Lee DeWyze's post-'Idol' career: Will he be a Kelly Clarkson or a Taylor Hicks?

Lee-DeWyzeImage Credit: Michael Becker/FoxAs you’ve no doubt heard, Lee DeWyze is your new American Idol. Now what?

DeWyze’s victory last night demonstrates that he has millions of fans who are at least committed enough to call a phone number. The question is how many of those fans will keep supporting DeWyze by buying CDs, concert tickets, and other merchandise in the years to come. Right now, that question is an open one, as it would have been for anyone else who won American Idol‘s ninth season.

That crown, after all, doesn’t carry the same weight it once did. Look at last season’s winner, Kris Allen, whose debut album made an underwhelming first-week splash on the charts in November. A year after winning Idol, Allen is still fighting to stay on the public’s mind and expand his fan base. DeWyze will have to work even harder if he ever wants to be mentioned in the same breath as Idol-winning megastars like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood — and avoid the fate of season five champ Taylor Hicks, who’s been all but forgotten by the mainstream pop world.

So what should he do? Here’s some unsolicited advice: DeWyze should stay true to his own sound. This is a guy who has Cat Stevens lyrics tattooed on his body. I’d suggest booking some extended studio time with a serious producer who shares his love of roots and folk-rock — someone like T Bone Burnett — and seeing what emerges. That might sound like it contradicts my previous suggestion that DeWyze needs to hustle toward a bigger pop profile, but it doesn’t have to. Ultimately, any success DeWyze sees from now on will be largely due to his own merits as a singer and songwriter. Drawing on the influences that he personally cares most deeply about could be his surest path to lasting stardom.

In other words, the future of Lee DeWyze’s career is up to him. Which really means it’s up to you. Will you support DeWyze’s future endeavors? Do you think he has what it takes to become a major-league pop star outside of the Idol dome?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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  • ashley

    meh, he never really impressed me…his voice is not unique. it’s very hinder or nickelback. So, no, not buying anything of his.

    • shameless

      Don’t know about Lee but Siobhan and Aaron sounded pretty good last night. Alnis Morissette, now she has a unique voice and she still got it

      • shameless

        no edit..Alanis

      • Greg

        Siobhan is a horrendous singer, but she looked hot. I can’t imagine anyone buying her music except for her small klatch of obsessed fans.

      • patty

        I agree! I loved Siobhan and Arron last night and have bought many of her songs from AI9 and will buy a cd if she puts one out.

      • djm

        Um, no. I will not buy anything by him. And for his sake I hope all the tweentard girls and cougars rush out to support him because let’s face it – if he didn’t look the way he does I know for a fact he wouldn’t have won – Casey would have. The days of a female winning this contest are OVER.

      • petra

        I would have never imagined a Aaron-Siobhan pairing but darn, the two were GOOD together! I was sort of disappointed when the actual BeeGees came out – thinking the two strongest voices of S9 could build into dueling power notes at the end. But the breakup of the two into two adjoining duets with Bros Barry and Robin Gibb went very well.
        (And a little time with Barry Gibb, also a great songwriter and who helped as producer or advising producer to get mega albums for Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion in the 90s – is not a bad thing for Siobhan. If Barry remembers her. I think he will..)

        The moment of the night was Casey with Bret Michaels.

        But besides that, and Crystal doing very well, Siobhan Magnus stood out amongst the contestants. Lead vocals shined, and the girl was just radiating starlike charisma.
        (And got a little tutored in how much work she has left to do by Christina Aguilera, if teen contestant, now 20 Siobhan honestly aspires to be one of the handful of high end star female vocalists. I think that is what Magnus wants to shoot for most of all, and is willing to do the hard work with vocal coaching, performance coaches to see if she has the true talent to go for that. If not, she has other options in pop vocals, lead singer in a band, indie music, and serious professional theater work.

    • LOL

      Lee needs to wear jackets that actually fit him. They have a strict dress code at Taco Bell.

      • Jeremy

        I’ll assume from your name that you thought this was funny, which says a lot about you.

      • shari

        It was funny. I am still laughing.

    • Lee Fan

      ˙ǝʇɐɥ noʎ ˙ʇɐǝɹƃ sı ǝǝן ˙pɐǝɥ ʎdood ɐ puɐ ɯnp-ɯnp ɐ ǝɹɐ noʎ ʞuıɥʇ ı


    • Brian

      Lee’s hot.

      • MultiPass

        Totally. I’ll buy Crystal’s music, but I want to lick Lee’s balls

      • Sonia

        No he’s not. Plus he’s short. it was only his hair that made him as tall as Seacrest.

