Monday, May 31, 2010

American Idol's Crystal Bowersox interviews with Larry King

Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox visits Larry King Live as part of the American Idols Open Up: On what happened on and off stage.

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American Idol Season 9 Grand Finale: Post Show Interviews including Crystal Bowersox & Lee DeWyze

American Idol Season 9 Grand Finale: Post Show Interviews

After the show, Bret Michaels and Paula Abdul shared their thoughts about being back, Michael McDonald and Kara DioGuardi stopped by and Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze wrapped it up.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze sing with Joe Cocker on the American Idol Finale 2010

Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze & Joe Cocker sing "With A Little Help From My Friends" on the American Idol Season 9 Finale.

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Crystal Bowersox and the story of "Holy Toledo": Interview plus music

'American Idol' interview: Crystal Bowersox and the story of 'Holy Toledo'
Source: TV Examiner, Matt Carter, May 28
Crystal Bowersox, Holy Toledo

Crystal Bowersox was loved by both fans and the judges for much of "American Idol", but in the end she might have been too strong a performer for her own good. After absolutely killing it on Tuesday's performance show, her fans may not have felt a need to call in as badly and she therefore came up short of the title.

If you think that MamaSox was going to harp on something like that, though, think again -- on Friday, the Toledo native was nothing but positive and upbeat about her time on the show. During my chat, I had the opportunity to talk with Crystal about "Holy Toledo," her original song that actually started to hit the radio before the season was over.

Matt: So I want to talk about 'Holy Toledo' a bit. Amazing song, and I believe it's the first original to ever be played on 'American Idol.'

Crystal: That is a true statistic.

Matt: Take us a little into the songwriting process, and were you thrilled to see that the show actually played it during an episode?

Crystal: That song is very dear to my heart. I wrote it before I moved to Chicago when I was 17. I was sitting on my friend's front porch and just at a point in my life where I loved my hometown, but I always knew there was something bigger -- hence the line 'how do I get to heaven from here'.

Since the show it's become an anthem for my city and what kind of hope is needed there. I just feel so blessed and honored that the show even considered letting me play it at my hometown [visit] and using it on the show. I'm going to be allowed to play it in my hometown on tour -- they're going to allow me to play some original music in Toledo, so I'm very excited about that.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Message from Crystal Bowersox to her Fans!

"Thank you for all of the support on here!! I'll tweet about this Facebook page and the Crystal Bowersox Blog as soon as I get control of the American Idol Tweet page again, so you fans will know this is really me. And yes, I said Meow. :) I Love Super Troopers."

(I had left a message asking if she had really said "Meow is the time" at the end of Tuesday's show.)

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Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze Backstage at the American Idol Finale (Video)

Extra caught up with Crystal Bowersox and winner Lee Dewyze just minutes after the show ended. Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardia also chime in.

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Stop the Presses! American Idol's Crystal Bowersox: No recording contract signed yet

Toledo Free Press Exclusive: Crystal Bowersox denies report.

Written by Michael Miller | Editor in Chief |

Crystal Bowersox said if she is committed to a record company, it is news to her. reported May 28 that “American Idol” runner-up Bowersox has been “signed to 19 Recordings Limited and Jive Records,” but when asked to comment about the news, she denied knowledge of the commitment.

“I haven’t signed anything,” she told Toledo Free Press in a phone interview at 6:27 p.m. EST May 28. “Unless it’s something I don’t have a choice in, I haven’t signed anything. There are a lot of details to be worked out and I haven’t signed anything.”

Bowersox said she and other “Idol” contestants “have a lot of help” in negotiating the myriad proposals and legalities of contracts.

Bowersox, who said she does not watch television and is “out of the loop,” was also surprised to learn that news of her pre-finals break-up with boyfriend Tony Kusian was being reported by news outlets such as USA Today and Associated Press.

“I knew I would lose privacy through this process, but my life has been an open book through my music,” the Northwest Ohio native said. “I am an open book and I am comfortable with that; I have nothing to hide.”

Bowersox said life after the competition is still “very busy” as she prepares for an “American Idol” tour and recording her first album.

“I am ready to get to work,” she said, adding that while she is “open to working with other writers,” she hopes her debut album will be “100-percent original compositions.”

She said she was still “blown away” from her finale duets with musicians Alanis Morrisette and Joe Cocker.

