American Idol (season 9)

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American Idol
Season 9
Broadcast fromJanuary 12, 2010 – May 26, 2010
JudgesSimon Cowell
Randy Jackson
Kara DioGuardi
Ellen DeGeneres
Host(s)Ryan Seacrest
BroadcasterFox Broadcasting Company
Finals venueNokia Theatre Los Angeles
Lee DeWyze
Lee DeWyze.jpg
OriginMount Prospect, Illinois
Song"Beautiful Day"
Genre(s)Rock, alternative rock, indie, folk
Crystal Bowersox
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American Idol
Season 9
Broadcast fromJanuary 12, 2010 – May 26, 2010
JudgesSimon Cowell
Randy Jackson
Kara DioGuardi
Ellen DeGeneres
Host(s)Ryan Seacrest
BroadcasterFox Broadcasting Company
Finals venueNokia Theatre Los Angeles
Lee DeWyze
Lee DeWyze.jpg
OriginMount Prospect, Illinois
Song"Beautiful Day"
Genre(s)Rock, alternative rock, indie, folk
Crystal Bowersox

The ninth season of American Idol premiered on January 12, 2010 and concluded on May 26, 2010 on Fox.[1] Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi returned to the judging panel. Ellen DeGeneres joined the panel as a replacment for Paula Abdul after guest judges filled in during the auditions. [Idol Gives Back]] also returned for the season and was held on April 21, 2010, during the top seven results show.[2] The top 24 semi-finals format used in the fourth through seventh seasons also returned this season.[3] Cowell, DioGuardi and DeGeneres all left the show after this season ended, although only Cowell's departure was announced in advance.[4][5][6] This was the second season where neither of the final 2 contestants had been in the bottom 2 or 3 prior to the finale, with the first being the seventh season. This was also the third consecutive season a male contestant had won, the longest streak for either gender. It was the first season since season 6 where a female made it to the finale and was also the first time since season 7 that both the finalists released a different song as a debut single.

Lee DeWyze, a folk rocker from Mount Prospect, Illinois won the competition, beating the runner-up Crystal Bowersox.

Eight contestants from this season were signed to record labels. The signed artists are Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, Casey James, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, Tim Urban, Didi Benami, and Lacey Brown.


After the season began, Paula Abdul did not return to the judging panel, having announced in the beginning of August 2009 that she was leaving the show due to unresolved contract negotiations.[7] Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Shania Twain, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris and Kristin Chenoweth were brought in to star as guest judges during the auditions phase.[8][9][10][11] There was no guest judge on day two of the Orlando auditions because day one guest judge Chenoweth was called back to New York City. Therefore Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson appeared with only three judges on the audition panel similar to the main panel from the first to the seventh season.

After making the decision to utilize guest judges in Abdul's absence, Fox chairman Peter Rice stated that they would find a permanent fourth judge before the season premiere in January 2010,[12] leading the confirmation on September 9, 2009 by Ellen DeGeneres that she would be joining the show as the new permanent fourth judge for the rounds held at CBS Television City for Hollywood Week and thereafter, onto the live shows.[13]

In addition, Simon Cowell announced shortly before the ninth season began that it would be his last season on American Idol. Cowell left the show to begin preparations for an American version of his talent show The X-Factor.[14] Also, DeGeneres announced on July 29, 2010 that she would not return to the judging panel because it was not the right fit for her. DioGuardi would also not return as a judge for season 10 as announced on September 3, 2010.

After her departure, DioGuardi helped and nominated Steven Tyler for a role as a judge on season ten to show's producers.

Regional auditions[edit]

Auditions had begun on June 14 of the previous year, less than a month after previous season's finale. Auditions were held in the following cities:[15]

During this stage guest judges filled in the fourth judging seat.[16][17] Beckham was the first guest judge, appearing for the Denver and Boston auditions. Blige served as a guest judge for the Atlanta auditions. Jonas filled the guest judging role on the first day of the Dallas auditions and Harris took over the role the following day. Chenoweth served as a guest judge on the first day of the Orlando auditions and Twain judged in Chicago. Perry judged on the first day of the Los Angeles and was replaced by Lavigne the following day.

Episode Air DateAudition CityFirst Audition DateAudition VenueCallback DateCallback VenueGuest JudgeGolden Tickets
January 12, 2010Boston, MassachusettsJune 14, 2009Gillette Stadium[18]August 13 & 14, 200960 State Street[19]Victoria Beckham32
January 13, 2010Atlanta, GeorgiaJune 18, 2009Georgia DomeAugust 16 & 17, 2009W Hotel Atlanta Midtown[20]Mary J. Blige25
January 19, 2010Chicago, IllinoisJune 22, 2009United CenterAugust 31 & September 1, 2009Hyatt Regency Chicago[21]Shania Twain13
January 20, 2010Orlando, FloridaJuly 9, 2009Amway ArenaAugust 28 & 29, 2009Rosen Shingle Creek Resort[22]Kristin Chenoweth31
January 26, 2010Los Angeles, California[23]June 30, 2009Rose Bowl StadiumSeptember 4, 2009Marina del Rey Marriott[24]Avril Lavigne23
September 3, 2009Katy Perry
January 27, 2010Dallas, Texas[25]June 26, 2009Cowboys StadiumAugust 25, 2009[26]W Hotel Dallas Victory[27]Neil Patrick Harris31
August 24, 2009[27]Joe Jonas
February 2, 2010Denver, ColoradoJuly 14, 2009Invesco FieldAugust 7 & 8, 2009Grand Hyatt[28]Victoria Beckham26
Total Tickets to Hollywood181

