Life after "American Idol" opens up for Lee and Crystal

Fri May 28, 2010 7:34pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "American Idol" winner Lee DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox said on Friday they look forward to their new lives after finishing the hit TV show, and they both described being on "Idol" as exhausting work.

DeWyze, whose win over Bowersox earlier this week came as a surprise to some "Idol" watchers, said performing on the singing contest is great, but it can be tough to work.

Each performance has to be about a minute and a half, and often "Idol" contestants must sing in genres, such as country or soul, they would not normally attempt.

"I'm just excited to get on the big stage and put on a performance, put on a show without time limits, without judging," DeWyze told reporters on a conference call.

DeWyze beat Bowersox when the tally of votes from viewers was revealed in the season finale of "American Idol" on Wednesday. As a result, he wins a guaranteed recording contract, but Bowersox is also expected to get a record deal, just like past runner-ups.

DeWyze said that by the time contestants reach the final weeks of "Idol" they are exhausted from the mental stress of the show, but "not in a bad way."

Bowersox, a single mom with a 16 month-old son, had a similar take on her "Idol" experience.

"It's a hard process, people don't realize how grueling the show is," she said in a separate conference call.   Continued...