“Alanis was sweet but not a big talker,” Bowersox said. “Joe knew my name but said he wanted to call me ‘Angel,’ and he did, the whole time.”

Bowersox said she has not yet heard from Patty Griffin, whose song “Up to the Mountain” has been released as Bowersox’s first post-”Idol” iTunes single, but hopes the recording ends up making a lot of royalty money for the writer.
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When asked if she sees herself continuing to be an ambassador for Northwest Ohio and Toledo, and if she would fall on the side of the scale of Jamie Farr, who returns every year for his charity golf tournament, or on the side of the scale of Katie Holmes, who is rarely associated with Toledo, Bowersox laughed and immediately said, “Oh, I’m Jamie Farr, no doubt. Come on; I wrote a song called ‘Holy Toledo.’ I love Toledo.”
Bowersox: No recording contract signed yet

More of this interview will appear in next week’s Toledo Free Press Star.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Crystal Bowersox & Lee DeWyze visit Ellen DeGeneres

Lee DeWyze & Crystal Bowersox Visit Ellen

Today's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show features appearances by "American Idol" Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox.

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Lee says he has learned so much from the "Idol" journey. "Throughout the season, there have been ups and downs for everybody, but for me it was actually really good when there were down moments," Lee explained. "It really helped me figure out myself a little bit more because I was able to figure out how to get over those kind of things and really let the fears go…" Lee also performed "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen.

Meanwhile, Crystal talks about the break up with her boyfriend on the morning of the finale performance show. "We were having breakfast and he just decided he's a small-town guy and I don't blame him for anything. He's been amazing. He's been my rock through all of this. It's alright," Crystal said. Crystal also performed "Up To The Mountain" by Patty Griffin.

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American Idol's Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze Sign Record Deals

Note to fans: Please see article "Stop the presses!...." In an exclusive interview with the Toledo Free Press, Crystal says she has NOT signed with anyone, yet. printed an unsubstantiated rumor in the article below.

It hasn't even been 24 hours since Lee DeWyze was crowned this year's "American Idol," but already he and his runner-up, Crystal Bowersox, have signed their record deals.

DeWyze is signed to 19 Recordings Limited and RCA Records, while Bowersox is signed to 19 Recordings Limited and Jive Records, a source confirms exclusively to
Download Crystal Bowersox's "Up to the Mountain"
iconDownload Lee DeWyze's "Beautiful Day"icon

DeWyze joins Daughtry and Adam Lambert at RCA, while Bowersox can now count past "Idol" winners Jordin Sparks and Kris Allen, and 2009 finalist Allison Iraheta, as her labelmates.

If 19 and Sony Music stick to the release schedule of past years, fans can expect DeWyze and Bowersox's debut albums to be released in the fourth quarter, as "Idol" albums are typically targeted for release around the holiday season. Last year, Allen's self-titled debut and Lambert's "For Your Entertainment" were released on Nov. 17 and Nov. 23, respectively.

In the meantime, the pair's debut singles were released to iTunes and radio today. DeWyze's single, a cover of U2's "Beautiful Day," and Bowersox's version of Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain". It's too early to tell how many downloads "Beautiful Day" and "Up to the Mountain" may sell in their first week. However, industry sources contacted suggest looking to how the past few seasons'-worth of first and second-place finishers have fared with their debut singles in the week after the finale in order to forecast how DeWyze and Bowersox might do this week.

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Hear Crystal Bowersox's studio version of "Up to the Mountain"

Listen and download American Idol Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox's studio version of Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain"

Download "Up to the Mountain"
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crystal Bowersox on American Idol Outcome: "We Both Win"

'My life is never going to be the same, and I'm ready for all of it,' she says backstage after the finale.

By Kelley L. Carter/mtv

Blogger: Crystal Bowersox Blog

LOS ANGELES — Don't cry for Crystal Bowersox. Before Ryan Seacrest announced Lee DeWyze as the new American Idol, the single mom said she knew she wouldn't be taking home the top prize.