    • Riley

      Anyone see Crystal’s song is also being released as a single? The producers aren’t stupid, even they know they’re not going to make money off Lee’s single.

      • mike

        After hearing U2’s version of “Beautiful Day,” why would anyone in their right mind buy Lee’s version. I mean, I like Lee, but seriously folks, even a die-hard Lee fan has to admit that his version is lackluster by comparison.

      • Anonymous

        They always release the runner up’s single as well you moron.

      • Terry

        Lee’s Beautiful Day is #3 and Crystal’s Tell The Mountain is #8 on the iTunes chart.

      • Hannah

        I’m a Lee fan, but I wouldn’t buy any version of that song, because it sucks in general.

    • Ashley G.

      Ashley I agree with you, I have not liked him at all on AI and will not buy anything he puts out, I have a feeling he is going down the taylor hicks road

      • nicole

        I think Lee could only wish to sell as many records as Taylor Hicks. Even though Taylor flopped, he’s more dynamic than Lee. I honestly don’t see too many record buyers getting excite at the prospect of a Lee album. Maybe if they suffer from insomnia…

      • Terry

        Give me a break. Lee’s music is a lot more current and relevant than Taylor Hicks’s music ever was. I have a feeling Lee will probably be as big as Daughtry.

    • Mac

      YOU ARE RIGHT ON, Ashley. Lee does sound like Hinder, Nickleback, Puddle of Mud, Daughtry, Lighthouse, and on and on and on and on

    • Paint Store Owner

      Lee, quit saying “oh, my God” and help the customer with some paint in aisle two…chop, chop paint boy.

    • kim

      What’s a hinder or nickleback? Anyway, he aint no Chris Daughtry. He’s not aggressive with his vocals. His style is not dynamic and he’s too laid back and not dynamic enough to be successful on the pop charts.

      • Terry

        Tell that to George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Stipe, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, etc. All laid back guys.

      • @Terry

        I guess you’ve never seen Bruce in concert. He’s anything but laid back. And to have the audacity to compare Lee to a Beatle and other artistic geniuses is blasphemous to say the least. You must be one of those Adam Lambert fans who let’s their over-inflated opinion of an Idol contestant get the best of them.

      • mari

        at @Terry — how did adam lambert get into the conversation? wth!!

      • charlie

        Lee will never come close to being as successful as any of the stars that Terry lists.. I don’t see any star-power there at all. I’d be happy to be wrong, but doubt I am. I wish both Crystal and Lee success in their careers, but expect Crystal will continue to show star-power and Lee will fizzle out.

    • charlie

      I agree… Only a few of his performances seemed at all interesting to me. My guess is that Crystal will be much more successful than Lee. BTW, check out Siobahn’s high school performances that are on youtube. She is remarkable and I hope her idol exposure will give her a big career boost. I hope to see and hear a lot more from both Crystal and Siobahn, and also Lily who, imo, is a far more interesting performer than Lee will ever be!

      • Rose

        What about Alex Lambert? He has an amazing voice and I honestly think we will all see more of him!

  • KC

    I’m willing to bet that he will be the least selling performer off all time from Idol.

    • KC

      “of all time” damn no edit function.

    • sally

      I agree. At least Taylor Hicks had personality. Lee dosen’t even have that. He will diffinitely be the least selling one.

      • DrChocolate999

        Over Taylor Hicks? Really. Highly highly doubt that. he’s no Clarkson or Underwood. But c’mon he’s no Hicks either. Ashley criticized him for sounding like Nickelback and Hinder, and true – they’re terrible – but they sell millions and millions of records. If Lee even partially taps that vain he’ll pass many of the Idols like Hicks, Studdard, and probably Allen too.

      • Ron

        Its hard to say, because noone buys CDs anymore. Nobody will ever approach Carrie or Kelly’s 5 million+ but even half a million may be a stretch for Lee (Taylor sold over 600K copies).
        I do think Lee could have more success on radio though, but mostly at Adult Top 40. He might almost be better off going the Daughtry route and heading up a band and going in more of a Rock direction.

      • Jack

        Sorry, he is no Daughtry. He will not sell more than 300K, I bet.

      • Rich

        Forget about outselling Taylor Hicks. Just focus on outselling Kris Allen… who STILL hasn’t gone gold yet after almost 8 months.

        As for the original writer, nice advice regarding T-Bone Burnett. NEVER gonna happen. Why would a Grammy- and Oscar-winning producer possibly work with the latest flash-in-the-pan reality-show karaoke winner when he has artists like Alison Kraus, Ryan Bingham, and Robert Plant on his plate?!?

      • wooster182

        Taylor Hicks made $3 million a year for the last 3 years for his off-broadway Grease performance. I think Lee would be lucky to make as much.

