Crystal Bowersox on Breaking Up With Her Boyfriend and Predicting Lee's Victory

by Gabrielle Dunn, posted May 28th 2010 6:45PM
Crystal BowersoxCrystal Bowersox, a 24-year-old single mom from Ohio, was the clear front-runner for most of season 9, with such memorable performances as 'People Get Ready' (tear!), 'Me and Bobby McGee' and 'Come to My Window.'

But in the end, she was defeated by another 24-year-old guitarist: Lee DeWyze, a paint salesman from Chicago.

Still, Bowersox made a lasting impression on America, and even though she didn't take home the title on Wednesday, she still feels like a winner.

Earlier today, talented and driven mama talked to the press about her intuition that DeWyze would win the 'Idol' crown, her struggle with diabetes and her break-up with her boyfriend the day of the finale.Crystal BowersoxCrystal Bowersox, a 24-year-old single mom from Ohio, was the clear front-runner for most of season 9, with such memorable performances as 'People Get Ready' (tear!), 'Me and Bobby McGee' and 'Come to My Window.'

But in the end, she was defeated by another 24-year-old guitarist: Lee DeWyze, a paint salesman from Chicago.

Still, Bowersox made a lasting impression on America, and even though she didn't take home the title on Wednesday, she still feels like a winner.

Earlier today, talented and driven mama talked to the press about her intuition that DeWyze would win the 'Idol' crown, her struggle with diabetes and her break-up with her boyfriend the day of the finale.

How was performing with Alanis Morissette on the finale? Would you ever go her edgy route for your album?
I thought Alanis was amazing. She was a kind, gentle spirit and we really didn't talk very much. It was more like quick hi, hey, hello's, a hug. And it was very genuine. Performing where we communicated. My music is pretty versatile. I've got songs in a lot of different genres and styles. I really don't feel like I should be pigeonholed into any one thing, so we'll see, as my career develops, where I'm going to go.

You and your boyfriend broke up right before the finale. Did you expect that 'Idol' would change your personal life so much?
Tony's been my rock through all of this. He's been there for me and he's been amazing, and I've got a great amount of respect and love for him. It was a mutual thing. He's a small town guy and wants a simple, quiet life, and I respect that of him. This is my career. This is what I've strived for my whole life, and I want to do the best for my son. We're gonna be okay. We're gonna be friends for a long time.

Crystal BowersoxHow did you handle being a mother while on 'Idol'? Has your son grasped that you're famous now?
I've handled it very well and I'm sure he doesn't grasp it. He's 16 months. His favorite word is "awesome" right now. He's having a great time and he's well taken care of and he's just a happy little guy. I balance it the same way any mother does. I greet each day with love and joy because you have your child in your life. 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.

Who would you like to work with on your album or a tour?
Oh, there's so many people I'd love to work with. I definitely have love and respect for Melissa Etheridge, and Alanis was great. Joe Cocker was one of the highlights of my life. I'm a big fan of Ray LaMontagne. I like Leslie Fiest. There's a lot of music I personally love and enjoy, and the craziest thing is it's all possible now to work with these people. I can say it and it can be true.

When are you starting work on your album?
I've actually got a meeting next week. I'm not really sure of all the details yet myself but I'm ready to start working and get this underway.

What kind of sound will you have on your album?
My influences are pretty straightforward as well, but I definitely have my own sound and style. It may be a familiar sound. But at the same time, my songwriting is -- I don't know how different it is -- but simple songs that people can relate to and enjoy and hopefully learn something from from my experience.

Can you talk about 'Holy Toledo,' the song you wrote that was played on the show?
That song is very dear to my heart. I wrote it right before I moved to Chicago. I was 17 sitting on a front porch and just at a point in my life where I loved my hometown, but I always knew there was something bigger out there -- hence the line, "How do I get to heaven from here?" And since the show. it's become an anthem for my city, what kind of hope is needed there, and I feel so blessed and honored that the show even considered letting me play it at my hometown and putting it on the show. I'll be allowed to play that on tour, actually, in my hometown. American Idol's gonna allow me to do some original music in Toledo and I'm very excited about that.