"I knew Lee was going to win," she said backstage, minutes after the finale ended. "People seem to be surprised by that. But I had a feeling. I couldn't be happier for him. He deserves every minute of this. There wasn't really a reason why [I thought I wouldn't win]. It was just something that I felt and I knew, and I'm fine with that. Before the show ... I had this strange sense of peace and calm. I've been that way through the whole season. If you haven't noticed, I'm just mellow. I was ready and willing ... for the outcome. We both win. It's not win or lose; it's winner and non-winner. Both of us are going to have very successful careers, and we're going to be friends for a long time."

For Bowersox, winning was performing alongside Alanis Morissette and Joe Cocker. She also said she was moved by the tributes for Simon Cowell.

"Joe Cocker is a living legend, and every noise, grunt that came out of him, every fiber in my being felt it," she said. "He didn't give me any advice, but he kept calling me 'Angel.' He said, 'I know your name is Crystal, but I want to call you Angel.' And I'm like, 'That's fine. You can call me whatever you want. You're Joe Cocker!' "

Bowersox said she learned a lot about herself during the "American Idol" experience. The most important lesson?

"I can walk in heels — downstairs, nonetheless," she said, joking about her Tuesday night performance, where she wobbled a bit in high heels. "I've learned a lot about myself and I've learned a lot about the business. I already knew who I was, but I'm picking the things that I like and adding to it. My life is never going to be the same, and I'm ready for all of it."

Up next, Bowersox says she's going to go "hug my baby boy and get back to living." She'll start to prepare for the summer tour and also plans to get to work on her album.

"Now the real work begins," she said.

Were you surprised Crystal didn't win "American Idol"? Let us know in the comments.

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Show your support for Crystal. Check out shirts, hats, and other items like this cool "MamSox" tote bag!

Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox talk with Good Day LA after AI final.

American Idol winner Lee DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox interview with Good Day L.A. the day after the Season 9 finale.


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Crystal Bowersox & Alanis Morissette Duet ~ HD Video

Crystal Bowersox & Alanis Morissette Unite For 'You Oughta Know' On 'American Idol' Finale. Duo perform Morissette's mega-hit after Bowersox's solo performance of 'Ironic.'

Back in February, Crystal Bowersox took the "American Idol" stage to perform Alanis Morissette's "Hand in My Pocket." It didn't go so well. Simon Cowell accused her of sounding like a thousand buskers outside a thousand different subway stations.

Bowersox got her revenge on Wednesday night's (May 26) finale when she united with Morissette for a duet that brought the crowd at the Nokia Theatre to its feet. The "Idol" finalist got the performance started with a solo take on Morissette's "Ironic," a song that reached the #4 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

She then turned dramatically toward the back of the stage and welcomed her fellow artist onto the stage for a duet of the Grammy-winning best-seller "You Oughta Know," another cut off Morissette's 1995 album Jagged Little Pill. As Morissette strode out under the bright blue lights of the "Idol" stage, the two singers exchanged verses, crisscrossed the stage and finally met in the middle, voices wailing, smiles wide.

Buskers, they weren't. The performance was not without its share of ironies. After Cowell dismissed Crystal's effort in February, the singer bounced back to establish herself as one of the show's undeniable front-runners the very next week when she busted out a killer version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long as I Can See the Light." She hasn't looked back since. And Bowersox has come to count Cowell as one of her biggest supporters.

On Tuesday's show, Cowell praised Bowersox's performance of "Up to the Mountain" by Patty Griffin, saying, "I thought that was by far the best performance and the song of the night. And since this is going to be the final critique I'm ever going to give, I would just like to say that was outstanding."

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Crystal Bowersox performs “Up To the Mountain” on the American Idol Final

Crystal Bowersox performs “Up To the Mountain” by Patti Griffin as the Winner's Single Song on the American Idol Season 9 Finale. Download "Up to the Mountain"

Fans can now show their support for American Idol Season 9 front-runner Crystal Bowersox. Many fans have been asking how to get their hands on Crystal Bowersox T-shirts.

Show the world your support for Crystal by wearing one of these great T-shirts...hundreds of different designs and styles available!

Crystal Bowersox performs “Black Velvet” on the American Idol Final

Crystal Bowersox performs “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles as Producer Simon Fuller’s song choice on the American Idol Season 9 Finale.

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Crystal Bowersox performs “Me And Bobby McGee” on the American Idol Final

Crystal Bowersox performs “Me And Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin as the contestant's song choice on the American Idol Season 9 Finale.