"Pants on the Ground"[edit]

During the Atlanta auditions, 62-year-old activist Larry Platt appeared and performed his original song "Pants on the Ground." The song's lyrics criticize people wearing the hip-hop style of clothing including pants that sag. Well over the age limit of 28, Platt was ineligible to continue. His performance has since become a viral hit, and several celebrities performed the song in the days that followed the original airing of his audition in Atlanta.

Hollywood week[edit]

Held at the Kodak Theatre for the second straight year, the first day of Hollywood Week featured the 181 contestants from the auditions round (although only 172 contestants were listed on the American Idol website[29]) singing solo with the option of playing an instrument.[30] Ninety-six contestants advanced. The next round required the contestants to split up into groups and perform. Seventy-one advanced to the final round of Hollywood requiring a solo performance. Forty-six made it to the final round where the judges take contestants one by one and tell them if they made the final twenty-four.

Ellen DeGeneres made her first appearance as a judge (replacing Paula Abdul) at this time.



The first seven were revealed on February 16, 2010 (during the second hour on the episode), and the rest were revealed on the following night's episode.[31]

ContestantDate of BirthAgeHometownAudition LocationVoted Off
Lilly ScottMay 16, 198920Littleton, ColoradoDenver, ColoradoMarch 11
Katelyn EpperlyMarch 21, 199020West Des Moines, IowaChicago, Illinois
Haeley VaughnJune 5, 199316Fort Collins, ColoradoDenver, ColoradoMarch 4
Michelle DelamorDecember 31, 198722Miami, FloridaOrlando, Florida
Ashley RodriguezNovember 4, 198722Boston, MassachusettsBoston, MassachusettsFebruary 25
Janell WheelerMay 8, 198524Orlando, FloridaOrlando, Florida
ContestantDate of BirthAgeHometownAudition LocationVoted Off
Alex LambertDecember 10, 199019North Richland Hills, TexasDallas, TexasMarch 11
Todrick HallApril 4, 198525Arlington, TexasDallas, Texas
Jermaine SellersFebruary 9, 198327Joliet, IllinoisAtlanta, GeorgiaMarch 4
John ParkSeptember 13, 198821Northbrook, IllinoisChicago, Illinois
Tyler GradyOctober 26, 198920Nazareth, PennsylvaniaBoston, MassachusettsFebruary 25
Joe MuñozAugust 23, 198920Huntington Park, CaliforniaLos Angeles, California

The semi-final format used through seasons 4–7 has been revived for this season. Starting with 12 women and 12 men, the women and men perform on weekly separate shows and on the result shows, the bottom 2 women and the bottom 2 men are eliminated from the competition. The semi-finals took place over three weeks until there are six women and six men forming the top 12.

From this point on in the show, this season's exit song, "Leave Right Now" by Will Young, was played over eliminations.[32]

Top 24 – Billboard Hot 100 Hits[edit]

ContestantSong (original artist)ResultContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Paige Miles"All Right Now" (Free)SafeTodrick Hall"Since U Been Gone" (Kelly Clarkson)Safe
2Ashley Rodriguez"Happy" (Leona Lewis)EliminatedAaron Kelly"Here Comes Goodbye" (Rascal Flatts)Safe
3Janell Wheeler"What About Love" (Heart)EliminatedJermaine Sellers"Get Here" (Brenda Russell)Safe
4Lilly Scott"Fixing a Hole" (The Beatles)SafeTim Urban"Apologize" (OneRepublic)Safe
5Katelyn Epperly"Oh! Darling" (The Beatles)SafeJoe Muñoz"You and I Both" (Jason Mraz)Eliminated
6Haeley Vaughn"I Want to Hold Your Hand" (The Beatles)SafeTyler Grady"American Woman" (The Guess Who)Eliminated
7Lacey Brown"Landslide" (Fleetwood Mac)SafeLee DeWyze"Chasing Cars" (Snow Patrol)Safe
8Michelle Delamor"Fallin'" (Alicia Keys)SafeJohn Park"God Bless the Child" (Billie Holiday)Safe
9Didi Benami"The Way I Am" (Ingrid Michaelson)SafeMichael Lynche"This Love" (Maroon 5)Safe
10Siobhan Magnus"Wicked Game" (Chris Isaak)SafeAlex Lambert"Wonderful World" (James Morrison)Safe
11Crystal Bowersox"Hand in My Pocket" (Alanis Morissette)SafeCasey James"Heaven" (Bryan Adams)Safe
12Katie Stevens"Feeling Good" (Cy Grant)SafeAndrew Garcia"Sugar, We're Goin Down" (Fall Out Boy)Safe