      • jared4ever

        “off-broadway Grease performance” that just about says it all.

      • @Rich

        In defense of Kris Allen, he may not have reached gold status for his album, but he has a platinum plus single that has done better than Lambert (who still enjoys a tremendous amount of publicity and shameless hype).

      • Applesauce

        well, carrie was lame omn the show (2good performances one being alone) but is awesome now which that is how i see lee except for the fact he was good on the show.

      • Fartbutt

        Hey @@Rich, Lambert also has a plantinum single and a GOLD album. Um say again about how Kris had done better than Lambert? Lambert is also touring his own concert and it has just been announce he will also being headlinning his own tour international. Um isn’t Kris still opening up for someone? OK, um yeah he has done so much better than Lambert.

    • Lj1906

      Are you serious? I judge contestants by 1. whether I would buy an album and 2. likeability. Lee is TOP of both lists. I think he is talented, humble, sweet, kind and sexy. I absolutely WILL buy his first song, album and every subsequent album.

      • Justin

        Did you mean his first cover?

      • juye

        Yeah, cuz he totally wrote a song like Beautiful Day

      • Cindy

        Justin you DO realize that Crystal’s first release is also a cover? If not, look it up.

      • lOVIN LEE

        What has this world come too when they see REAL talent in someone and yet bash them on something that doesn’t even matter, like Lee’s “looks”. Yes he is a good looking guy but I will bet anything that is NOT what made he win the title of American Idol last night!!! He is HUMBLE, TRUE, MEEK,TALENTED and REAL people!!! Nothing got him his spot besides the true blessing of his voice….. so many americans are caught up in the wrong ideas of an idol these days, it’s truly SAD! Lee WILL go far and I bet anything you all will bite your words!! The comment about the ” paint boy” was just uncalled for…… Don’t ever throw stones at glass houses… I bet he’s standing somewhere in his life right now that 99% of “avarage” americans will never be!! I have 1000% faith in my boy Lee, have from DAY ONE!!!!

      • @LJ

        I have no idea what “likeability” sounds like on the radio. Lee’s success will be judged by how good his singles are and whether he can get a lot of radio play. Likeability really doesn’t matter.

      • Girish

        I think one of the reasons Simon is qtuntiig American Idol b/c obviously not only is Adam a loose cannon but others like him are going to be using the show..not only did he do something gross and offensive to the world at the AMA, he also, smeared Idol instead of them fostering young unknown talent they are fostering well seasoned users I am considering not watching Idol anymore depending upon this season and how they choose to select their prospective talent. Adam was not an unseasoned performer! he came with his deviant bag of goods to exploit the public with. He won!

    • Heather

      Funny thing is that Lee already has an indie CD that’s been out, and it’s already climbed to #22 on Amazon.com. that’s probably better than Taylor Hicks’ CD ever was…or Reuben…or Jordin Sparks!

      • Sarah

        No. Lee will never be better than Jordin.

  • crispy

    He is so gonna be worse than Taylor Hicks. Seriously picking up a phone and dialing a free number is a lot easier than opening your wallet and buying an album by a guy who has decent talent at best. But seriously did anyone think Lee or Crystal would move CDs? I highly doubt it. They were fun to watch on TV as free entertainment but crap in the real music industry.

    • on the rare side

      I can actually agree with you for once.

    • Jen

      I agree. Neither Lee or Crystal will move CDs. The people with the most potential this season if they work with the right people are Casey, Didi and maaaaybe Siobhan

      • Jack

        Didi and Siobhan are good. I agree. They have those popular music sounds. Not sure why Simon hated them so much. Guess he is off now for good.

      • Spaz Devil

        Didi??? Seriously?? Chick can’t even warble in tune!

      • Brandon R.

        She was in tune for almost every performance, and sounded dang good every time, thank you. She has definite potential for success in the future…

      • petra

        Didi Ben-Ami is not as multifaceted as Siobhan in terms of talents and other marketable attributes – nor does she have Magnus’s power and range – but darn, she has a really good, contemporary voice nevertheless! A voice that is good enough for her to get some good work if the stars align right.
        I loved listening to her, hated when judges and Seacrest were undercutting her confidence in herself.

        Like Lee, Casey and Siobhan, I just naturally wish all sorts of success for Didi.

    • Sally in Chicago

      So true, and it’s proven time and again….btw, the tickets to the tour are “discounted” already.

      I think this season is merely a reflection on the judging and poor decisions by the producers — they need to not only reconfigure the judges table but bring in better producers.

      • Billy

        “The Tour”
        Who goes?

