After a two-hour "American Idol" finale that seemed more concerned with the franchise's loss of judge Simon Cowell than crowning a winner, it was eventually mentioned that Lee DeWyze, a 24-year-old paint-store clerk from Mount Prospect, IL, had triumphed over Crystal Bowersox, a Janis-Joplinesque folky and presumptive winner. The burning question: Can DeWyze overcome a "sleepy season" and carve out a musical career for himself? (Watch Lee DeWyze perform on the "Idol" finale)
DeWyze has a tough road ahead: The crown "doesn't carry the same weight it once did," says Simon Vozick-Levinson in Entertainment Weekly. Look at last year's underwhelming winner, Kris Allen, still "fighting to stay on the public’s mind." DeWyze's best chance is stay true to his own sound and book time with "a serious producer who shares his love of roots and folk-rock — someone like T Bone Burnett."
"Lee DeWyze's post-Idol career: Will he be a Kelly Clarkson or a Taylor Hicks?"
America's picked another depressingly safe choice: DeWyze is sweet but forgettable, says Shalley Fralic in the Vancouver Sun. A year after the far more gifted Adam Lambert lost to Kris Allen, America has picked another Idol whose "stage presence is charming but shaky, full of promise but not much confidence...is it because Bowersox is a dreadlocked new-age hippie and DeWyze is so not?"
"Lee DeWyze: It's Kris Allen all over again!"
DeWyze is the biggest lemon in a season of lemons: Congratulations, America, says Jacob in Television Without Pity on an "amateurish" choice. At least fans found "a way to break convention, after nine seasons, by rewarding someone specifically and explicitly for their mediocrity."
"'American Idol': The Finale"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 10 things you need to know today: July 25, 2014
Subscribe to the Week