Top 20 – Billboard Hot 100 Hits[edit]

Note: The females were scheduled to go first, but medical issues with Crystal Bowersox, who was hospitalized on March 2 with complications from diabetes,[33] required a switch.[34]

ContestantSong (original artist)ResultContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Michael Lynche"It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (James Brown)SafeCrystal Bowersox"Long As I Can See the Light" (Creedence Clearwater Revival)Safe
2John Park"Gravity" (John Mayer)EliminatedHaeley Vaughn"The Climb" (Miley Cyrus)Eliminated
3Casey James"I Don't Want to Be" (Gavin DeGraw)SafeLacey Brown"Kiss Me" (Sixpence None the Richer)Safe
4Alex Lambert"Everybody Knows" (John Legend)SafeKatie Stevens"Put Your Records On" (Corinne Bailey Rae)Safe
5Todrick Hall"What's Love Got to Do with It" (Tina Turner)SafeDidi Benami"Lean on Me" (Bill Withers)Safe
6Jermaine Sellers"What's Going On" (Marvin Gaye)EliminatedMichelle Delamor"With Arms Wide Open" (Creed)Eliminated
7Andrew Garcia"You Give Me Something" (James Morrison)SafeLilly Scott"A Change Is Gonna Come" (Sam Cooke)Safe
8Aaron Kelly"My Girl" (The Temptations)SafeKatelyn Epperly"The Scientist" (Coldplay)Safe
9Tim Urban"Come On Get Higher" (Matt Nathanson)SafePaige Miles"Walk Away" (Kelly Clarkson)Safe
10Lee DeWyze"Lips of an Angel" (Hinder)SafeSiobhan Magnus"Think" (Aretha Franklin)Safe

Top 16 – Billboard Hot 100 Hits[edit]

ContestantSong (original artist)ResultContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Katie Stevens"Breakaway" (Kelly Clarkson)SafeLee DeWyze"Fireflies" (Owl City)Safe
2Siobhan Magnus"The House of the Rising Sun" (traditional)SafeAlex Lambert"Trouble" (Ray LaMontagne)Eliminated
3Lacey Brown"The Story" (Brandi Carlile)SafeTim Urban"Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen)Safe
4Katelyn Epperly"I Feel the Earth Move" (Carole King)EliminatedAndrew Garcia"Genie in a Bottle" (Christina Aguilera)Safe
5Didi Benami"Rhiannon" (Fleetwood Mac)SafeCasey James"You'll Think of Me" (Keith Urban)Safe
6Paige Miles"Smile" (Charlie Chaplin)SafeAaron Kelly"I'm Already There" (Lonestar)Safe
7Crystal Bowersox"Give Me One Reason" (Tracy Chapman)SafeTodrick Hall"Somebody to Love" (Queen)Eliminated
8Lilly Scott"I Fall to Pieces" (Patsy Cline)EliminatedMichael Lynche"This Woman's Work" (Kate Bush)Safe


Lee DeWyze

Lee DeWyze (born April 2, 1986 in Mount Prospect, Illinois, 23 years at the start of the show) is from Mount Prospect, Illinois and auditioned in Chicago, Illinois with Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine. He performed The Fray's "You Found Me" during Hollywood week. Prior to his appearance on American Idol, he had worked in various jobs, including as a paint salesman and a trading floor clerk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He also appeared as an actor in a short low-budget film 'Deadscapes: Broken Road.' When he was 17, he was signed to Wuli Records and had released two CDs – So I'm Told and Slumberland. He was declared the winner of season nine of American Idol on May 26, 2010. He was signed to RCA Records after the competition and released an album Live It Up on November 16, 2010.

Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox (born August 4, 1985 in Elliston, Ohio, 24 years at the time of the show) is from Elliston, Ohio and auditioned in Chicago, Illinois with Erma Franklin's Piece of My Heart. She auditioned for Idol to try to make a better life for her son. Her Hollywood performance of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" impressed the judges and fellow contestants alike. She had performed as a singer from the age of 10 and moved to Chicago aged 17, frequently working as a busker at train stations there. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was six, and while on the show, she suffered diabetic complication and was hospitalized which resulted in the Top 20 performance nights for the male and female contestants being switched. She became the season nine runner-up on May 26, 2010 and was signed to Jive Records. Her debut album Farmer's Daughter was released on December 14, 2010. She was married to Brian Walker on October 10, 2010.

