Bowersox and Dewyze took to the stage and performed for the final time during last night's live American Idol ninth-season performance show on Fox. Both finalists performed three songs -- their favorite from the season, a selection chosen by American Idol creator Simon Fuller, and the song that will serve as their first single if they win.
The following is Reality TV World's recap of the performance broadcast in the order which Bowersox and Dewyze sang. Also included are comments from each of the four judges -- Randy Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell -- as well as any noteworthy additional information about each finalist's performance or comments to Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
On Wednesday night, American Idol's ninth-season winner will be crowned at the conclusion of a live 127-minute finale broadcast that will also represent Simon's final appearance as a regular member of the show's judging panel.
Song: "The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel (Contestant's Favorite)
Randy said: "A great way to start it off. A great way to start off this night. I think this night is going to come down to the duel to the finish. I'm not sure it was a really energetic and exciting kind of thing, but it was a nice song. You sounded nice doing it. But come on man, pick it up, pick it up, pick it up. Get some more energy going."
Ellen said: "Lee, I couldn't be prouder if I birthed you myself. I actually think you did that better than you did the first time. I thought you did pretty good the first time."
Kara said: "I agree with randy a little, you've got to punch harder. I want to see you come even more. But a meaningful song, something that tells your story. So for that, it was very believable and I love that you were connected to it."
Simon said: "I've got to be honest with you Lee, this is the big one, right? So I would expect actually a lot more passion, excitement. That was a kiss on the cheeks when I want a kiss on the lips -- not from you -- but you know what I'm saying. It's got to be a bit more than that."
Additional Notes: Lee said his original dream was to be a professional baseball player but eventually settled on becoming a "rock star." Lee originally performed "The Boxer" during the Top 7 performance episode last month.
Crystal Bowersox, a 24-year-old from Elliston, OH who currently resides in Toledo, OH
Song: "Me and Bobby McGee" by Roger Miller (Contestant's Favorite)
Randy said: "So Round 1, duel to the finish. It started a little bit slow for me but you picked it up near the middle. At the end, it was back to that Crystal that we've known and grown to love. I'll tell you what, I hope you make a record like that. I thought it was dope."
Ellen said: "I've said it before -- but I've said a lot of things before and I don't care -- I think you just are so compelling on stage. You and that guitar filling up this entire room and drawing us in like this. Stunning."
Kara said: "I loved it when you first did it and I loved it tonight. You told us so much about you as an artist and you have fire in your belly tonight. Go for it."
Simon said: "This brought me back to the time when we absolutely fell in love with you. I think the last three or four weeks, it hasn't been great. This is you back on your best. You know what? We've got a competition tonight. That was terrific."
Additional Notes: Crystal said her first gig ever was at a gig in a coffee shop in a local mall. Crystal first performed "Me and Bobby McGee" during the Top 11 performance episode in March.
Song: "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M. (Simon Fuller's Choice)
Randy said: "That was definitely better because I can feel your passion vocally in that. It started off a little pitchy in the intro, in the first couple bars, but I'll tell you what, you pulled it together. I can feel that Lee that I love by the end. So I liked that man. It was a lot better."
Ellen said: "I felt like you want off a couple of times but I don't really care about that. It's really about the performance. A couple of times you really, really got into it and I was like, 'Oh, here we go. This is exciting.' Then you kind of pulled back again. I want to see you do that like you can feel everybody get excited when you did that, then you pulled back. I want to see more of that from you."
Kara said: "Lee, what makes you great as a performer is that you're emotionally accessible and that I can feel every word you're saying and you're telling a story. It wasn't a perfect vocal, but I love that about you."
Simon said: "Lee, I thought that was -- I have to say, brilliant choice of song for you -- but you went a little bit off-melody at parts. I think what I'm feeling from you tonight Lee -- and I understand this -- you're nervous. You've got another song to come. I think you've got to really understand the importance of what this night can do in terms of changing your life. When you come out for your last performance, I want a 10 out of 10, because you're capable of it."
Song: "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles (Simon Fuller's Choice)
Randy said: "This is what I'm talking about. This is what I fell in love with from Day 1. Mama Sox is in it to win it! That was hot! Now we're talking."
