Lee DeWyze Wins ’American Idol’ — Now What?

With the expected grand production of the “American Idol” in the books for the ninth season, there are opportunities and moments of caution.

For starters, if voting was based only on Tuesday’s head-to-head showdown, Crystal Bowersox should have won. If you scored the three rounds of performances like a boxing match, Bowersox won the first two rounds with Lee DeWyze pulling out a draw at best in the third round.

I won’t delve into any conspiracy theories; I still get blog responses about the fix allegedly being in for Kris Allen last year.

Without question, DeWyze improved tremendously over the course of the show, and for that he deserves a substantial amount of credit. The judges were left gushing over his personality and in this case it’s hard to disagree. It’s cool to see the nice guy win.

With performances by all the former Idols – sans David Cook – it showed how DeWyze’s and Bowersox’s careers could turn out. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are huge pop stars. Some former winners, such as Ruben Studdard, have largely disappeared from the limelight. The most cautionary tale was the former “Idol” contestants who shared the stage with the more recognizable names. If you can remember their names and what season they were on off the top of your head, much less where they are now in their lives, you have one up on me.

As Simon Cowell himself acknowledged several times over the past two days, things will change on “Idol” without him while he shifts over to making “X-Factor” the same hit here it is in Britain.

How – and if – if “Idol” will survive beyond next season seems a crapshoot.

For DeWyze, the trajectory of his career which will take shape very soon, will determine whether or not he will be someone to remember or merely the answer to a trivia question.

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