Casey James

Casey James (born May 31, 1982 in Princeton, Texas, 27 years at the time of the show) is from Fort Worth, Texas and auditioned in Denver, Colorado with John Mayer's "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room." He performed professionally after finishing school, but suffered a serious motorcycle accident when he was 21. He took his shirt off during audition after prompting from Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson, and Kara's interest in him became a recurring joke in the season. He is an accomplished guitarist and demonstrated his skill with his Hollywood round performance of Ray Charles's "I Don't Need No Doctor" and Top 20 performance of Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Want to Be." He had never previously watched the show before he auditioned. He was eliminated as a third place finisher on May 19, 2010. He was signed to Sony Music Nashville after the show.

Michael Lynche

Michael Lynche (born May 31, 1983, 26 years at the time of the show) is from St. Petersburg, Florida auditioned in Orlando, Florida with Todd Duncan' "Unchained Melody". He worked as personal trainer prior to Idol. His is married and his daughter was born during Hollywood round, and the unfolding drama of his wife's labor was heavily featured during the Hollywood round where he performed John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change". He was saved by the judges when he became the lowest vote-getter on April 7, 2010, but finally he was eliminated at fourth place on May 12, 2010.

Aaron Kelly

Aaron Kelly (born April 2, 1993 in Davenport, Florida, 16 years old at the start of the show) is from Sonestown, Pennsylvania and auditioned in Orlando, Florida as a winner from American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios. His audition song was Miley Cyrus's "The Climb", and performed Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" during the Hollywood rounds but forgot his words. He was adopted by his aunt and uncle at 5. He had performed from a young age, and was a finalist on PAX-TV's America's Most Talented Kid at the age of 11. He was in 2010 the youngest American Idol contestant to reach Top 12. He was eliminated at fifth place on May 5, 2010.

Siobhan Magnus

Siobhan Magnus (born March 15, 1990 in Barnstable, Massachusetts, 19 years at the start of the show) is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts[35] and auditioned in Boston, Massachusetts with Queen's "Love of My Life". Before Idol she performed as the lead vocalist of her band, Lunar Valve, and she worked as a glassblower in Hyannis, Massachusetts. She performed Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" in the Hollywood rounds. She was noted in the show for her ability to sustain a long high-pitched note. She was eliminated as sixth-placed finisher on April 28, 2010.

Tim Urban

Tim Urban (born May 1, 1989 in Tacoma, Washington, 20 years at the time of the show) is from Duncanville, Texas and auditioned in Dallas, Texas with Matt Nathanson's Bulletproof Week. He performed David Cook's Come Back To Me during the Hollywood round. He did not qualify initially for the semi-finals but was chosen as a replacement for Chris Golightly who was disqualified for having a prior record deal. He finished at seventh place after being voted off on April 21, 2010.

Katie Stevens

Katie Stevens (born December 8, 1992 in Southbury, Connecticut, 17 years at the time of the show) is from Middlebury, Connecticut auditioned in Boston, Massachusetts with Glenn Miller's At Last. She looked after her Portuguese grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and she is fluent in Portuguese. She performed Jean DuShon's "For Once in My Life" in the Hollywood rounds where Kara DioGuardi considered her a possible season's winner. She finished eighth and exited the competition on April 14, 2010 on a double elimination due to judges's save being used the previous week.

Andrew Garcia

Andrew Garcia (born October 8, 1985 in Moreno Valley, California, 24 years at the time of the show) auditioned in Los Angeles with Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning." He had a good sized following on YouTube prior to auditioning on Idol. He impressed the judges with his performance of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" during the Hollywood rounds, but failed to interest the judges in the later rounds. He was eliminated as joint eighth-place finishers together with Katie Stevens on April 14, 2010.

Didi Benami

Didi Benami (born October 25, 1986 in New York, 23 years at the time of the show) is from Knoxville, Tennessee and currently resides in Hollywood. She auditioned in Los Angeles, California with The Beatles' "Hey Jude." She was inspired to audition by her best friend who died in a traffic accident. She was notable during the Hollywood rounds for her performance of Kara DioGuardi-penned Katharine McPhee's song "Terrified." She finished tenth after being eliminated on March 31, 2010.
Paige Miles (born September 26, 1985, 24 years at the time of the show) is from Naples, Florida and auditioned in Dallas, Texas. She was eliminated in eleventh place on March 24, 2010. She performed Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" in the Hollywood rounds which she considered her favorite moment prior the semi-final. Simon Cowell considered her to have the best voice amongst the girls.

Lacey Brown (born August 13, 1985, 24 years at the time of the show) is from Amarillo, Texas and auditioned in Orlando, Florida with Judy Garland's Over the Rainbow. She had previously made it to the Hollywood round in season eight of American Idol but lost out to Megan Joy at Top 50. Ryan Seacrest noted that her chilling performance of What a Wonderful World by Louie Armstrong had a major part in her advancing into the Top 24. She was the first finalist to be voted off on March 17, 2010.