Ellen said: "With the wardrobe changes it's like a Cher concert in here. This is fantastic. I know you a little bit, so I know that was hard just walking down the stairs, much less singing and doing that. That was fantastic. I give you that."
Kara said: "Crystal, tonight is the night to give it your all -- to kill yourself on that stage. To hit those notes that you never even tried to hit. That's what you were doing. You want it, you can tell. That's what tonight is all about."
Simon said: "I had a little bit of a problem because I'm almost allergic to that song because I've heard it so many times in auditions when people have absolutely murdered it. But I've got to tell you, you took that song and you absolutely nailed it. I'm very impressed. I mean really good."
Additional Notes: "I'm shaking a little bit, but I had a great time," said Crystal when Ryan asked her how she felt after her first two performances.
Randy said: "Once again, you know what's cool man, it started out a little interesting with you walking around. I always love to see you walk or dance while you're singing because it's not what you do. I feel you man. But by the middle of the song when you hit the high notes and started getting your groove back. That's the Lee that I love and remember -- the guy with the big, strong rock voice. Good on you, baby."
Ellen said: "How do you feel right now? ['I feel good. This is amazing. I'm happy,' answered Lee.] Well, I'll tell you, watching the process, watching you grow to where you are right now standing on this stage, making it this far and actually taking in -- I was watching your eyes -- and you were fully present for that song, taking in every bit of these people's energy. I love that you were able to get to that place and do that. I'm so proud of you. You did a great job."
Kara said: "Lee, I think you got swallowed up a bit in that song. You had some good moments and some not so good moments. But I want to say this about you. You've grown the most on this show, you have one of the most commercial voices of the season and you deserve to be here tonight."
Simon said: "I think you made the most of it. I felt a lot more effort. But this is my final time I'm ever going to judge this show, and I just want to say about you that this is what this competition was designed for -- somebody who needs a break. You're in a normal job, working in a paint shop, you've worked hard, you've remained a really, really nice person throughout. I genuinely wish the best for you. You're a great guy."
Additional Notes: Ryan gave Lee a chance to address the studio and viewing audience after his performance. "This whole thing has been amazing from the very beginning to right now. I want to be doing this for a long time and I said that the very first time I was out here, and I'm going to say it again. I will be doing this for the rest of my life, one way or another. I appreciate all the support."
Song: "Up to the Mountain" by Patty Griffin (Coronation Song)
Randy said: "Culminating our ninth season on this show, seeing my boy Simon leave the panel, this is what this show is about: An amazing song by an amazing singer. I'm so proud of you. This is one of the greatest performances and one of the best moments at the perfect time on this show. That was incredible! Incredible!"
Ellen said: "You're always looking for someone unique, someone we don't already have out there already. I cannot compare you to one person -- a contemporary artist -- right now. You are in a league of your own. You have a beautiful voice. It's so clear and it just pulls you in. If you're making an album, I'm going to buy it. If you go on tour, I go on tour and watch you. If you make a salad, I'll eat it. You really... You're just so, so good and I'm so happy to be a part of witnessing the rise of your career."
Kara said: "Crystal, this was a very important song for you tonight. If I've had one criticism or critique for you, it's that at times your walls have been up, that I haven't been able to really see what's going on inside of you. Tonight that's all I could see. You were completely emotionally invested in that song unlike any other night. For me, you really blossomed just with that song. Amazing. Congratulations."
Simon said: "Crystal, I thought that was by far the best performance and the song of the night. Since this is going to be the final critique I'm ever going to give, I would just like to say that was outstanding."\
Additional Notes: Before Simon critiqued Crystal, she wished him well in his future endeavors. "You've been amazing this season. I know this is your last season and just thank you for all the critiques and criticisms and help. On your journeys and everything, I hope you do well. Like it really matters coming from me. But good luck on your future endeavors." "I appreciate that," replied Simon. "Thank you. This is becoming a bit of a love fest tonight."
Ryan also gave Crystal an opportunity to sum up her American Idol journey. "The whole ride started way before the show and I'm just beside myself. I'm actually beside Ryan Seacrest, but you know what I mean... Comedy tour starts next summer. I'm just entirely grateful for my family and my life and my son. I'm ready for anything."
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