      • pishposh

        teenyboppers and the moms who drive them because they think Idol is good clean fun. You know the same types that go to hannah montana jonas brothers and even justin bieber…

    • brett

      Kris Allen was the worst one. The reason why his album was not a complete failure was because the Christiam community supported him like they did when he was on the show. I’M NOT TALKING BAD ABOUT CHRISTIANS but they do tend to have the largest and most loyal support group.

      • as

        That’s just not true. Kris Allen’s vocals are limited in a traditional you’ve got ‘big pipes’ way, but he is an effective singer..has control of his voice…gets the most out of it…in addition he’s a musician/song writer with good arrangement skills.
        Poor Lee has a nice tone to his voice and he’s appealing/cute in a sort of ‘needy’ way. That’s it. He can’t sing well…they turned off his mic last night.

      • Slovo

        (it’s not really good to just make stuff up)

      • Ali

        i’m sorry, were you confusing Danny Gokey and Kris Allen? Kris never had the Christian support – that was Danny.

      • luke

        No. Kris was one of the few I thought really deserved to win because of the way he interpreted songs – I bought his album and I’m going to see him live in July – The show ended up promoting Adam and barely gave Kris the time of day – now Adam is not doing well again – oh well…

      • Sanjaya’s Girlfriend

        I don’t think Christians were voting so much FOR Kris, but AGAINST Adam Lambert.

      • Lola

        I still contend that Kris did not get the support from his label that others received in the past. I think they were so wrapped up in Adam Lambert they put Kris by the wayside. Which is a bummer. They guy won and they chose to pretend it just didn’t happen.

      • @brett

        Gee, is that so? You mean to tell me that the Christian community contro nation-wide radio play? Stop hating on the guy. His single beat out Adam’s nation-wide. Christians? Please.

      • @Sanjaya’s Girlfriend

        How do you explain Adam being the front-runner all season if Christians were voting against him? I’m pretty sure the majority of voters were from a Christian background and they voted for Adam in droves.

      • Sanjaya’s Boyfriend

        Who would listen to the logic of someone stupid enough to think Sanjaya has a girlfriend?

      • guest

        Actually, Kris Allen released his single “Live like…” first but his initial lead over Adam Lambert’s “Whatya want…” has now dwindled to nothing.
        In album sales Adam Lambert is outselling Kris Allen by a lot more than 2:1. And I’m not even counting international sales of both Lambert’s album and single!
        Plus, Lambert is headlining his own tour this summer which also will add international dates to his 40+ concerts here.
        If that’s what you call “not doing well” then I’d like a slice of it! The guy is making some serious money this year…

    • Lj1906

      wrong again. Lee is terrific. I can’t believe you don’t see it. Simon sees it. He loves Lee and wanted him to win and predicted he would win weeks ago.

      • Jennifer

        Simon created Il Divo, and keeps trying to foist Leona Lewis on us. His musical taste is crap. Lee will be lucky to sell as well as Kris has, especially in the rapidly changing music business.

      • lulu

        He also thought Il Divo was a great idea!!

      • nicole

        Forget about the rapidly changing music business. Lee will struggle to sell albums in any scenario. He may be a nice guy and all, but I doubt if his music will be in demand on pop radio. People don’t seem to understand the difference between Idol and the real world.

      • Tinuviel

        I read a story online today and they quoted Simon as saying (after the winner was revealed).. “I can’t believe Chrystal lost! I’m out of here” Sounds to me like Simon was rooting for Chrystal.

      • Tinuviel

        Edit.. Crystal (hate typos) :)

      • Anonymous

        And that sounds like complete bull.

      • Clean your ears

        WRONG. Simon said all along that Crystal was head and shoulders above the rest until the last few weeks when he said Lee had improved a lot and was very likable. He was asked on Ellen’s show who he thought would win and he said up until a few weeks ago, he would have said Crystal but now his gut was saying Lee because he was the rags to riches story. And as I type this – guess who’s music is playing in the background on Regis & Kelly? ADAM LAMBERT.

      • Sarah

        how frickin’ gullible/naive can you be? lee’s victory was SET UP by the producers.

  • Roma

    Maybe, maybe not. I’m a Crystal fan, but will consider buying a Lee CD if it contains good music. Lee’s problem is that his largest fan base is young girls who quickly move from one infatuation to the next, and unless he can find a way to make unique and compelling music that can be instantly recognizable as his own, he will make a tiny splash and then disappear.

    • Sally in Chicago

      How do you know his fan base is “young” girls…?

      • @Sally

        Does it really maatter what his “fan base” is? It’s an Idol fan base, not a real world fan base. He will be judged on his music in the real world, not his personality. If his music doesn’t measure up, he will not get played. There are tons of singers out there who will get preferential treatment over him.