As in season eight, the judges were given one save that they could use before the top 5 week. They used the save for Michael Lynche during top 9 week. "Leave Right Now" by Will Young was used as the send-off song when a contestant was eliminated.

Top 12 – The Rolling Stones[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist when applicable)Result
1Michael Lynche"Miss You"Safe
2Didi Benami"Play with Fire"Safe
3Casey James"It's All Over Now" (The Valentinos)Safe
4Lacey Brown"Ruby Tuesday"Eliminated
5Andrew Garcia"Gimme Shelter"Safe
6Katie Stevens"Wild Horses"Safe
7Tim Urban"Under My Thumb"Bottom 3
8Siobhan Magnus"Paint It, Black"Safe
9Lee DeWyze"Beast of Burden"Safe
10Paige Miles"Honky Tonk Women"Bottom 3
11Aaron Kelly"Angie"Safe
12Crystal Bowersox"You Can't Always Get What You Want"Safe

Top 11 – Billboard Number 1 Hits[edit]

Mentor: Miley Cyrus

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Lee DeWyze"The Letter" (The Box Tops)Safe
2Paige Miles"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" (Phil Collins)Eliminated
3Tim Urban"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Queen)Bottom 3
4Aaron Kelly"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (Aerosmith)Safe
5Crystal Bowersox"Me and Bobby McGee" (Roger Miller)Safe
6Michael Lynche"When a Man Loves a Woman" (Percy Sledge)Safe
7Andrew Garcia"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (Marvin Gaye)Safe
8Katie Stevens"Big Girls Don't Cry" (Fergie)Bottom 3
9Casey James"The Power of Love" (Huey Lewis and the News)Safe
10Didi Benami"You're No Good" (Betty Everett)Safe
11Siobhan Magnus"Superstition" (Stevie Wonder)Safe

Top 10 – R&B/Soul[edit]

Mentor: Usher

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Siobhan Magnus"Through the Fire" (Chaka Khan)Safe
2Casey James"Hold On, I'm A Comin'" (Sam & Dave)Safe
3Michael Lynche"Ready for Love" (India.Arie)Safe
4Didi Benami"What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" (Jimmy Ruffin)Eliminated
5Tim Urban"Sweet Love" (Anita Baker)Bottom 3
6Andrew Garcia"Forever" (Chris Brown)Safe
7Katie Stevens"Chain of Fools" (Aretha Franklin)Bottom 3
8Lee DeWyze"Treat Her Like a Lady" (Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose)Safe
9Crystal Bowersox"Midnight Train to Georgia" (Cissy Houston)Safe
10Aaron Kelly"Ain't No Sunshine" (Bill Withers)Safe

Top 9 (first week) – Lennon–McCartney Songbook[edit]

Mentor: N/A

OrderContestantSong (original artist when applicable)Result
1Aaron Kelly"The Long and Winding Road"Bottom 3
2Katie Stevens"Let It Be"Safe
3Andrew Garcia"Can't Buy Me Love"Bottom 3
4Michael Lynche"Eleanor Rigby"Saved
5Crystal Bowersox"Come Together"Safe
6Tim Urban"All My Loving"Safe
7Casey James"Jealous Guy" (John Lennon)Safe
8Siobhan Magnus"Across the Universe"Safe
9Lee DeWyze"Hey Jude"Safe

Top 9 (second week) – Elvis Presley[edit]

Mentor: Adam Lambert

OrderContestantSong (original artist when applicable)Result
1Crystal Bowersox"Saved" (LaVern Baker)Safe
2Andrew Garcia"Hound Dog" (Big Mama Thornton)Eliminated
3Tim Urban"Can't Help Falling in Love"Safe
4Lee DeWyze"A Little Less Conversation"Safe
5Aaron Kelly"Blue Suede Shoes" (Carl Perkins)Safe
6Siobhan Magnus"Suspicious Minds" (Mark James)Safe
7Michael Lynche"In the Ghetto"Safe
8Katie Stevens"Baby What You Want Me to Do" (Jimmy Reed)Eliminated
9Casey James"Lawdy Miss Clawdy" (Lloyd Price)Safe

Top 7 – Inspirational Songs[edit]

Mentor: Alicia Keys

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Casey James"Don't Stop" (Fleetwood Mac)Bottom 3
2Lee DeWyze"The Boxer" (Simon & Garfunkel)Safe
3Tim Urban"Better Days" (Goo Goo Dolls)Eliminated
4Aaron Kelly"I Believe I Can Fly" (R. Kelly)Bottom 3
5Siobhan Magnus"When You Believe" (Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston)Safe
6Michael Lynche"Hero" (Chad Kroeger feat. Josey Scott)Safe
7Crystal Bowersox"People Get Ready" (The Impressions)Safe

Top 6 – Shania Twain[edit]

Mentor: Shania Twain

1Lee DeWyze"You're Still the One"Safe
2Michael Lynche"It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing"Bottom 3
3Casey James"Don't!"Bottom 3
4Crystal Bowersox"No One Needs to Know"Safe
5Aaron Kelly"You've Got a Way"Safe
6Siobhan Magnus"Any Man of Mine"Eliminated

Top 5 – Frank Sinatra[edit]

Mentor: Harry Connick, Jr.