What's the strangest gig you've ever performed?
It was sky-diver's wake ... It was a group of people in Cariesberg, OH who were just really celebrating the life of a friend. And they had a big party out in an open field at the airport and part of my payment was I could have chosen to take money for the gig or half the money and then go sky-diving. And I didn't necessarily want to do sky-diving, but I knew I'd never do it myself. So I did it, and it was the best experience of my life, and the people were great and I have a fond memory of that.

Crystal and LeeWould you still do the show if you knew how it would affect your personal life?
Of course, of course. But I love music and I want to do good things for the world, and my family and community, so I'm loving every minute of this. I'm a pretty smart girl and I knew what I was signing up for -- at least I had a good idea, anyway; you never really full comprehend the situation until you're in it and then out of it. So I'm rolling with the punches. That's what I've done everything in my life -- just go forward, and do what feels right and what makes me happy.

Would you ever date Lee since you two get along so well?
Oh, no. That wouldn't happen. Lee's like a brother to me. I love him dearly, but not that way.

Do you think it will be difficult to find love now that you're famous?
No, no. I don't feel that way at all. I surround myself with good people and people I trust wholeheartedly. I feel like I've got a really good circle of friends and support. No, no, no, I just need really good friends right now. I'm focused on my son, and my career and I'll be okay. Tony's a great guy. I'm not worried about that right now.

All season long, the judges said it was a "girl's season" but it didn't turn out that way with the winner. Do you think gender played a role in the outcome?
I don't feel that way. I think that 'American Idol' is a competition in a certain way that it really is up to the voting public and any predictions made at the beginning of the season for a female winner, it's not possible to know. When I became the last girl standing, it became clear to me that it was definitely possible but it wasn't guaranteed. And Lee, I love Lee. He's great, he's super talented and I would buy his album in a heartbeat. Whatever happened happened for a reason, and I'm extremely proud of him and happy for him.

Watch Video Below

You said you felt like Lee was going to win. Can you talk about that a bit?
I woke up on Wednesday morning and I had like, this was my sign: It was a calm morning like any other, and I just [had] this overwhelming sense of peace, and acceptance and some strange feeling inside of me. I knew Lee was going to win, and I was fine with that. He's worked so hard and no matter the outcome of this, there's no winners or losers. We're both going to have very successful careers, and I couldn't be prouder of him. I think if you watch the video back I had mouthed the words, "Come on, Ryan" several times. It's frustrating when he does it. But he's a very smart man, and he's knows what's good for TV and making our hearts beat out of our chests. 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've been together through this whole process, and understand each other completely and how much we've worked for. Just I looked up at his confetti falling down and I thought, 'This is my confetti, I've won this vicariously through Lee because I can empathize so much.'

Crystal BowersoxHow did your experience on 'Idol' influence your musical style?
I've really known who I am as an artist and as a human being for a very long time. I've been comfortable in my skin since I can remember and 'Idol' has really shown me what I'm capable of. I'm not sure if there are going to be group numbers and dancers in my career after 'Idol,' but the fact that I made it through all of that -- and I feel like I did a great job -- I know that it's possible. I could go in any direction I want. 'Idol' taught me a lot and I'm forever grateful to them.

Was your 'Idol' journey what you expected it would be?
There were a lot of surprises -- not really what was happening but in my reaction to it. It's not an easy thing to go through; it's emotionally and physically draining. However, [it was] the most amazing experience of my life. It's really taught me what I'm capable of and how strong I can be for my family, and my fans and my friends.

Can you talk a bit about how you managed your diabetes on the show?
Before 'Idol,' I found myself in certain situations that I never had a lot of money and things growing up. Good medical care takes money, sadly. There have been times in my life where I've had to beg for insulin and different things like that, and I understand that side of things. Having tried out for 'Idol,' I had kind of kept my diabetes a secret from them. I played it down, "It's not a big deal." I think every diabetic goes through that denial process, and once I had gotten sick back in March, a team of people swarmed in and helped me. I'd never felt so loved in my life, and I just realized that through this show, I had a platform to be a role model to kids and for advocacy to help out the diabetic community in our country and in the world. I want to make that a focus of my career after 'Idol' and I definitely want to do good things.

