Lee DeWyze surprisingly did not meet the judges' expectation while Crystal Bowersox passed all three performances with flying colors.
The final performance of "American Idol" season 9 was divided into three rounds, the contestant's choice, Simon Fuller's pick and the coronation song. Lee DeWyze was rather overshadowed by Crystal Bowersox this time because of his own song choice as well as the winner's single. This year, unlike in previous seasons, the finalists get to cover a song instead of singing a new single.
In the first round, Lee sang Simon & Garfunkel's "The Box" which he sung during the inspirational week. Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi agreed that it was a great way to start the show but it was not phenomenal. Meanwhile, Simon Cowell described it, "That was a kiss on the cheek when I want a kiss on the lips." He added, "Not from you!"
Crystal choose "Me and Bobby McGee" which she did well the first time around. Ellen DeGeneres said it was compelling while Kara said she loved it the first time and this time was no difference. Simon summed it up, "We've got a competition tonight; that was terrific."
Lee then continued with R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" and he bounced back. Kara commented, "What makes you great as a performer is that you're emotionally accessible and that I can feel every word that you're saying and that you're telling a story." Simon said, "I thought that was a brilliant choice of song for you. ...You've got another song to come, and I think you've really got to understand the importance of what this night can do in terms of changing your life."
Fuller picked "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles for Crystal. Randy gushed, "Mamasox is in it to win it!" Simon admitted that he is a bit allergic to the song because many have butchered it in live performances but he thought Crystal nailed it well.
The last performance of Lee is "Beautiful Day" by U2. Ellen said it was amazing to watch him grow and took the moment. Kara noted that Lee has some off-key moments with the song but she thought Lee has a commercial voice that makes him deserve the Top 2 spot. Simon, who will depart from the show after this season, wished him the best.
Crystal closed the show with Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain". "This is what this show is about -- an amazing song by an amazing singer," Randy said. Simon then gave his final critique on the show, saying "I thought that was, by far, the best performance and the song of the night. That was outstanding."