NEWS

The Farr Side: DeWyze choice for ‘American Idol’ winner

David T. Farr

It was a star-studded night, but the season finale of “American Idol” turned out to be a beautiful day for singer Lee DeWyze.

DeWyze beat co-finalist Crystal Bowersox to capture the title.

I saw DeWyze and Bowersox standing together on finale night all season long. Each embodied artistry not shown by the other contestants. It was going to be either DeWyze or Bowersox when it came down to it.

I think America got it right, too. DeWyze seems like an all-around good guy, humbled by the chance to follow his dream.

I was a bit let down, however, on performance night of the two-night finale. Lee and Crystal didn’t perform up to their standards. I would have almost bet Crystal had it in the bag after their three performances were complete. She did better. Even the judges seemed to lean toward her.

I was a little confused by the song choice given to Lee to be his debut single. Usually it’s a new song, specifically written for the winner of “AI.” Lee was given U2’s Grammy-winning single “Beautiful Day.” I don’t really understand the reasoning. My thoughts are that his version will always be compared to that of Bono’s. DeWyze sang it well, but because he has an awesome, powerful voice, I’d rather he had a song of his own.

Night 2 brought out the big guns. Several industry legends including the Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Joe Cocker, Michael McDonald, Chicago and even Alice Cooper performed with the finalists. I thought they all did a great job, too. I thought it was kind of strange they brought those artists to the show when all season long the judges were persistent the finalists remain current.

It was cool to see the girls perform with Christina Aguilera, who exemplifies what is cool right now.

Perhaps the biggest shocker was an appearance by Bret Michaels. Michaels’ health issues — suffering a brain hemorrhage and a mini-stroke — didn’t stop him from performing “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” with finalist Casey James. It was an inspiring moment to see him do what he loves.

Bowersox’s pairing with Alanis Morrissette for “Ironic/You Oughta Know” was good, as was DeWyze’s medley of Chicago hits with Chicago.

Simon Cowell’s farewell seemed heartfelt. Seeing several former Idols and finalists sharing the stage was a reminder of what the guy is capable of doing, although Adam Lambert, Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, and David Cook were noticeably absent.

Season 10 will be a whole new ballgame for Idol fans without Cowell’s presence.

David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. E-mail him at farrboy@hotmail.com.