Fuller picked R.E.M.'s ballad "Everybody Hurts" for DeWyze's second performance, and DeWyze once again tried his gospel choir trick, which served him well during last week's "Hallelujah." The judges' response: Lee was off-key, but passionate enough to nearly pull it off. Bowersox hit a few overblown notes of her own on Alannah Myles' "Black Velvet," but the judges were still blown away.
Then came Lee's unfortunate Bono moment. "Beautiful Day" is a track that's filled stadiums with rock & roll ecstasy, but there was barely a flicker of emotion on DeWyze's face and he flattened all of the frontman's epic notes. DioGuardi contributed the most accurate critique, noting he was "swallowed up a bit in that song." Cowell took the opportunity to pitch DeWyze's story to the audience one last time: "This is what this competition is designed for, somebody with a normal job who needs a break. You've worked hard, you've remained a genuinely nice person throughout." Bowersox took advantage of DeWyze's final stumble by stripping away the backup and staying very true to her singer-songwriter persona with the Griffin tune. Randy Jackson countered Cowell's praise for DeWyze with his own take on Bowersox's journey: "This is what this show is about, an amazing song by an amazing singer — this is one of your greatest performances at the perfect time." Cowell wrapped up with a final word of his own, adding, "Since this is the last critique I'm ever going to give, I'd just like to say that was outstanding."
Tomorrow night's show will be Cowell's last ever on Idol before he moves on to his newest reality-talent program, the American version of U.K. hit The X Factor. Whoever takes his place — Howard Stern, U2 producer Steve Lillywhite and Perez Hilton have been rumored replacements — will be tasked with reenergizing the enterprise, which flagged this year after the departure of Paula Abdul, who will return to the airwaves this fall with U.K. import Got to Dance .
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