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Aaron Kelly"Fly Me to the Moon" (Kaye Ballard)Eliminated
2Casey James"Blue Skies" (Belle Baker)Safe
3Crystal Bowersox"Summer Wind" (Wayne Newton)Safe
4Michael Lynche"The Way You Look Tonight" (Fred Astaire)Bottom 2
5Lee DeWyze"That's Life" (Frank Sinatra)Safe

Top 4 – Songs of the Cinema[edit]

Mentor: Jamie Foxx

Each contestant sang one solo and one duet with a fellow contestant.

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Featured FilmResult
1Lee DeWyze"Kiss from a Rose" (Seal)Batman ForeverSafe
2Michael Lynche"Will You Be There" (Michael Jackson)Free WillyEliminated
3Crystal Bowersox & Lee DeWyze"Falling Slowly" (Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová)OnceN/A
4Casey James"Mrs. Robinson" (Simon & Garfunkel)The GraduateSafe
5Crystal Bowersox"I'm Alright" (Kenny Loggins)CaddyshackSafe
6Casey James & Michael Lynche"Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" (Bryan Adams)Don Juan DeMarcoN/A

Top 3 – Contestant's choice & Judges' choice[edit]

Each contestant sang two songs.

OrderContestantSong (original artist) — Judge(s)Result
1Casey James"OK, It's Alright with Me" (Eric Hutchinson)Eliminated
2Crystal Bowersox"Come to My Window" (Melissa Etheridge)Safe
3Lee DeWyze"Simple Man" (Lynyrd Skynyrd)Safe
4Casey James"Daughters" (John Mayer)Randy Jackson & Kara DioGuardiEliminated
5Crystal Bowersox"Maybe I'm Amazed" (Paul McCartney)Ellen DeGeneresSafe
6Lee DeWyze"Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen)Simon CowellSafe

Finale – Contestant's choice, Simon Fuller's choice & winner's single[edit]

Each contestant sang three songs.

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Lee DeWyze"The Boxer" (Simon & Garfunkel)Winner
2Crystal Bowersox"Me and Bobby McGee" (Roger Miller)Runner-Up
3Lee DeWyze"Everybody Hurts" (R.E.M.)Winner
4Crystal Bowersox"Black Velvet" (Alannah Myles)Runner-Up
5Lee DeWyze"Beautiful Day" (U2)Winner
6Crystal Bowersox"Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)" (Solomon Burke)Runner-Up

Elimination chart[edit]

FemaleMaleTop 24Top 12Winner
SafeSafe FirstSafe LastEliminatedJudges' Save
Stage:Semi FinalsFinals
Week:2/253/43/113/173/243/314/7[n 1]4/14[n 2]4/214/285/55/12 [n 3]5/19 [n 4]5/26
1Lee DeWyzeWinner
2Crystal BowersoxRunner-up
3Casey JamesBottom 3Bottom 3Elim
4Michael LyncheSavedBottom 3Bottom 2Elim
5Aaron KellyBottom 3Bottom 3Elim
6Siobhan MagnusElim
7Tim UrbanBottom 3Bottom 3Bottom 3Elim
8–9Katie StevensBottom 3Bottom 3Elim
Andrew GarciaBottom 3
10Didi BenamiElim
11Paige MilesBottom 3Elim
12Lacey BrownElim
13–16Lilly ScottElim
Alex Lambert
Todrick Hall
Katelyn Epperly
17–20Haeley VaughnElim
Michelle Delamor
Jermaine Sellers
John Park
21–24Tyler GradyElim
Ashley Rodriguez
Joe Muñoz
Janell Wheeler

Results night performances[edit]

Group songs[edit]

Results show performances[edit]

