Lee DeWyze is your 9th American Idol!

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Last night’s American Idol finale was watched not only by those who followed the rise-to-stardom of Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox, but also by fans of Idol from season 1 because it was the last time Simon Cowell will be seen sitting on the judge’s table on Idol as he won’t be back for season 10.

Ryan Seacrest announced, “It has come down to a single mother from Toledo and a paint salesman from Chicago. After the nationwide vote… I can now tell you the winner of American Idol 2010 is … Lee DeWyze!” After thousands of screaming fans cheered on and Lee got teary-eyed and overwhelmed with his new title, the ninth Americal Idol sang “Beautiful Day.”

A choked-up 24-year-old paint salesman Lee said, “It’s amazing. Thank you guys so much, I’ve never been happier in my life.”

The two-hour show included performances from Christina Aguilera, Alannis Morrisette, Janet Jackson , Hall and Oates, Michael McDonald , Alice Cooper, Joe Cocker, Chicago and the surviving BeeGees.

In honor of the most-loved/most-hated (depends on who’s watching) judge, several montages of Cowell’s moments, a roasting by comedian Dane Cook and a speech from former judge Paula Abdul, who said “I’ve loved all the fun we’ve had together. ‘American Idol’s’ not gonna be the same without you. But as only I can tell you, it will go on.”

Seven of the eight past Idol winners appeared to sing for Cowell, who said “I didn’t think I was going to be this emotional and I genuinely am. Everybody asks who’s going to replace me, who going to be the next judge. The truth is … you guys are the judge of this show and you’ve done an incredible job over the years.”

Photo by WENN

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