Lee DeWyze Wins American Idol Season 9

Sorry if I spoiled it for you, but yes, Lee DeWyze won the 9th Season of American Idol last night. And since it appears to be the most talked about thing this morning I felt like chiming in really quick. All of the comments I’ve been reading are saying how America got it wrong and that Crystal is the more talented one, etc, etc, etc. And I will agree with them in saying that Crystal does have a bigger, more powerful voice, but that’s not to say that Lee isn’t a good singer and didn’t deserve to win.

After the field of singers drops down to around the top 10, or so, people are already starting to side with one person or another and the singing doesn’t even matter. And I know this will only reinforce those that are using that as an excuse for why Lee won, when they feel Crystal is a much better singer, but really, it’s true. Once you get down to the top 10, it becomes less and less about singing and more about likability and growth. Sure you still have to be a decent singer to even make it that far, but I think by that point people already have favorites that they vote for and know exactly who they will vote for if that favorite gets voted off.

Look at “Big Mike” for instance, he was voted off, then saved and then lasted quite a bit longer, not because he’s an amazing singer, but because his fans realized that he was going to be gone if they didn’t step it up. He could have gone up there and completely bombed the next couple weeks and probably still made it through… Hell, Casey bombed for weeks and made it to the top 3…

So now that I’ve reinforced the argument that Crystal is a “better singer” than Lee, for all of you that think Crystal should have won, let me explain why she didn’t. Personally, and this is just my opinion so don’t get all upset, I don’t think she’s a better singer for what this show is about. Sure, at it’s core it’s a singing competition, but essentially it’s really a “pop artist” competition, and that’s not what Crystal is. Everyone compared her to Janis Joplin and Melissa Etheridge all season, which is a fairly good comparison, but aside from Joplin (since she’s not around anymore), you don’t see Melissa Etheridge topping the pop charts these days… because she doesn’t make music that the majority of America enjoys. Now I’m not saying that she’s a bad artist, because she’s not, it’s just the way our culture views music these days. It’s kind of sad to say it because most pop music these days is complete shit, but it’s the truth.  Crystal will probably have a decent career in the music industry, but she’s not going to break out like Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood did.

It’s almost the same as it was last year with Kris Allen and Adam Lambert. Everyone thought that Adam Lambert was a better singer, performer and overall entertainer (I was not one of those people, I thought he was god awful and the most annoying person on the show next to Fantasia), but look what happened. Kris Allen ended up winning instead and Lambert came in second to fans claiming that he would still have a better career than Kris Allen. While that may be the case considering Kris Allen has kind of fizzled since winning the show (as do a lot of the winners), Adam Lambert has done no better and may have killed his career before it even started. I still can’t stand the guy and would never buy his album (but then again I wouldn’t buy Kris Allen’s either), but this year I would be more likely to buy a Lee DeWyze album than a Crystal Bowersox album.

So back to the reasons why Crystal didn’t win. Aside from what I mentioned above, I just didn’t find her to be a likable person in general. And I hate to make the comparison again, but she has almost that same attitude as Adam Lambert did. It’s almost that she feels like she can do no wrong and that the judges comments are wrong because that’s not how she feels. Every time she would have an off night or make a bad song choice and the judges would call her out on it she would get all defensive and start talking back to them. It almost reminded me of that annoying bikini chick from last year talking back to Kara. I think this was her biggest downfall, honestly. Like everyone’s said, she has the voice, there’s no denying that, but she’s just not likable as a person. And I think that hurt her the most when it came down to it. If she had just taken the advice the judges gave her and the criticism and adjusted her performances, and most importantly kept her mouth shut, I think it would have been closer.

Lee, on the other hand, didn’t stand out to me in the beginning of the season. Ok, that’s kind of a lie, I was only on board with him at the start because he’s a friend of a friend, but otherwise I wouldn’t have really noticed him, I actually had my money on either Tim Urban or Aaron Kelly just because they kind of reminded me of Kris Allen and David Archuletta of past seasons. That being said though, as the season went on Lee slowly began to relax a bit more and soon he was improving week after week where as Crystal was fairly consistent throughout with no real change in my eyes. She was always good, but had a few weeks where she got tripped up a bit, where as Lee was killing it week after week until the last performances, but by that point it didn’t even matter, people were already on board with one or the other so they really could have announced the winner Tuesday and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

So I think Kara said it best that Lee is what the show is all about, he came in as one person and grew into another. And Crystal, as good of a singer as she is, came in and left as the same person, she just now has the exposure she needs to try to build the career that she wants.

So to sum up this drawn out, pointless post, I think Lee deserved to win way more than Crystal did, he just wanted it more than she did and it showed in their performances week after week. At times it was like she didn’t even want to be there. And I honestly think that Lee will have a better career than Crystal will, if only for the fact that he is more of what people want in pop music these days. I think Crystal will still have a great career ahead of her. I don’t know that she’ll ever breakout in the pop world, but she could probably grab a hold of some niche market and do quite well.

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