'American Idol': Simon and Randy predict Lee DeWyze will win season 9, but should they?

simon-randyImage Credit: Michael Becker/FoxSimon Cowell called it on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Randy Jackson did the same on Lopez Tonight. Yes, Idoloonies, as they’ve done in the past, the American Idol judges went public with their season-finale predictions, this time declaring that Lee DeWyze will roll to victory over Crystal Bowersox when the show’s ninth season comes to an end Wednesday night at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre. [Check out the videos here.]

My question is: Should they? After all, I think it’s fair to say neither Crystal or Lee has completely blown open the competition with back-to-back-to-back-to-back epicness, and with that in mind, I think tonight’s six performances will — and should — have an impact on the final vote. So how come Simon and Randy couldn’t just play it coy on their media tour, let the Tuesday night performance finale play out as organically and dramatically as possible, and then perhaps, when the final note’s been sung and the phone lines are open, put their predictive skills on the line? I know, I know…it’s hard to sit through 13 weeks of live performances and not have some kind of feeling about how the season will shake out. But shouldn’t the judges be held to a different standard than the rest of us? By publicly putting their money (and their egos) on Lee, don’t Randy and Simon now have a rooting interest in the guy? Will their “impartiality” be impaired tonight by their need to see their own predictions come true? It’s certainly a question worth pondering. And as I go into my oxygen chamber snack tank to prepare for tonight’s festivities, I turn the discussion over to you. [Related: My ultimate American Idol season 9 playlist (15 songs total, not ranked); Paula Abdul reportedly joining CBS’ ‘Got to Dance'; let’s hope it resembles her ‘Cold Hearted video; follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.]

Comments (144 total) Add your comment
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  • Liz

    Are they deliberately trying to put people off voting for Lee or something?

    • WTF?

      They didn’t have to try with me; I’ve been put off by Lee of my own volition for a while now.

      • Liz

        I like Lee for the most part — it sort of shifts week to week — but Crystal has been my favorite since the beginning (I basically started watching the season for her). I just don’t know what to think about the Lee pimping, whether to be offended by it or to look at it from this other perspective. It’s just so excessive — they’ve gotta know it’s just annoying people rather than convincing them that Lee’s the “right” person to vote for.

    • jen

      Seriously. This excessive pimping has turned me off completely. He is a nice guy and a mediocre singer. He definitely doesn’t deserve the insane level of praise he is getting from them. I am actually becoming offended by it.

      • Frank Anderson

        I was right there with you till I downloaded his old CD a few days ago. I still think he has done a mostly crappy job in Idol, but I really enjoy his CD.
        I just hope he doesn’t end up coming out trying to be the “rocker” guy they seem to want to pin him as. His CD is pretty indie sounding.
        Crystal has had a pretty stank attitude at times and has not been consistent while Lee has improved by leaps and bounds.
        I would love a Crystal win, but don’t see it happening.
        As far as the judges go though, they have been horrible this season. I can understand trying to make up for how bad this season is, but their obvious attempts to lead voters makes it even worse. I hope they clean house next year. I would have loved for Ellen to stay at first, but her quips got stale and irrelevant really quickly, and thinking about Kara and Randy stepping up as main judges makes me want to puke.

      • @Frank

        Anyone can sound good with auto tune. I was under the impression that AI was a singing contest. I enjoy when past idols perform and they actually sound good on the live stage. This isn’t most improved, Crystal has been consistent, a couple of off nights, but compared to Lee – ratio doesn’t add up.

      • BR

        Very well put. Nice guy and mediocre singer AT BEST. But little pre-teens are the voting base so,there you go. Crystal doesn’t need American Idol to make it. Lee does.

      • Nate

        But we have to keep in mind the Lee pimping only started a few weeks ago, prior to that it was all about Crystal. I like both, but Lee has improved, where as Crystal seemed better in the beginning.

      • petra

        @frank – “Anyone can sound good with auto tune. I was under the impression that AI was a singing contest.”

        I was under the impression that the show is called “American Idol” not “Americas Vocalist”.

        Good thing, too! It mirrors real life in the sense that singing is just one of the things that makes for a popular entertainer and an artist with enough going on elsewhere can survive being a bad singer (Dylan), a limited range singer (Billy Joel, Elton, a cast of hundreds of top acts), a regularly out of tune singer (Madonna).

    • bill

      slezak, you’re the best. but take it easy. they are allowed to have an opinion. if people don’t vote for mamasox because of it, then shame on them.