    • Anne

      Young girls and their moms! Don’t forget the moms.

      • Kim

        I’ve supported Lee pretty much from the beginning. I’m 53, and my daughter is 25. And we’ve gone to a couple of concerts. Not likely this year, though, due to lack of interest in the other 8 contestants.

      • Lj1906

        Lee is likeable to a whole cross section from the young girls, their moms and dads. They like a success story – from paint salesman to superstar. He also has the attention of the gays and that definitely is an indicator of assured success. They gays know talent and charims, charm and appeal.

      • Mike

        Lj, the gays like lee? Seriously? I’m gay and I think this guy is terrible. Face it, Lee has the great distinction of winning AI when it officially hit bottom of the barrell. BFD.

      • Riley

        Sorry, but “the gays” as you called us, love singer-song writer chicks like Crystal. Yes Lee’s pretty but “we gays” like talent first!

      • Paul

        Well, I’m gay and I like Lee’s voice. I’ve supported him since the beginning.

    • Clean your ears

      @Roma – I agree with you 100%

  • wakeforce

    Taylor Hicks sounded better than Lee last night.

    • SusanQ

      That’s a stretch. But, it may be from all the county fair circuits he’s done!! lol!

    • Sanjaya’s Girlfriend

      The one thing about Taylor Hicks is that he was more of an entertainer than he was a singer. I believe that is where his votes came from.

  • ashley

    i will definitely be buying crystal’s cd, though. her original songs are stunning.

  • MT

    Taylor Hicks was never going to be a ‘mainstream pop’ artist if you ever watched that entire season. It’s a shame he’s not more successful, he definitely should’ve won that season, but just because he isn’t the female Carrie Underwood he hasn’t been a failure. He has a solid fanbase. A lot of artists can’t say they have a solid fanbase like a lot of the idols can.

    And that’s the final time I’ll ever defend Taylor Hicks smh

    • kezbo

      “…because he isn’t the female Carrie Underwood.” If that’s the case, Man! Carrie Underwood is the hottest drag queen I have EVER seen! :o)

    • pishposh

      he has a solid fan base? who? who are these people? i want them identified! i’ve never heard anyone say “woohoo. taylor hicks is coming to town!” that being said, i don’t have music talks about concerts with the over 50 set..

      • Jennie

        I did see Taylor when he came to Niagara Falls. He deff isnt a Carrie ad plays smaller venues its a more personal expirence for the fans. He put on a great show and even took a request from a fan. I would see him again

      • teacher

        Why do people think those of us over 50 have no taste in music? What a ageist remark.

      • Seriously???

        @pishposh – maybe you should because you could use an education in music history The 50+ crowd originated concerts and were going to them before you could breathe. The bands and artists that came from our era were and are still world class. Many of those artists and thier music are still played today. Beatles, Eagles, Stones, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Aerosmith, U2, Springsteen, Bon Jovi to name a few.

    • Hildy

      Taylor is talented, has a great voice, and charisma. Simon sabotaged him because he looked ‘old’ with the gray hair, and Simon wanted a young diva type to win every year. Simon only supported Reuban because he didn’t want Clay to win. I’m actually a Simon fan, but he will blow off artists he doesn’t personally like, even if there’s money to be made from them.

    • Sanjaya’s Girlfriend

      You think he should have definitely won over Chris Daughtry?

      • Hildy

        Chris isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. That’s what nobody gets. He is very good, obviously, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t like his voice or musical style. This show has always been about mass appeal, and Taylor had it that year.

      • mike

        Taylor is like Adam Lambert, entertaining but not relevant to what’s going on in music today. Adam has to rely on relentless hype and promotion in order to appear relevant. He pushs the envelope with the make-up and the controvesial antics. He’s working overtime to force his way into relevance while Taylor tries to just be Taylor. At least Hicks has musical integrity.

      • Brianne

        So you’re saying Taylor Hicks who tours with an off-Broadway production of “Grease” supposedly has “musical integrity” while Adam Lambert who performed in musicals like “Ten commandments” and “Wicked” for many years has not???
        What kind of screwed up logic is that?
        Also, I’m not sure what you know about Adam Lambert’s fans but most of them (like me) don’t give a ratt’s fart about the media.
        Those stories are 98% lies anyway.
        I bought his album and will see him live this sommer because I think he’s hella talented.
        Everything else is just an added bonus to hearing him sing.

  • Ed

    While I wasn’t really a fan of Taylor, at least he sang with emotion. Whatever Taylor sang, I believed him. I doubted every word that came out of Lee’s mouth. Zero emotion, zero passion.