WeekPerformer(s)TitleHot 100 ReactionHot Digital Songs ReactionPerformance Type
Top 24Allison Iraheta"Scars"failed to chartlive
Kris Allen"Let It Be"[n 5]63 (debut)live
Top 20Danny Gokey"My Best Days Are Ahead of Me"82 (debut)63 (debut)live
Top 16Matt Giraud and Scott MacIntyre"Tell Her About It"no releaseN/Alive
Top 12David Cook"Jumpin' Jack Flash"failed to chartlive
Orianthi"According to You"19(−1)23(+9)live
Kesha feat. 3OH!3"Blah Blah Blah"15(+1)10(−1)pre-recorded
Top 11Miley Cyrus"When I Look at You"25(+33)12(+19)live
Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato"Make a Wave"fell off chartlive
Top 10Ruben Studdard"Don't Make 'Em Like U No More"failed to chartlive
Usher and"OMG"14 (debut)7 (debut)pre-recorded
Diddy-Dirty Money"Hello Good Morning"34 (debut)17 (debut)live
Top 9
(Week 1)
Jason Derülo"In My Head" ("Whatcha Say" intro)5(+4)6(+5)live
David Archuleta"Imagine"no releaseN/Alive
Rihanna with Nuno Bettencourt"Rockstar 101"failed to chartfailed to chartpre-recorded
Top 9
(Week 2)
Brooke White and Justin Gaston
(from If I Can Dream)
"If I Can Dream"failed to chartfailed to chartlive
Adam Lambert"Whataya Want from Me"10(+13)8(+21)live
Top 7Alicia Keys"Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)"
"Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down"
The Black Eyed Peas"Rock That Body"unreleasedlive
Carrie Underwood"Change"68(debut)51,000 (+ 2001%)live
Elton John"Your Song"no releaselive
Mary J. Blige (feat. Randy Jackson, Orianthi, Travis Barker, Steve Vai and others)"Stairway to Heaven"no releaselive
Top 6Rascal Flatts"Unstoppable"60(+6)live
Sons of Sylvia"Love Left to Lose"101 (debut)pre-recorded
Lady Antebellum"Need You Now"5(−1)9(−1)pre-recorded
Shakira & Rascal Flatts"Gypsy"65 (debut)48 (debut)live
Top 5Lady Gaga"Alejandro" ("Bad Romance" intro)11(+5)9(+4)pre-recorded
Harry Connick, Jr."And I Love Her"no releaselive
Top 4Fantasia"Bittersweet"failed to chartlive
Daughtry"September"failed to chartlive
Bon Jovi"Superman Tonight"failed to chartlive
Top 3Travis Garland"Believe"failed to chartlive
Justin Bieber"U Smile" / "Baby"38(no change)24(+3)pre-recorded
FinaleWill Young"Leave Right Now"[n 6]81 (debut)50 (debut)live
Alice Cooper"School's Out"ineligible to re-enterineligible to re-enterlive performance
Kris Allen"The Truth"failed to chartfailed to chartlive
Dane Cook"Simon Said"no releaseno releaselive
Christina Aguilera"You Lost Me"no releaseno releaselive
Carrie Underwood"Undo It"25(+34)18(+43)live
Larry Platt feat. William Hung"Pants on the Ground"failed to re-enterfailed to re-enterlive
American Idols[n 7]"Together We Are One"no releaseno releaselive
Janet Jackson"Again"/"Nothing" / "Nasty"ineligible to re-enter/ no releaseineligible to re-enter/failed to chartlive
"—" denotes no figure was available.


Ethnic voting bias[edit]

Since season 7, the voting results are seemingly skewed towards Caucasian contestants, and critics believe that it was Caucasian female viewers who vote only for Caucasian male contestants. During top 20 week, all four eliminated contestants were non-Caucasian. Season 9 has the fewest non-Caucasian finalists of any season. This led to criticism of bias in favor of Caucasians.[37]

Chris Golightly[edit]

Chris Golightly was originally selected as semi-finalist. According to reports, Golightly was disqualified on February 17, 2010, after already being told he was in the top 24, over an old contract. The contract had expired by the time the top 24 began to tape, but they disqualified him because he was under contract at the time of the tryouts, in violation of Idol rules. He was later replaced by Tim Urban at the last minute of the last part of Hollywood Week.[38] Golightly later appears on a Korean television show called Superstar K, a singing competition similar to the American Idol. In there, he tells that he also used to write songs for Korean singers, such as Jewelry, DBSK and ZE:A.[39]

Ryan Seacrest's Twitter post[edit]

Lacey Brown's elimination stirred up controversy after Ryan Seacrest tweeted the results before the elimination aired on the west coast.[40] This caused anger among the fans of the show and as a result, the elimination show may have had lower ratings than usual.[41][42]

Criticisms of Ryan Seacrest[edit]

Seacrest has been criticized by The Wrap and MSNBC Entertainment contributors for "critiquing the judges’ comments" and becoming more aggressive.[43][44] Ratings for the 9th season have dropped significantly compared to the prior two seasons[45] leading to speculation that its run as the number one show on television may be coming to a close.[46] Reasons for the decline have ranged from the smaller role and pending departure of Simon Cowell to the more unpredictable behavior of Ryan Seacrest.[47]

It was also claimed that Crystal Bowersox had considered Ryan Seacrest to have betrayed her.[48] After it was reported that she had doubts about staying on in the show but Ryan Seacrest had talked her out of it,[49] her fellow contestant Katelyn Epperly revealed that Crystal texted: "I'm fine...betrayed by Seacrest!" in a text message to her. Crystal denied that she was planning to leave, and there was no evidence that Ryan Seacrest had leaked the information himself.

