LOS ANGELES — Forgive Lee DeWyze for not being able to articulate what it was like to be named the winner of "American Idol" season nine.
"Honestly," he said backstage after the finale, "I can't even explain it to you. There was confetti flying, there was fireworks. I don't know where I am. I'm turning around. It just all happened so fast. It was amazing. It felt like there was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. It feels really good. This is an amazing experience for me, especially since this has been a long process, and it's a lot harder than I ever thought it would be."
Now that the show is over, DeWyze said he gets to go out on tour, get in a studio and do what he loves best. When he finally does get to work on his album, he said it will be a mix of sounds: alternative, rock and folk.
He also addressed his final performances on Tuesday night, saying that even though he got critiqued harshly by the judges, he wouldn't change much.
"You'd think by the last week, you get it. They're going to say what they're going to say," he said of the judges. "But as long as you go out there, you try your hardest ... you can't really walk away with regret. There's been ups and downs. But that's what makes this show so great. You have to be vulnerable. Sometimes it's really awesome; sometimes it's not. I'm happy with what I did, for sure. I think anybody can go back and nitpick, but I love the songs I sang. I went out there and sang them, and I'm happy I did."
As for departing judge Simon Cowell, DeWyze said, "I think that he's honest and he says what he thinks, and I appreciate that about him."
DeWyze says this competition has changed him for good: "I'm going to hate Wednesdays for the rest of my life. I'm going to wake up on Wednesday and be like, 'Ugh, it's judgment day!' "
Were you surprised that Lee came out on top? Let us know in the comments!
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