    • JaneDoe

      I highly agree, Lee was never convincing. And how much of an artist can he be when A) his arrangements (or lack thereof) of songs weren’t anything special for example Kiss From a Rose: pitiful. And B)no charisma, tweens may have fell for his baby blues, but this dude has no personality and could barely form a sentence when prompted about song choice or feeling in general.

      • michelle

        i think you all are forgetting that Lee is only 23 yrs old, and very shy at that, he worked a paint shop ..a average job and i doubt he was ever “life of the party” and a very outgoing personality. give the guy a break break for gods sake,. its probably VERY nerve racking and it would be hard for anyone to adjust. Granted yes he is competing and should be the most out going he can because if you want to be in the lime light you got to have personality. But still give the guy a break its in his hands to see how his future plays out, and i personally think he is going to do great, much better that crystal, alothough her look was unique and she has an amazing voice she does not protray an “American Idol” lee on the other hand he has great sound, a good look and the most commercial voice out of any of the other contestants.

        Lee was the right one to win!

      • Mia

        So what if he’s 23 and only worked in a paint store. Crystal’s 24 and can sing and talk circles around Lee. I think Kris was 23 when we won, and Kelly Clarkson and Jordin Sparks were younger when they won their seasons. They all sung with A LOT more passion and were much more articulate when they discussed their choices.

      • michelle

        Yah Crystals also dirty looking and missing teeth, that to me is not a great”American Idol” image to look u to. and other people are more comfortable talking in front of large crowds than others, it will all come with time. Lees better than half the people that have won in the past.

      • Ed

        Way to show your true colors, Michelle. “Crystals [sic] also dirty looking and missing teeth…” Very low class of you, Michelle. And what exactly is an “‘American Idol’ image”? A nice but inarticulate guy who often sings off tune? Regarding Crystal, I don’t know why you think she’s dirty looking. She looks fine by me. And she has diabetes, which could account for her teeth. Maybe you should challenge yourself to beyond the surface.

      • pishposh

        i guess michelle’s idea of what an american idol is would be sandra dee as gidget. yeah, a lot of you don’t know who i mean, but i bet michelle does. which makes my point. i think the majority of the younger generation (well, maybe not so much the youth group going, promise ring wearing, home schooled set) are more into diversity than you are, michelle. we appreciate personality, not cookie cutter white bread types. to each his own, but saying there is an “american idol” image is just as outdated as talking about the “girl next door”. i know what you are talking about, but the concept belongs more in the 50’s than in this new millenium.

      • Stacy

        So I am going to be a devils advocate and agree with Michelle about Crystal, I am not saying she doesn’t have a good voice, but she def isn’t an American Idol. That is cool that she can do her own thing, but she scares me… Like If I was walking in a dark alley she would come up and take my money..

      • Jack

        Now people talking about Crystal’s look, that is some words from you girls. Disgrace. Luckily Aretha Franklin was not born in this decade, we would never know her now. They should be judged by voice all along, not look. BTW, i don’t find Lee good looking at all.

      • myself

        Women all complain about the unrealistic image of skinny hot bodies, then you get a real women and they pile on about how bad they look. Just like they will complain if a guy says you cant have anything popular decided by voting because the girls will screw it up. Look at Idol and there is the proof.

      • rebecca

        it’s a shame that those criticizing Crystal’s look are women. So much for allowing a person to have her own style. Stacy, why you’d be walking down a dark alley is beyond me, but Crystal is not threatening in any way whatsoever. I think your fear speaks more to your rigid boundaries as to how a woman should look, which is a shame. I mostly find that it’s not men holding women back but fellow women.

      • Ali

        So Lee was a shy 23 year old who worked in a paint store? so what? Kris Allen was a shy 23 year old who worked as a shoe salesman? But he had more personlity, charisma and self-belief then Lee.

        Jordin was a teenager. Even Archie, who was a runner-up and Allison Iraheta who came in 4th last year showed more personlity and confidence then Lee has ever shown.

      • Jennifer

        Lee already had a recording contract (with a small independent label)he had to get out of before going on Idol so he’s not really the babe in the woods that he was portrayed to be on the show.

      • Mike

        Um are you that stupid? Aretha Franklin looked quite different when she was actually popular.

        I am not saying its right, but how many younger women singers do you know who aren’t at least marginally hot and still popular.

        Not many

  • Samantha

    I hated Taylor Hicks on Idol, but he honestly hasn’t done too badly for himself, he just didn’t do it through pop music. I doubt Lee would ever take the Broadway route like Taylor did, though. I liked Crystal and Lee on Idol but I don’t know if I’d buy either of their CD’s from listening to their original songs… just not my type of music. For Lee, his success depends on how he wants to route his career and who he works with. I like him a lot and I hope he does well for himself!

