One more American Idol roundup for today. This one features Lee and Crystal’s next career move, more talk of Simon’s replacement, and the person we pretty much forgot about (regrettably) during last night’s finale.

First up, Billboard reports that both Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox have signed record deals less than 24 hours after American Idol wrapped up the season! Lee signed up with 19 Recordings and RCA Records, the same label as Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert, while Crystal signed up with 19 and Jive Records, joining the company of Kris Allen, Jordin Sparks and Allison Iraheta.

Expect both their albums to come out by November or December, but you can download their singles — covers of “Beautiful Day” and “Up to the Mountain” respectively — on iTunes right now.

You can say that most of last night’s finale was also about Simon Cowell, but please remember that he isn’t the only one who’s going: band leader Rickey Minor is also leaving Idol to join The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. And he isn’t happy that he didn’t get even a single mention throughout the show, according to TMZ: the site reports that after the show, Minor went to the producers and angrily told them about how insulted he felt. He almost didn’t join the after party, but went anyway after things were smoothed out. Moral of the story: do not snub the band.

Speaking of Simon, E! Online reports that Idol producers are not planning to replace Simon with a permanent judge. A source said that the next season could feature guest judges to take over Simon’s seat, rather than a “single new Simon.” Personally, I don’t see why they can’t just make Kara the new Simon and stick to three judges.

Simon, however, has some ideas: he tells Entertainment Tonight that he wants William Shatner to replace him. Mmm… three judges, please.

Finally, some more bad news for stumbling American Idol: the ratings for last night’s finale were down from last year’s finale ratings. They still led the time slot, but TV by the Numbers reports that Idol took in an average of 24.2 million viewers, down from last year’s 28.9 million — a drop of 18%. Should make the producers panic, right? We’ll see next year…

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Henrik Batallones

Staff Writer, BuddyTV