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Thoughts on why I like her - and it's not just her music. Crystal seems to have genuine self-esteem by reporter Catharine Hadley

Crystal Bowersox seems to have genuine self-esteem

I looked through the newspaper's archive system and realized that since February, I've written 40 stories that had at least something to do with Elliston's Crystal Bowersox being on "American Idol."

I've seen every show -- something I've never done before.

I've watched all sorts of people cheer for her, and it's possible I've had my fair share of cookies and brownies at the Wednesday night gatherings at the Elliston Trinity United Church of Christ.

On May 14, the day of her hometown visit, photographer Jonathon Bird and I followed her to Toledo, back to Ottawa County and back to Toledo before our work day was done.

Some of my friends have asked me if I'm tired of her yet.

I'm not.

It's not just the music. I do like her music, but it goes deeper than that.

I only met her for a brief moment, so my assessment is mostly conjecture based on what I've seen of her.

She seems to have a genuine self-esteem, which is a rare thing.

A person with a genuine self-esteem doesn't talk up to or down to anyone. That person never feels the need to belittle anyone else, because he or she wants other people to feel comfortable.

That person doesn't feel threatened by much, and is more than ready to laugh at himself or herself.

That person takes criticism in stride and keeps praise in perspective.

That person might see success in the physical world and appreciate it, but knows it's not key to true happiness.

That person also tends to nurture true happiness in other people.

Whether or not she's the winner on Wednesday night's episode of "American Idol," I can see why she's the winner in the hearts of her fans.

So, here's this week's question: What is your favorite of Crystal Bowersox's attributes?

E-mail your answers to or drop them at the News Herald, 115 E. Second St., Port Clinton, OH 43452.

Here are two responses to last week's question, which was also about Crystal Bowersox:

I did not know Crystal Bowersox, but I have been watching her on "American Idol" every week. Every week at first I called 30 times and voted for her. When there were five left, I voted 60 times. Four left, 80 times, three left, 100 times, two left, 120 times. It took me a half an hour to make 80 calls.

I was at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds to see her. She's awesome. I took her picture at the parade and got one of her T-shirts. I have all the clippings from the News Herald and from the Toledo Blade. What I like about her is she is a down-to-earth person, not a show-off and an excellent singer, and I love country music.

After I got home from the fairgrounds, I made two signs to put in my front yard. The say, "American Idol -- Vote Crystal Bowersox."

I know she's our next "American Idol." I would love to meet her and talk to her. She's great.

The people who came to see her that Friday will never forget that day. I'll remember that day as long as I live.

I can't wait until the next shows are on Tuesday and Wednesday. I know Crystal has won it. Our next "American Idol" is from Ottawa County.

I did have a few favorite singers that sing country music, but since I have heard Crystal sing, she is number one in my book.

Good luck, Crystal.

-- Joan Atwater

I grew up with Ron Rasberry, one of Crystal Bowersox's main musical mentors, in Mendon, Ohio, which is not much bigger than Elliston. When I heard he was playing at a Toledo bar five years ago, I made my way to Papa's Tavern to catch up with him.

During the second set, he invited a young woman onto the stage to join him. It was Crystal Bowersox.

After one song, I was a believer. After two songs, I knew she had greatness in her. She was just that good.

At the end of the set, Ron introduced to me to Crystal. She was selling CDs to get gas money together so she could go to California, or "Cali" as she kept calling it.

I gave her $20 and she gave me a CD and started looking in her bag for another one. "They're only $10," she said, apologetically.

"Please, just keep it," I said. "You're going to need it. But trust me, you're really, really good, and you're going to be a big star someday."

I had never heard anybody (still haven't) with the combination of ability and emotional power that Crystal brings to her music.

Thank you, Ron Rasberry, for introducing me to this exceptional performer.

-- Steve Fought
*Want more of Catharine Hadley's local, home-town stories on Crystal Bowersox? Click, then type 'Crystal Bowersox' in the SEARCH box.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RECAP: Crystal's weekly performance case anyone needs a reminder how consistently excellent she has been...

