Lee DeWyze is our nation's new official Idol, and while that may be difficult to get thrilled about, at least it means this season is over. Mr. DeWyze got on a conference call today to discuss his win and journalists across the nation called in, trying desperately to come up with things to ask the least exciting American Idol winner in the show's history. Read highlights below.
What was the experience of meeting [almost] all the winners at the finale?
Lee DeWyze: Meeting the past winners in the beginning of the show, when we got to meet some of them, was almost intimidating, because you see what they've accomplished, and you just want that. In the beginning it's different, because there's a lot of us, but as we got closer and closer to the end we got to meet more and more of the past Idols, and I was able to talk to some of them, and they've been really amazing.
Adam Lambert was awesome on the show because he's a real genuine guy, and he's original, and I like him. He's got a good attitude and I think he's real; he says it how it is, and I like that about him. I got to talk to David Cook a little bit -- he's one of the nicest guys I've ever met in my life. I've noticed a trend throughout all the Idols is that they're all genuine people, and they know what it's like to be on the other side of it, like where I was at.
How frustrating was it to try to stay true to yourself while performing genres of music that were foreign to you?
LD: I think a big part of American Idol that scares people, and has actually stopped people from trying out, is that you do have to do things that aren't necessarily your genre. But my thing is this: you're given a song -- you do have some say in it, but you go with whatever song you have to go with -- and you take that song, and the judges always say "Make it your own, make it your own" and sometimes it sounds repetitive when they say that, but at the same time it's one thing to get up there and play a song the way it was originally, but if that's what you wanna do, then just go buy the original, you know?
My thing was to take every song and make it like a song that Lee sang. We went to the studio and we were given free reign to arrange the songs whatever way we wanted, and I did. It's part of the game. That's what American Idol is -- it's go up on a stage, play cover songs the best you can, your way, and make them original, and I think that I was able to do that.
Any albums you've been listening to recently that have inspired you?
LD: I listen to a lot of different things, everything from Sufjan Stevens to Kings of Leon to Ben Harper. I love Soundgarden, I love Rage Against the Machine, Simon & Garfunkel. I have a pretty wide range of musical tastes, but I actually sat down and listened to Kris [Allen's] album, and I really dug it. He's a cool guy, and I really got into his album recently. It was kind of inspiring to me, because he got to do a lot of the things he really wanted to do on his album, and I know I wanna get a chance to do the same thing.
Did you feel upstaged at all by the amount of time devoted to Simon's farewell in the finale?
LD: Well, he definitely shared the spotlight, and, you know, that's OK. He's been a huge part of the reason the show's been a success, and of course it's his last season -- they're going to have to make mention of that. It was kind of expected to be that.
But the night before, it wasn't about that. The night before was about us performing, and I thought what they did for him was really cool. I got a chance to talk to him and he was just really happy for me, and he's a really nice dude, so I don't feel like he stole the spotlight or anything. I thought it was cool, actually. I thought it made the night even a little bit better.
Discuss Lee's win in the comments, and take a look at our list of the best and worst moments of the AI finale .
Watch TWoP's editors discuss this season's best and worst finales in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop cable news channel:
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