'American Idol': 20 Weeks Later, the Final Two Finally Perform
'American Idol': 20 Weeks Later, the Final Two Finally Perform
Abbey Simmons
Abbey Simmons
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
To quote Lee Dewyze, a backing gospel choir, Tim Urban, Maddie Curtis, Jason Castro, Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen: "Hallelujah!"

It's the final performance night of American Idol season 9. Tonight marks the 42nd
episode in the 20th (!) week of the season, and, finally, the competition has come down to the stand-off we all predicted months ago: the soulful folk stylings of Crystal Bowersox, the most unlikely Idol contestant ever, versus the gravelly-voiced everyman charm of Lee Dewyze.

Take a Look Back at Season 9:

The 25 Worst Performances of Season 9
The 25 Best Performances of Season 9
The Best of the Rest of Season 9
Dream Idol Finale Duets
Simon Cowell's Most Memorable 'Idol' Moments


Crystal and Lee are neck and neck in what's arguably the closest Idol race in the history of the show, and it all comes down to tonight's performance. Will Crystal's consistency come through? Or will Lee's momentum carry him to victory in spite of shaky vocal performances for much of the season?


Other questions buzzing through our minds on this finale's eve: Will Randy Jackson's cardigan collection continue to rival Mr. Rogers'? Will Simon Cowell just say to hell with it all and decide tonight is his Senior Skip Day? And will this season's Idol coronation song yet again have the opposite effect on me, and inspire murderous rage at ham-handed lyrics rather than a warm, fuzzy feeling?

kara-ham-handed.jpgNo more "No Boundaries," Kara!

Of course, there's only one way to find out ... watch along with me live tonight as the final two perform one three last times.

Alright, it's Idol (almost) finale time and the Nokia Theater looks like the Thunderdome and makes Ryan Seacrest seem even more like tiny little man. For the big event, Randy has ditched the cardigans and Simon has classed it up with a sport coat instead of a dangerously low v-neck shirt. That's how we're supposed to know tonight's important ... that and the blinding lights that may induce seizures.

With 7,000 screaming fans and just three performances standing between Lee, Crystal and the crown, passion and nerves are clearly running high. For their introduction, Crystal and Lee walk through the sea of screaming fans. Well, Lee walks. Crystal stumbles. She drops her microphone and misses her mark. Meanwhile, Lee who was hobbled by nerves early in the season looks cool and confident. He's smiling like he's already won the Lotto, because frankly, he already has. As has Crystal.

The performance order tonight will be: contestants' choice, producers' choice, and Idol coronation song. Crystal won the Idol coin toss last week, which means she gets the ultimate pimp spot: the final performance of the entire competition.

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