Here are the videos of each of Crystal Bowersox's weekly American Idol performances:

"Long As I Can See The Light" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Top 10 Girls 03/03/10

"Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman. Top 8 Girls

"You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones. Top 12

Download the studio versions now

"Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin. Top 11

"Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight & the Pips . Top 10

"Come Together" by the Beatles. Top 9

Download the studio versions now

"Saved" by Elvis Presley. Top 8

"People Get Ready" by The Impressions. Top 7

"No One Needs to Know" by Shania Twain. Top 6

Download the studio versions now

"Summer Wind" by Frank Sinatra. Top 5

"Falling Slowly", duet w/Lee, from the movie "Once." Top 4

"I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins. Top 4

Download the studio versions now

"Come to My Window" by Melissa Etheridge. Top 3

"Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney. Top 3

Download all the studio versions and performance videos by clicking the image below:

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Huntington Center Arena to Host ‘Idol’ Finale Viewing/Crystal Bowersox Fan Party

Arena to host ‘Idol’ finale viewing
Written by Toledo Free Press Staff Writers | |

American Idol Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox’s march to “American Idol” history will be shown on the big screens at the Huntington Center in Downtown Toledo.

On the evening of May 26, the streets around the arena — Huron, Jefferson and Madison — will be closed to host a block party sponsored by the City of Toledo and Lucas County. At 6:30 p.m., Huntington Center doors will open for free admission to the first 8,300 people to view the FOX broadcast of the “American Idol” results show.

After more than 47 million total votes, the Elliston native will face Chicago’s Lee DeWyze in the Season 9 “American Idol” finals May 25. The pair will perform live in the Nokia Theatre.

During the May 19 show, Bowersox’s original song, “Holy Toledo,” was featured on air during her hometown visit coverage. Bowersox mentioned to Ryan Seacrest that the song has become an anthem for the city. Video of the song is available right here on the blog and on Toledo Free Press’s Facebook page.

For NW Ohio residents, “American Idol” is on 8 p.m. May 25, with the result show May 26 at 8 p.m. on FOX Toledo.

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photo:James A. Molnar/Toledo Free Press

Crystal Bowersox & Lee DeWyze 'Play' with Ellen

Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Ellen

On the day before the big showdown on the American Idol Season 9 Finale between the Top 2 finalists Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze, the contestants showed up on The Ellen Degeneres Show for a little fun, and to blow off a little steam and de-stress with America's funniest judge. Ellen asked Crystal and Lee how they felt going into the finale. Crystal said, "You kinda forget your nerves when you're so busy, we've been doing so much...You can't really afford to be nervous." They play "Ellen's Know or Go," a game where two huge Idol fans put their fate in Crystal's and Lee's knowledge of trivia. And when the Idol's missed a question, the poor victims fell through a trap door! Classic Ellen!

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Crystal Bowersox sings "Round Here" in the Chicago Subway

American Idol Season 9 finalist Crystal Bowersox sings the Counting Crows' "Round Here". Check out the video of Crystal in the Chicago Subway. (Darn that train for interrupting her, how rude! lol )

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Bowersox an Idol to idolize

Bowersox an Idol to idolize

Bowersox an Idol to idolize

By Alex Strachan, Canwest News Service May 21, 2010

There was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment on American Idol earlier this season, during the auditions stage. It was a quick, video screen-grab of a then-unknown young woman playing guitar on a Chicago subway platform, while all around her commuters rushed by. No one gave the singer with the dreadlocks and folk-styled voice a second glance.

On May 26, Crystal Bowersox is poised to become one of the most improbable and remarkable stories in American Idol's eight-year history.

The shy farm girl from small-town Ohio who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, whose parents divorced when she was a child and who and was picked on in high-school for being too poor to fit in with the in-crowd, started writing songs when she was just 13 years old - songs with names like "Ohio Flies," "Sandman" and "Put Your Guitar Down."

She sought refuge in music, and that's where she found it. Her then-recently divorced father, struggling to keep the family farm afloat, hauled her speakers from small-town venue to small-town venue across northwest Ohio, while she was still in her early teens.

During the day, she went to school in Toledo, Ohio, near the small town of Elliston where she was born and raised. At night, she played area clubs to raise a little cash on the side. Her musical inspirations were Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapmanand Melissa Etheridge, and by the time she struck out on her own, she knew she would never be a Top 40 artist.

She sang in smoky dives, roadside diners and half-empty coffee houses, suffered a few hard knocks on the road and, one day, tired of a life of uncertainty and not knowing where the next paying gig might come from, she did what she never dreamed she would do: She auditioned for American Idol.

