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Crystal Bowersox: Coming in second on 'American Idol' was amazing


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/29/2010 

Crystal Bowersox says she never considered herself to be American Idol's ninth-season frontrunner and was simply satisfied to remain in the competition as long as she did.

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"I was just happy to get past the stadium and the next week and the next. You never know what's going to happen in a competition like this, and it's really up to the voting public," she told Reality TV World during a Friday media conference call.

"My approach to the whole thing was just to remain true to who I am as a person and an artist and just give my best personal performance each week and whatever the outcome was I was prepared to accept and embrace and move forward in my career. Coming in second is an amazing feat in itself. This whole thing has just been an amazing journey."

The 24-year-old from Toledo, OH was defeated by Lee Dewyze -- who was crowned American Idol's ninth-season winner during Wednesday night's live finale broadcast on Fox.

During the call, Bowersox reiterated that she'd had a feeling that Dewyze was going to win on Wednesday morning.

"I just had an overwhelming sense of peace and acceptance. Just some strange feeling inside of me, I knew Lee was going to win," she told reporters.

"I was fine with that because he's worked so hard. No matter the outcome of this, there's no winner or loser. We're both going to have very successful careers and I couldn't be prouder of him."

Despite her feeling, Bowersox said she still wanted to hear the actual results from American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.

"I wanted to know for sure. I wanted to know if my feeling was right and I wanted to celebrate for Lee. When I saw Lee's face and he was about ready to pass out, I just felt everything he was feeling. We had been together this whole process and understand each other completely and how much we've worked for it," she explained.

"I won vicariously through Lee because I could empathize so much."

While Dewyze is the third straight male to claim the title, Idol's judges had touted the strength of the competition's female contestants prior to the start of the ninth season -- however Bowersox said she hadn't put much stock in their comments.

"I think that American Idol is a competition in a certain way that it really is up to the voting public. Any predictions made at the beginning of the season for a female winner, it's not possible to know," she said.

"When I became the last girl standing, it became clear to me then that it was definitely possible, however it wasn't guaranteed."

Bowersox also reiterated her split from boyfriend Tony Kusian on Tuesday morning before she took the stage for American Idol's final ninth-season performance show was a "mutual" decision.

"Tony's been my rock through all of this," she told reporters. "He's been there for me and he's been amazing. I've got a great amount of respect and love for him."

In addition, Bowersox said there's absolutely nothing romantic between her and Dewyze.

"That wouldn't happen. Lee's like a brother to me," she said. "I love him dearly, but not in that way."

Bowersox added that romance isn't exactly what she's looking for right now.

"I feel like I've got a really good circle of friends and support," she said. "I need really good friends right now. I'm focused on my son and my career right now."

Even before her American Idol journey started, Bowersox said she was aware that it would affect her personal life.

"I'm a pretty smart girl. I knew what I signed up for -- well at least I had a good idea anyway," she explained.

"You never really fully comprehend a situation until you're in it and out of it. I was rolling with the punches. That's what I've done with everything in my life, just go forward and do what feels right and what makes me happy."

Bowersox's American Idol journey wasn't without its bumps, as it almost ended before it even really started when she was nearly forced to miss a semifinalist performance episode and then almost had to withdraw due to a problem with her diabetes.

However she was able to perform and impressed the judges, launching her run to the season's Top 2 finale.

"I never felt so loved in my life," said Bowersox about the medical attention her diabetes received while on the show.

Before she appeared on American Idol, Bowersox said she wasn't very open about her diabetes.

"I played it down as not a big deal," she said. "Every diabetic goes through that denial process."

Now Bowersox said one of her main goals is to be an advocate for people who suffer from diabetes.

"I just realized that through this show that I had a chance to be a role model for kids and just for advocacy to help out the diabetic community in our country and the world," she said.

"So that's the main focus of my career after Idol. I definitely want to do good things."

Another American Idol bump for Bowersox was when a report surfaced in April that she considered quitting the competition because she missed her family until Seacrest stepped in and talked her down.

Bowersox reiterated to reporters she "never really had a true intention of quitting" but added Seacrest was a big help.

"It's a hard process. People don't realize how grueling the show is -- the emotional, physical toll it takes on you. You have moments of not necessarily doubt but you get tired," she explained.

"I missed my son and I just had a nice conversation with Ryan and he was very helpful. I respect him."

Bowersox told reporters that she thinks she handled competing on American Idol as a single mom "very well."

"I balanced it the same way any other does -- to greet each day with love and joy because you have a child in your life," she said. "You wake up, take care of him, go to work, come back home, and at the end of the day that's what any mom would do."

In addition, she said she knows her young son doesn't know what mom has been up to.

"I'm sure he doesn't grasp it; he's 16-months. His favorite word is 'awesome' right now," she said with a laugh. "He's having a good time, he's well taken care of. He's just a happy little guy."

Bowersox said she probably wouldn't have auditioned for American Idol if it hadn't been for the birth of her son.

"For years people had approached me at my shows in Ohio and Chicago saying, 'You should try out for Idol.' I never really thought about it too much just because I didn't feel like I could be that kind of contestant," she said.

"Then when I had my son I was completely ready and needed to make a change. I decided to do it and I don't regret it at all."

American Idol's ninth-season finale doubled as a farewell to Simon Cowell, who has left the show to launch an American edition of his Idol-like British The X Factor reality competition for Fox in 2011.

While there's already been a lot of talk about who will replace Cowell, Bowersox said she doesn't think it's possible.

"Simon is such an epic figure, replace is not a good word for me. I think Simon is irreplaceable in a sense that he's Simon. He's such a figure," she said.

"But whoever takes his position is going to do a great job and bring something new to the show. I think it will keep things interesting. Best of luck to whoever takes his spot and to Simon."

One of the knocks on Bowersox during the season was that she didn't seem very interested in winning, however she told reporters that couldn't be further from the truth.

"I wouldn't have tried out for the show if I didn't think that I had a shot at winning," she explained.

"People might interpret it wrong when I say that no matter what happens it was okay. I definitely had a desire to win, but in any aspect of my life am not going to be let down by something. I believe truly that everything happens for a reason. I accept that and move on. One door closing is a window opening."

Bowersox said competing on American Idol showed her what she's capable of and also taught her how "strong" she can be.

"There were a lot of surprises -- not really what was happening but my reaction to it," she told reporters. "It's not an easy thing to go through, it's emotionally and physically draining. However the most amazing experience of my life."

Bowersox confirmed that she has inked a record deal but doesn't know a lot of the details yet.

"I've actually got a meeting next week," she said. I'm not really sure of all the details yet myself, but I'm ready to start working and get this underway."

Bowersox described her sound as "pretty versatile" and added she has "a lot of songs in different genres and styles."

"I really don't feel like I should be pigeon-holed into any one thing," she explained.

"My influences are pretty straight forward, but I definitely have my own sound and style. It might be a familiar sound, but at the same time my songwriting is -- I don't know how different it is -- but simply songs that people can relate to, enjoy, and hopefully learn something from through my experience."

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