scott MacIntyre he should skip the piano sometime and just stand and sing.

It was a reminder of a prime rule of "Idol" survival: Sometimes, you just have to ignore the judges.

(profiled in the previous blog) mostly ignored them; he needed that
piano to stay in his comfort zone. This year, Karen Rodriguez sort of
followed a suggestion; she promptly became the second person voted out this

"Idol" champion: Life soars after a slow start

The best thing about this "American Idol" season is the way two everyday people -- each 24, from Northern roots -- soared.

Earlier (see previous blog) I sent papers a story on Crystal Bowersox, the runner-up. Here's my story on Lee DeWyze, the winner:

"Idol": Well, I used to be right

This is sort of like politician double-speak: I was right about "American Idol" before I was wrong.

I had predicted (see an earlier blog) that Lee DeWyze would win. Then -- after Crystal Bowersox's sensational work Tuesday (ignore the previous blog) -- I switched to her.

Consider that wishful thinking. Instead, viewers have taken the same route for two straight years -- choose the likable guy with a pleasant voice (Kris Allen, Lee) over the fresh and stunning talent (Adam Lambert, Crystal).

A real surprise: Crystal can win

Some elections have an "October surprise," some baseball games have a 9th-inning rally, some football games have a Hail Mary pass. And on "Amerian Idol," it's not over until the pleasantly pudgy lady sing.

That's Crystal Bowersox; her final performance -- a rousing, gospel-style version of "Up to the Mountain" -- wrapped things up. I think she'll be the surprise winner on Wednesday.

"Idol" finale: The North (finally) wins

Crystal and Lee: Two Northern kids collide

Crystal Bowersox wasn't exaggerating tonight when she told "American Idol" viewers: "Northwestern Ohio has been in a bit of a slump lately."

A big bit. Ohio, Michigan and Illinois have struggled. So it's a pleasure to see a couple of ordinary kids from the North, fighting for the "American Idol" championship.

Crystal is from little towns near Toledo; Lee DeWyze is from Mount Prospect, near Chicago. They are sort of like the people I meet every day in Michigan ... except, of course, that they have more talent.

Farewell (finally) to Casey

So it looks like the end of the line -- at last -- for Casey and the Sunshine Bland.

Most weeks on "American Idol," Casey James has chosen some vaguely upbeat tune that goes nowhere and does nothing. In Sinatra week he did "Blue Skies"; in inspiration week he did "Don't Stop."

Big Mike brings a big talent

For the second time, "American Idol" had Chris Daughtry as the guest on a key night -- the one in which someone finishes No. 4.

The message is simple: Daughtry finished fourth his year and became a big star. Others who finished fourth have included Tamyra Gray, LaToya London and LaKisha Jones; Jennifer Hudson didn't even get that far. This year's No. 4 can feel good about himself.

Let's hope so, because this year that's Michael Lynche, an immense talent. Here are a few of my comments; please add yours:

"Idol": Movie music; there must be more

Hollywood makes 200 major movies a year, plus lots of minor ones. Many of them have songs. And it's been making these for more than a century.

With all of this, it really should be possible for four people to each choose one good movie song for tonight's "American Idol." Instead? "There have been some very strange song choices tonight," Simon Cowell said, accurately.

Here are a few of my comments; please add yours:

1) The two duets were well-chosen and well-sung. In particular, Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze were terrific.

Yes, Crystal, it DOES have to be big

Somebody please get a message to Crystal Bowersox, before it's too late: Until now, you've been right every week. But you were dead wrong when you defended a mild-bland song by saying, "Not every song has to be big."

That's true in a 12-song CD. It's true in a one-hour concert. But it's wrong when "American Idol" singers only get one shot a week, then can be voted off.

Last week, Casey James sang the mild-bland "Don't Stop." Simon Cowell called it "lazy"; viewers put him second-to-last.