As luck would have it, her audition would prove both fortuitous and telling, though no one knew it at the time.

The guest judge that midsummer afternoon in Chicago was Shania Twain, herself no stranger to a turbulent, rocky upbringing. At that same audition, out of the thousands of hopefuls who showed up that day, Bowersox was seated alongside another unknown - Lee DeWyze.

And then it happened. She walked into the Idol audition room, tired and dishevelled, grabbed her guitar and lit into Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart."

Twain, herself no stranger to a rough childhood, felt a pang of recognition, and told Bowersox she had a "raw, natural talent."

The other Idol judges that day knew that whatever they had, it wasn't a Britney Spears or an Avril Lavigne, or even a Kelly Clarkson. For Simon Cowell, Bowersox was not even Idol material. Bowersox later realized that Cowell's reaction that day was an endorsement, not a put-down.

"Simon told me that he didn't think I was part of this competition," Bowersox posted on Idol's official Facebook page. "But it was unanimous among the judges that I'm still here. I interpret that as, 'You're a little off the beaten path, but we like you.'"

Like: verb. To take pleasure in; find agreeable or congenial: "We all liked the concert."

Love: verb. The Idol judges' cumulative reaction to a run of performances that, after her tearful rendition last month of the folk anthem "People Get Ready," had one MTV music critic wondering if she had just delivered the single finest performance in American Idol history.

"You just schooled all those (other) contestants," Kara DioGuardi told Bowersox, moments after the singer broke down in tears - "My dad's here," she explained, in a faltering voice - during the closing notes of "People Get Ready."

The normally reserved Cowell said, of her performance: "Now - that - was inspirational."

Something else happened that night. Bowersox ascended to the pantheon of American Idol performances that isn't about picking an eventual winner, or even finding a recording artist, but something more meaningful: The discovery of an artist who has the soul, power and voice to move the audience on a profound, fundamental level.

For her first live performance, Bowersox covered Alanis Morissette's "One Hand in My Pocket," prompting praise from the judges for originality and honesty; Ellen DeGeneres said Idol was fortunate that Bowersox overcame her initial misgivings and decided to try out for the show.

Jamie Foxx, the mentor for Idol's film night, pressed a T-shirt on Bowersox with the word "ARTIST" on it, and told her, as she rehearsed Kenny Loggins's "I'm Alright," "Vamp, get yourself together and don't ever stop. You have to not be intimidated. Raise those pretty blue eyes up and let people see that you're going to be alright. When you're - vmmm - when you're like that, now, it's not just a song; it's a testimony."

It hasn't all been easy, though.

Bowersox was rushed to hospital in March, prompting speculation about her diabetes. Cowell characterized Bowersox's hospitalization at the time as being extremely serious. Idol's producers switched programs that week, moving the male contestants ahead a day and delaying the women's performance program to the following night, allowing Bowersox time to recover, sparking accusations of favouritism.

The following month, intimidated by constant hounding from the gossip sites and tired of the media spotlight, Bowersox came close to quitting Idol altogether. Idol host Ryan Seacrest talked her out of it, stressing the opportunity in front of her and reportedly telling her that it was because of Idol that he was able to buy his mother a house.

Days later, Bowersox said she had no regrets about reconsidering her decision to audition for Idol.

"No apologies for being human," she posted on Idol's official Facebook page. "Life is always testing one's strength- and weakness threshold. That's how we learn how strong we really are."

American Idol, television's most-watched reality-competition program at the moment, has a lot at stake this season. An Angus Reid poll published May 18 in the U.S. found that Bowersox was respondents' favourite singer by a more than three-to-one margin over runner-up DeWyze. The same poll, however, also found that 61 per cent of respondents said they are unlikely to watch Idol after Cowell leaves at the end of the season.

American Idol doesn't just need a winner, in other words. It needs to find a credible recording artist, a born performer with the ability to inspire and move.

Why should Bowersox be that performer?

"'Cause I deserve it," she said simply, earlier this season. "I've struggled long enough. I want to play music. I want to get to work."

American Idol's final performance program airs Tuesday, May 25, and the final vote results will be announced May 26 in a live broadcast.

See Crystal Bowersox in Concert! Get American Idol Live tickets - Click Here!

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