Contestants who appeared on other shows[edit]

US Nielsen ratings[edit]

Season 9 of American Idol was the top show for the 2009–10 season of broadcast primetime shows. Its Tuesday and Wednesday episodes occupied the top 2 spots of the season. Viewership for the Tuesday episodes averaged 22.974 million, while the Wednesday episodes averaged 21.951 million.[51]

Episode list
ShowEpisode[3]Air dateRatingSharerating/Share
(in millions)
1"Boston Auditions"January 12, 201016.42411.8/2929.936[52]
2"Atlanta Auditions"January 13, 201014.92310.1/2726.393[52]
3"Chicago Auditions"January 19, 201014.32210.1/2726.384[53]
4"Orlando Auditions"January 20, 201014.6239.9/2726.854[53]
5"Los Angeles Auditions"January 26, 201013.5219.0/2424.452[54]
6"Dallas Auditions"January 27, 201013.4229.5/2425.710[54]
7"Denver Auditions"February 2, 201013.4209.0/2324.705[55]
8"Best of the Rest"[56]February 3, 201011.9197.8/2120.999[55]
9"Hollywood Round, Part 1"February 9, 201015.12210.1/2627.892[57]
10"Hollywood Round, Part 2"February 10, 201013.6219.5/2325.172[57]
11"Hollywood Round, Part 3"February 16, 201013.1209.2/2223.922[58]
12"Hollywood Round, Part 4"February 17, 201010.6167.0/1718.629[58]
13"Top 12 Female Semifinalists Perform"February 23, 201013.4209.0/2224.213[59]
14"Top 12 Male Semifinalists Perform"February 24, 201012.9208.7/2222.959[59]
15"First Results Show"February 25, 201010.3166.5/1718.033[59]
16"Top 10 Male Semifinalists Perform"March 2, 201013.1208.6/2223.526[60]
17"Top 10 Female Semifinalists Perform"March 3, 201013.4218.523.560[60]
18"Second Results Show"March 4, 201011.2186.519.424[60]
19"Top 8 Female Semifinalists Perform"March 9, 201012.8188.222.752[61]
20"Top 8 Male Semifinalists Perform"March 10, 201011.9187.5/2020.701[61]
21"Third Results Show/Top 12 Revealed"March 11, 201011.2186.319.339[61]
22"Top 12 Finalists Perform"March 16, 201013.0218.1/2322.913[62]
23"Top 12 Results Show"March 17, 201011.8206.8/2020.510[63]
24"Top 11 Finalists Perform"March 23, 201013.5218.4/2324.211[64]
25"Top 11 Results Show"March 24, 201012.2207.2/2021.437[65]
26"Top 10 Finalists Perform"March 30, 201012.4207.7/2121.845[66]
27"Top 10 Results Show"March 31, 201011.7196.7/1920.492[67]
28"Top 9 Finalists Perform"April 6, 201011.9197.3/2020.836[68]
29"Top 9 Results Show"April 7, 201011.6186.7/1820.168[69]
30"Top 9 Finalists Perform Again"April 13, 201011.8197.3/2120.639[70]
31"Double Elimination Top 9 Results Show"April 14, 201012.1206.8/1921.018[71]
32"Top 7 Finalists Perform"April 20, 201011.0186.9/2019.669[72]
33"Top 7 Results Show/Idol Gives Back"April 21, 201010.6185.9/1718.824[73]
34"Top 6 Finalists Perform"April 27, 201011.0176.9/2019.417[74]
35"Top 6 Results Show"April 28, 201011.5186.7/1820.057[75]
36"Top 5 Finalists Perform"May 4, 201010.1166.2/1817.498[76]
37"Top 5 Results Show"May 5, 201011.3186.5/1819.580[77]
38"Top 4 Finalists Perform"May 11, 201010.7176.8/1819.167[78]
39"Top 4 Results Show"May 12, 201011.2186.6/1719.569[79]
40"Top 3 Finalists Perform"May 18, 201010.5176.7/1818.684[80]
41"Top 3 Results Show"May 19, 201011.1186.1/1619.003[80]
42"Top 2 Finalists Perform"May 25, 201011.2186.7/1920.072[81]
43"Winner Revealed"May 26, 201013.5238.2/2424.215[81]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Due to the judges using their one save, in order to save Michael Lynche, the Top 9 remained intact for another week.
  2. ^ The bottom two were eliminated on April 14. The other member of the bottom three was never identified, though Seacrest made a point of indicating that previously-saved Michael Lynche was not the other member.
  3. ^ The other member of the Bottom 2 was never announced, despite Crystal Bowersox was the last contestant to be named safe.
  4. ^ Lee DeWyze was named safe first, then Crystal Bowersox.
  5. ^ Kris Allen's rendition of "Let It Be" was made available on iTunes for download, with all proceeds going to Haiti charities.
  6. ^ Will Young performed at the end of the performance show on May 25, 2010.
  7. ^ The group that sang Delta Goodrem's "Together We Are One" consisted of many previous American Idol contestants, including winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks, and Kris Allen.


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External links[edit]