Lee DeWyze, this season's "American Idol" winner, followed his victory with a press conference immediately after his coronation. To reporters he said, "This is an amazing experience, especially since this has been such a long process. It's been a lot harder than I thought it would be."
The first thing he realized after Ryan Seacrest called his name was "confetti flying", "fireworks, songs are starting, people are cheering." The beaming 26-year-old recalled, "It just all happened so fast. It was amazing, it felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and now that this big step is done, it's on to the next step, which is to make an album and go on tour and do all the things I wanted to do for a long time."
Weighing on how he has done in the whole season, Lee said, "There's been ups and downs to this season for me, for everybody, and that's what makes this show so great. It's vulnerable. You go up there and you do what you can. Sometimes it's awesome and sometimes it's not and it's just learning from your mistakes and becoming a better performer."
Meanwhile, runner-up Crystal Bowersox was not at all bitter about the lost. "I couldn't be happier for Lee. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy," Crystal gushed. When asked what she would say to her fans, she excitedly said, "Love, love, love. Love for the world, love for yourself. Greet every moment of your life with love."
At some point Crystal "knew Lee was going to win." She added, "People seem to be surprised by that, but I just had a feeling and as I said before, I couldn't be happier for him. He deserves every minute of this. I feel like I won because Lee won. I have such a respect for him as an artist and as a human being. I told him before the show I said, 'I hope you win' and he said the same to me and through that, I have won."
Crystal explained futher, "I just had this strange sense of peace and calm. I was willing and ready and happy for whatever the outcome was. We both win. It's not winner-loser, it's a winner-non-winner or whatever you want to call it. But both of us are going to have successful careers and we're going to be friends a long time."
She in fact had a brief moment with Simon Cowell after the announcement. "He winked and I winked back. He said 'I'm sorry' and I said, 'Don't be sorry for me, this has been amazing and I couldn't be happier' and then he's like, 'Okay, I'm not sorry for you'," she said with a laugh.