    • alex

      I’m a little confused when you say “broadway route”…he’s done one or two bits parts for a few months, its Constantine that is legitimately on broadway

      • googliezoo

        and Diana Degarmo and Ace Young are currently starring in Hair. I saw it a few weeks ago-fabulous. Diana was in Hairspray before that as well, Fantasia did The Color Purple, there have been others as well.

      • Samantha

        He’s still touring in Grease… that’s what’s made him the most money in the last year, and half of his album sales came from those performances.

      • pattycupcake

        i don’t know if taylor hicks can really act; those other parts were substantial; hicks has a cameo and one song in grease. i don’t know. in the end, there is something very guarded about him. it’s odd. i think he could do well in the right venue, though, like maybe some tv thing, and i do like his voice a lot when it’s the right song and the right register. he seems pretty ambitious so i think he’ll keep at it and try different things till something sticks.

  • Jim S

    Both Lee and Crystal will be hard-pressed to even reach Kris’ numbers. It’s not even a measure of talent…I just don’t see either having the kind of broad-base appeal of Carrie, Kelly, David or Jordin.

    • Su

      Their problem is that both come off of what is now known as the worst ever season of a reality TV karaoke contest.
      Chrystal has some talent but she is more of a niche artist and frankly won’t look appealing next to “hot pop princesses” like Rhianna, Miley Cyrus or even Katy Perry.
      Lee has to face the added odd of being known as “the guy who shouldn’t have won”.
      Just ask Kris Allen how that has played out for him…
      Plus, he’s known for being not exactly the most talented singer ever to grace the Idol stage…
      The finale has made some media headlines but I doubt either of them can turn their Idol run into even a moderate success as a recording artist…

  • K

    I doubt that I’d ever buy a CD of Lee’s. However, I definitely plan to buy Crystal’s and Casey’s. Love both of them!

    • asia

      i love lee i think he deserved this win and no matter what i think he will be sucessful. i will defintly buy his cd’s b/c he’s genuine-also lee’s voice is amazing-din’t get me wrong i didn’t like lee in the begining &then ot of no where he won me over , during the finale i thought cyrstal was so bad!-i’ve heard HER voice so may times i just got tired of it .lee CAN sing and he’s very attractive.and the people who want to talk crap about lee thier just mad that crystal fell shortand everyone else would rather lee instead – DON’T HATE , SOTP BEING RUDE ; SHOW SOME RESPECT.

      • pishposh

        no. it’s the fact that his supporters make idiotic comments like yours. i’ll agree with you on one point. and that is depending on the song choice, i got a bit bored with crystal’s voice. but i’m not going to be juvenile and compare crystal and lee (apples and oranges). i’m going to critique why you say you like him. because he’s genuine- wtf does that actually MEAN in this context? and because he’s attractive? what does that have to do with liking his music? i have no issue with you being a lee fan, but do yourself a favor- stay in school and learn how to be articulate. being able to communicate (and form a cohesive thought) will take you farther in this world than winning a reality competion!

      • Uhh…

        This coming from someone who didn’t bother to capitalize anything in their response…you know what they say about people in glass houses ; )

      • @pishposh

        And it’s FURTHER–not FARTHER. Learn some grammar too.

      • @@pishposh

        The convention you mention is not universally supported. Merriam-Webster, Fowler’s, and some others consider ‘farther’ unobjectionable in metaphors of distance, such as pishposh’s “take you farther”. You may disagree with pishposh’s usage, but that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

        Lee’s sales will be better than Kris’s but not much, and by his second album bookers will be struggling to distinguish between Lee and that busker whose heartfelt closed-eye vocals made your girlfriend sniffle on the subway last week. Crystal’s first album sales will be a little lower, but day-dreaming girls in boho skirts, women with too many cats, people who hope Sufjan Stevens will one day finish his “album-per-state” project, and over-educated losers such as myself will continue buying Crystal’s work for many years to come, pulling her lifetime stats ahead of those of “DeWyze choice”, who will be remembered as the Idol whose supporters’ slogan would have been better suited to shilling insurance.

    • Rose

      I can’t wait for Siobhan and Alex Lambert to put something out. I will definitely buy their albums!

  • cc

    at least Kris Allen did have a hit single, sadly I don’t see that in the cards for Lee!

  • meme diop

    why u guys so meannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn just tell the truth even if u are not a lee’s fan. stay honest, recognize of talented he is. don’t be haters

    • luke

      That’s just the point – we “haters” don’t “recognize of talented he is” – as you so eloquently put it.

      • Em

        Just because we use correct grammar and punctuation and we don’t think Lee is AWESOME!*!*!*!;-P doesn’t make us “haters.” It makes us adults.