    • IMHO

      Of all of the years I’ve watched Idol, I find it extremely awkward watching either Crystal or Lee perform. Neither has great stage presence or good conversational style. I can’t imagine sitting thru either of their concerts – or any part of this year’s AI tour. I miss last season – they all had such personality on stage – even if they were up against Lambert (whose voice sends sexy shivers up my spine, he’s toxic). Neither has any type of effect that way. Whatever, does anyone even care who wins anymore??

    • Dan JD

      Apparently. I didn’t mind Lee all season until last week’s tongue bath. If AI wants another bland white boy, at least they could’ve picked one with better vocals. Or at least one who isn’t a pale shadow of previous Idols — Lee’s not awful, but he’s no Daughtry or Cook.

  • Stewie

    They can say what they want I’m totally cool with it. Lee really is the logical choice at this point because of momentum and demographics. Still firmly on Team Bow!Er!Sox! Win or Lose I’ll follow that girl’s career with a burning passion!

  • Trisha

    Since the judges have NO official say in the final outcome, they should keep silent as to a favorite. Simon has however, predicted incorrectly at least the last two years – so I’m hoping he’s wrong again!

    • Minnie

      Good point. I’d get all worked up over this except that what Simon thinks in this case doesn’t seem to correlate with the actual winner! I still don’t think it’s cool for the judges to predict a winner publicly though.

    • sally

      Actually Simon himself said that to Ellen when he made the prediction. He said but I’ve picked wrong the last couple of years so I don’t think anyone is listening to me anyways so what do I know. Funny EW didn’t add that.

  • Monica242

    They do this every year. It’s obnoxious every year. And they’re usually wrong every year.

  • Ms. K

    Slezak, you are so right. But the Idol judges (3 of the 4 anyway) have proven time and again that we can’t expect them to behave in mature and professional ways. Makes me mad though.

  • Jen

    Why not let them have their say? It doesn’t mean they’re right, they have an opinion like everyone else. I for one a hoping it is Lee, he is the best person to be the next American Idol!

    • @Jen

      To be a fair judge, one should be impartial. They have given their critiques all season, they don’t need to sway the outcome and yes many voters will be swayed by their remarks. I’m not vested in this season like last year, so I really don’t care who wins. Crystal is more talented, but Lee is probably more marketable.

  • ooo

    its sickening how much the producers of the show are pushing lee. he does not deserve to win, he cant even sing in tune.

    • Steve

      I agree, it was the exact same with Adam Lambert and Archie.

    • petra

      If you look at sheer pimpery of favorites and airtime of their “amazing backstory/sobstory”, and Idol PR hacks going out to the media and telegraphing “greatness” – Crystal by far and away got the most pimpery and slavish worship by judges of her “greatness” and glossing over of any mistakes she made. BM was second as the huge adorable huggy-huggy man Idol producers thought America would embrace. Lee got the 3rd biggest pimp deal, maybe 7th in “backstory” when you consider Cougar bait Caseys buildup, Katie singing for her senile grandmother, and Andrew and Compton and his beloved Big Momma and absent 4-year old son, and producers insisting how adorable Tim was got covered. But 3rd in pimpery because of the invaluable gift of producers and judges not calling him on out of tune live vocals because they knew how good his studio work was.
      The 3rd tier had general non-pimpery and no breaks cut. Amazingly that is where 3 of the most talented were put – Not the Real Lambert, the shrimpy HS kid with the big voice, and the wierd glassblowers apprentice.

      • ooo

        crystal wast pimped. she was actually the BEST all those weeks that the judges gave her PRAISE. and they undeservingly gave her bad reviews for the past 3 or 4 weeks now

    • J

      Seriously. Go back and listen to “Kiss From A Rose” and tell me that guy deserves to win a singing contest.

      What’s really appalling is that when Crystal has shown different, softer sides of her voice, they’ve trashed her.

    • @ooo

      Lee can’t sing in tune. Lee can’t sing in tune. Can’t you come up with something new as to why you don’t like Lee? You Lee-bashers are like a broken record. Give it up. Your original pick isn’t going to win.

