'American Idol' Season 9 Finale Predictions: Who Will Win?

by AOL TV Staff, posted May 26th 2010 10:47AM


Well, the end is finally here.

The dust has settled, the last notes have faded away and Ryan Seacrest has delivered his final witty bon mot. But while there's still plenty of pomp and theatrics still to come as the show welcomes its usual array of guest performers and bids farewell to Simon Cowell, for most fans, there's only one question left: Who will win?

Of course, last night's performances would seem to favor Crystal Bowersox, who turned in some of her best work of the season while Lee DeWyze ... well, did the best he could with some songs that didn't necessarily showcase his strengths. Crystal's rendition of 'Up to the Mountain' was one of the highlights of the year, which is saying something considering Crystal has been consistently excellent right from the get go.

But we all know that the best performances don't necessarily translate into the most votes. So who has the edge?

Well, the end is finally here.

The dust has settled, the last notes have faded away and Ryan Seacrest has delivered his final witty bon mot. But while there's still plenty of pomp and theatrics still to come as the show welcomes its usual array of guest performers and bids farewell to Simon Cowell, for most fans, there's only one question left: Who will win?

Of course, last night's performances would seem to favor Crystal Bowersox, who turned in some of her best work of the season while Lee DeWyze ... well, did the best he could with some songs that didn't necessarily showcase his strengths. Crystal's rendition of 'Up to the Mountain' was one of the highlights of the year, which is saying something considering Crystal has been consistently excellent right from the get go.

But we all know that the best performances don't necessarily translate into the most votes. So who has the edge? Well, that depends on who you talk to, but the general consensus around the online watercooler seems to be tipping toward Lee. As we told you yesterday, even Simon himself predicted a DeWyze victory, telling co-host Ellen DeGeneres in an interview prior to lats night's broadcast that, "If you'd asked me five or six weeks ago, 100 percent I would have said Crystal. But now I've changed my mind. I think Lee is going to win." And Randy Jackson agreed, going on 'Lopez Tonight' to say that "the odds are probably in Lee's favor."

Those predictions were pre-show, mind you, but the numbers from last night seem to back them up, as Dial Idol's electronic vote counting system is giving the edge to DeWyze as well. Dial Idol, which is frequently correct thanks to software that tracks the busy signal on each contestant's voting lines (a system that, it should be said, becomes less reliable as more phone lines open up later in the season), is predicting a DeWyze victory by a sizable enough edge to be outside the margin of error.

Not everyone is picking DeWyze, though. E! Online, for instance, believes that Bowersox's clutch performance last night will end up putting her over the top, saying "we're betting right now that Crystal's version" of Patty Griffin's 'Up to the Mountain' would be the next hit single from an 'AI' winner.

And they may be right. But after weighing everyone's opinions (and, this being the Internet, literally everyone seems to have one) and re-watching the performances from last night, we're finally ready to make our own prediction for this year's winner: Lee DeWyze.

Here are four reasons you can expect to hear Lee's name called tonight when they announce the ninth 'American Idol' champion:

The performances First and foremost, of course, the guy can wail. It's true that in the early rounds, Lee was occasionally off-pitch (or, to put it in 'American Idol' terms, he was pitchy, dawg). But once he got a few shows under his belt he also got his confidence back, and it's showed in his singing, which over the last few weeks has just gotten better and better despite last night's hiccup.

The voice Of course, there were other singers who got kicked out early despite strong performances (see: Lilly Scott). But what those contestants didn't have was Lee's burly baritone, which has been the voice du jour in the pop/rock world since Eddie Vedder hit the scene nearly 20 years ago. Lee may not have Vedder's originality, but he does a pretty good job of hitting that mainstream sweet spot.

The voters Lee also has another key intangible going for him: He's a dude. Okay, that's technically a very tangible element, but his gender may be a big factor in this showdown. Wth his shy demeanor and offbeat good looks, Lee evokes the same kind of non-threatening attractiveness that made prior idols Chris Allen and David Cook so popular with the teenage girls who make up 'Idol's' most rabid voting bloc.

The story Lastly, who can deny Lee's moving story? Viewers have watched as Lee evolved before their very eyes from a painfully insecure paint salesman into a bonafide music superstar. It's true that Crystal has an equally compelling back story, but for Lee, that story isn't just his background; he's lived it right in front of the camera on national television. For fans who want to feel like they are part of the show, a vote for Lee is almost going to seem like a vote for themselves.

For all those reasons, and despite how dominant Crystal was both last night and throughout the season as a whole, we're officially predicting that Lee DeWyze will be this year's American Idol. Take a bow, Lee. You've earned it.

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