    • pishposh

      have you ever noticed that most people who resort to calling people haters can’t form cohesive sentences much less thoughts? and it has nothing to do with age. it has to do with intelligence. i have met people who were quite young who can articulate their thoughts, and ones that are quite a bit older who can’t. But hey, all you have to do is look at the situation with the Texas BOE and know that the american education model is floundering badly. Well, that or any reality show that’s on E!

      • Greg

        Hater is current terminology for “anyone who disagrees with me.” They can’t support their view intelligently, so they present their view as being victimized by ‘hate’.

      • @Greg

        Excellent point. It’s also quite cowardly and rather annoying to throw the “hater” accusation out there.

    • Jennifer

      I don’t consider someone who cannot sing consistently on-key for 90 seconds at a time to be particularly talented. Call me crazy.

  • Sally in Chicago

    good article. Because there are a lot of little Idols running around musicland –mainly Nashville these days — who don’t have a contract or aren’t heard from again (Lil Rounds?). Even winning is nothing to cheer about because you can be relegated to a 5-minute appearance in Grease; although Taylor claims he’s making beaucoup money with the tour (est. at $3Mil a year)…or you could be a Kat McPhee who is still trying to be taken legitimately as a singer and an actress (after about 3 yrs out there, she finally has a TV gig)….so it’s not all downhill for Lee…
    I think Crystal will be the winner here. She’s got songs stored in a Chicago studio ready to go to press and she can get female writers like Kara, Alanis, Melissa and others to write for her….I hope Clive Davis is still in the market for another female singer, because I think he could make her a star.

    • teacher

      Kat also had a movie (The House Bunny) and a new CD which is better than her first.

    • Seriously

      @Sally – finally – a female here with some sense and not function on lust for lee. Lee was good but he sounds like a lot of current male artists currently on the market. C’mon… Crystal is (as the judges said numerous times) already there. If you watched any of the talk show guests during the Idol run, you would hear that the general support of the current music industry was into Crystal. I bet the reason she was happy and smiling at the end of the winner announcement is because she already has offers stacked up and it didn’t really matter.

    • charlie

      Kat’s career has far outshined that of Mr. Soul-Patrol. She is multi-talented and very much in demand as a singer and actor. However, I’m not convinced that she is making the right song choices for her recordings. IMO her voice is not well-suited to uptempo pop songs, but it shines on ballads and songs that have a good dynamic range in volume– songs like ‘Over the Rainbow’ and “Someone to Watch Over Me” that she performed like a true star during her Idol run. Her performance last year on Idol with David Foster was magnificent. Check out on youtube her performance with Chris Botti and the Boston Pops, singing “I’ve got you under my skin” — fantastic! Her duets with Andrea Bocelli are also remarkable!!! If she is collaborating with star-maker David Foster, she has a real shot at becoming a really big star.

      • Emanuel

        Actually Canyon, not all the songs where cliche’. Had to go look up 3 of them, lol.: Saved; A Little Less Conversation; and Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do. I eugavly remember Conversation’, the other 2 I had to research. While Elvis used Lawdy Miss Clawdy quite a bit in his shows, it is not really his best radio standard or a signature song. (Although many Elvis Impersonators do include that one in their repertoire. Maybe that is what you mean by the cliche part?)I do agree lots of prime material was out there left untouched, but hey: these kids grew up on artists that were only influenced’ by Elvis. Elvis belongs to their grandparents generation. YIKES!!! That’s me. Sigh. Well, almost. Elvis was in his Glory Days in the 50 s and early 60 s, on a come back’ in the 70 s. However you slice and dice it, this AI Contender Group did songs made popular 30 40 years ago. Hat’s off to all of them.

  • Chelsie Nasser

    I disagree. I think he has teh potential to be fantastic he just needs to try a litttle bit harder.

    • Sally in Chicago

      He does come off as lazy doesn’t he? And IMO last night’s performance by Kris Allen was a stinker….he is NOT compelling an artist at all. Casey had more personality and energy than he did.

      • luke

        Wow. Just the opposite. Kris’s performance last night was one of the best of the show.

      • Ali

        Casey stood there with his guitar looking stiff as usual (and I loved Casey last night and thought his duet with Brett Michaels was fabulous, but he is not a dynamic peformer.) Kris picked up that microphone and moved on that stage, engaging the audience as best he could considering the atmosphere in the Nokia at that point so early in the show.

      • kim

        Maybe you just don’t understand real musicianship. Kris Allen did a fine job. His vocals and song interpretation were on point. He doesn’t need gimmicks to “entertain” people. People like you get caught up in everything but how the artist delivers the music. What a shame.

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