      • ooo

        well, this is a singing competition and its pretty unbelievable someone who cant stay on key made it this far. but besides that crystal is just a far better musician, is more well rounded. she has chosen a wider range of songs, showing many different sides. lee has stayed within the same vocal range and style. its just boring. there hows that

      • Terry

        Right. Lee hasn’t shown much of a range of songs when you take into consideration slow songs like The Boxer and Simple Man to upbeat songs like Treat Her Like a Lady and A Little Less Conversation with everything else thrown inbetween, such as Fireflies, That’s Life and Hallelujah. Right–I would really call that boring.

      • Aditya

        I think by vocal range, ppl mean the range of your voice and not the tempo of the song you’re singing… lee has not really chosen songs that veer away from his mid range vocals…

      • Max

        Ok, how about…lee is boring, he has no stage presence, he never delivers emotionally, he acts like he’s had a lobotomy during interviews, he has a disgusting growl in his voice (which sounds like he has something stuck in his throat) and he has the most pathetic “sob-story” ever.
        Another reason to dislike him- he has been undeservinly praised for mediocre performances.

    • sumwhut

      dpes it even matter that much who wins?

  • Jenn

    Do they do this every year? Yes. Is it annoying? Absolutely. But really, Slezak, would this post even be up if they had said Crystal would win?

    • Suzanne

      Slezak is finally sick of it. That’s fine. He has blogging rights, so blog away.

    • Kate from Canada

      I wish they would keep their big mouths shut – and that includes on the show. Simon is unnecessarily mean spirited and Randy’s comments are worthless.

  • Sandlynn

    No, they shouldn’t come out before the competition over and “predict” who will win. They’re supposed to be the judges, not the fan clubs. However, Simon has long admitted that he doesn’t play fair when it gets to the last weeks of the competition. So, I expect that Lee will be pushed to the win, just as he was pushed last week with the choir, lighting, horns, and whatever other bells and whistles they can roll out to overcome their contestant’s continued off key singing.

  • @Mary

    I don’t put much stock into these two idiotic judges. They have been wrong for the past two years. Lee probably will win, however I Crystal is more talented. I will grant you that last week Lee simple man was good, but the second song was overpraised. The chorus covered his out of tune singing. Lee is probably more marketable, will fit right in with the auto S..t we hear on the radio, but he not more talented. Tonight they will be critical of Crystal, and if she pulls if off and wins, Simon will make a remark on how he looked at the tapes and was wrong. I personally think they should keep their opinions to themselves.

    • Frank

      To tell you the truth, I preferred Lee’s version of Hallelujah more than Castro or Urban’s, which I found too slow and boring. I especially liked the 2nd half of Lee’s version which had a lot of life.

  • greg

    Exactly. No offense to Lee and his fans, but last week’s shameless pimping for Lee was ridiculous. “You are the heart and soul of this season, you are what American Idol is all about, you are a good person who deserves to win . . . .”

    Come on! I thought he did a good job last week, too, but that was so transparent it wasn’t funny.

    • Mary

      I know that remarked was so OTT. What Crystal is not a good person, she doesn’t deserve to win?? AI is taking unknown talent and given them a chance. Correct me if I am mistaking but wasn’t Crystal unknown before now. She wasn’t a paint salesmen, but I don’t think she lived the high life either. I want an AI that can sing live.

    • Liz

      >> No offense to Lee and his fans.

      I know a good handful of Lee fans who would agree with you on this, actually. The whole thing just wasn’t pretty regardless of whether you think Lee should win or not.

    • kakirita

      Greg, you are so right on ! It is horrible how they have distorted and propagandaized New word?) this season. Thanks- keep these truths coming!

  • Cassandra

    I am not at all a fan of Crystal. Her voice is annoying and every song sounds the same to me. Lee has versatility and he’s a big sweetheart. I’m definitely rooting for Lee and I’m glad at least two of the judges agree with me.

    • JB

      Turn that around and your feelings about Crystal are how I feel about Lee. Her voice is gorgeous where as Lee sounds like he’s straining to get out a sound half the time.

      • selena

        @jb – The difference is Crystal’s songs really do sound the same. Her voice is good, but her advantage is polish creativity and an ability to connect with older women who grew up with Lilith Fair sounding music.
        Crystal doesn’t have the power and range of Siobhan, Allison, Carly, Carrie, even Katie Stevens. Lily Scott sounded like a stronger singer than Crystal in the Joplin/Raitt/Etheridge coffee house box – and she was an early discard as early, Crystal had more PR than all the contestants put together outside Lovable Huggy-Huggy man.

    • anonymous

      People like you remind me to think more critically about my personal preferences. I may like what I like but I don’t want to contribute to the girl-on-girl hate, either, which is what way too many idol fans do when they try to justify their voting.