Did your levels fluctuate throughout the show?

Yeah, of course. Stress affects your blood sugar. Eating, sleeping habits -- all of it affects you.

You were labeled the front-runner from the beginning. Did you think of yourself as the front-runner?
No. I was happy to get past the stadium, and the next week and the next week. You never know what's going to happen in a competition like this; it's really up to the voting public. So 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 into my career. Coming in second is an an amazing feat in itself, and this whole thing has just been an amazing journey. I couldn't be happier for Lee. He deserves every minute of it. He's worked so hard. The both of us have.

How was it having Bret Michaels, another diabetic, on the show?
I didn't actually get to meet Bret Michaels and I didn't get to watch the performance. but I didn't know Bret Michaels was a type 1 diabetic until Wednesday, until the show. But I think it's great after everything he's been through recently to get out there and perform and, you know, just embrace it. I know that he does a lot of good things for JDRF now. I respect that and I'd love to work with him in the future, if possible, with diabetes advocacy, music, whatever.

Who should replace Simon?
Simon is such an epic figure in the show. Replace is not a good word for me. He's irreplaceable in the sense that he's Simon. He's just such a figure. 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 and best of luck to whoever gets the spot and to Simon.

How much do you think Simon choosing a song like 'Hallelujah' for Lee swayed the voters in his favor?
I don't think it gave Lee necessarily an upper-hand. I mean, Lee took his song choice from Simon and completely made it his own and did a beautiful job on it. With Ellen's choice, for me, I didn't feel like I needed to change the song too much from the original, because it's such an iconic song, and I respect Paul McCartney and love his work. I just sang it the best that I could and discovered new things about my voice I didn't know I could do. I just think that the whole show is just up to the American public, and Lee has worked his tail off for this and I think it's a great thing that he won. I love it. I love him for it. It's awesome. Yeah, of course, they do [have influence]. [The judges'] opinions on a show may sway certain voters who aren't sure of how they feel about a performance. But that's fine. They're experts. They know what they're talking about and what they say is important.

Adam Shankman said he'd be open to you and Lee auditioning for the movie version of 'Rock of Ages.' Would you be interested in that?
I'd have to look into the project. It's an acting thing, right? Yeah. Oh, yeah. I'd love to. Drama was my first love actually before music when I was young. I'm open to it. I'd have to do a little research, and shake some hands and talk to some people, but I'd definitely be open to something like that.

How did your attitude about 'Idol' as a show change from being part of it?
For years, people had approached me at my shows in Chicago and Ohio saying, "You should try out for 'Idol.' You should try out for 'Idol.'" And I never really thought about it too much, just because I didn't feel like I could be that kind of contestant. And then when I had my son, I was completely ready and needed to make a change, and I decided to do it. I don't regret it at all. I had an amazing time. The staff, production, the crew -- just everything that goes into the show. There's so much behind the scenes that people, I feel, don't get enough credit for, and I love everyone there. It's been an amazing trip and it's taught me a lot about myself and showed me how strong I can be.

Can you address the rumors that you almost quit but then Ryan Seacrest talked you back?
I feel like I've addressed this before. Ryan and I had a simple conversation as he was leaving out the back door for the day. I just happened to be standing there as he was walking out. He gave me some quick, good advice, and it was amazing. Ryan is a good spirit. He's a good man. He's a hard worker and I respect him for it. I never really had a true intention of quitting. It's a hard process. People don't realize how grueling the show is -- the emotional and physical toll it takes on you -- and you have moments of, not necessarily doubt, but you get tired, you get tired. I missed my son and I just had a nice conversation with Ryan and he was very helpful and I highly respect him. It was not like that at all. I'm not a drama, diva-queen, whatever people have been saying. None of that.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Follow Us

From Our Partners