    • Karrie

      YAY!!! Finally someone who has some sense! LEE so deserves to win!! He has out sung Crystal and her annoying voice week after week, and I am rooting for him all the way. :) Crystal tried to QUIT the show not so long ago, do none of you remember that??
      GO LEE GO!!!!!

  • ILoveSimon

    Simon’s a very smart guy…he usually only does this sort of thing when he wants it to work against the contestant…so my guess is that he’s actually hoping Crystal wins!

    • Suzanne

      He’s not that crafty. He’s pimping Lee b/c the oddsmakers are betting on Lee and he wants bragging rights. He doesn’t care who wins; he just wants to be right. Especially after last year when he was SO wrong.

      • @Suzanne

        And the year before. He had to eat his words before they announced the winner.

      • ILoveSimon

        But, it’s possible he learned from last year. He said Adam would win…and people voted for Kris. This year, perhaps he’s hoping it will work the same way. Saying Lee will win means Crystal will be victorious!

      • Kyle

        Simon is a smart guy, and he know the public on the whole eats out of his hand. I’d like to believe he’s indirectly pimping Crystal, but its more likely that he knows people will vote for Lee because he’s endorsing him.

        Far to many fans of the show take what Simon says as gospel. Im not saying people who vote for Lee are being brainwashed, but a lot of them would be. People would vote for Paige Miles if Simon told them too.

  • Rosie

    I spent the better part of this afternoon refershing myself as why it IS Lee Dewyze who will win. I went back and watched the past weeks. His audition – a testament to who he is. Solid. Frank Sinatra week – outside of his genre and all – a fantastic performance. From top 12 on up – solid. SOLID. SOLID. It has been transformatively LEE who has impressed. Brought the magic to the stage. Performed stellarly. Randy and Simon are spot on with their prediction. Only because Lee earned it.

    • Suzanne

      Kiss From a Rose–terrible pitch. First verse of that Shania Twain song? Terrible pitch. Vote for Crystal–she has good pitch.

    • kayla

      Kiss from a Rose: horribly out of tune. Still the One: limp and out of tune.

      He really hasn’t grown as much as some people want to believe he has. What’s more, if he is really such a great singer why did they have to throw a choir, a light show and everything short of a freaking brass band behind him last week??

    • Liz

      Personally, Lee hasn’t wowed me since The Boxer. Crystal’s had a couple of off weeks and I’d say her performances in those off weeks were as good as Lee’s “Beast of Burden” (I really liked “Beast of Burden”) and far, far better than “The Letter” (had to wiki him to remember he’d sung that) or “You’re Still the One” or “Kiss from a Rose” or “Hey Jude.” He has definitely improved and he’s had some pretty damned enjoyable performances (I loved the hell out of “Simple Man,” but it kind of got overshadowed for me by Crystal’s “Maybe I’m Amazed”), but out of these two? Crystal’s definitely the most consistent one. At least she’s more likely to sing in tune than not.

      • chris ford

        People don’t buy recorded music or go to concerts with “singing in tune” in mind.
        Only a few sorts of performers marketing themselves as “great singers” first and foremost are expected to “just be about the Vocals! The Vocals!” The Steve Winwoods, David Ruffins, Mariahs, Celines, Whitneys.
        Or when you have that voice and creativity and charisma – do you have a shot at the truly rare ones – the people in entertainment at the Elvis/Sinatra/Freddy Mercury level.

        The only one this season who MIGHT sing at a truly high level with power and range (and all the incidentals) is Siobhan Magnus and she is nowhere close to actually being there yet. Magnus only has a shot. As having potential to go further with coaching and fixing some of her singing weaknesses, but many great vocalists end up not as stars, but as Melinda Doolittle types – backup singers or peel out for theater work.

      • Niix Starkyller

        “People don’t buy recorded music or go to concerts with “singing in tune” in mind.”

        Well I guess that seals it. I am not, in fact, a person.

  • Suzanne

    Everyone wants to join the bandwagon. They ARE helping Lee to do that. And should they? No–they’re complete egomaniacs who love that people want to know what they think so when people will listen, they talk. Sux for Crystal–she’s got much better pitch than Lee and she’s had it harder by busking in subways and begging for insulin for years. Vote for Crystal.

    • Hannah

      You wanna talk about egomaniacs? You’ve responded to almost every post made here.

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