American Idol‘s ninth season while churning through the post-finale press machine backstage at the Nokia Theater last night. While the time the runner-up had to talk was all too brief, the 24-year-old Ohio mama happily discussed her feelings about Lee DeWyze’s win, the prospect of singing original songs on the show, and what it was like performing with Alanis Morissette and Joe Cocker on the massive Nokia stage.Crystal Bowersox betrayed zero disappointment with the outcome of
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I know you’ve been saying you told Lee you hoped he would win, but was there any part of you that hoped you might win?
CRYSTAL BOWERSOX: Oh, of course! I mean, I wouldn’t have tried out if I didn’t think I had a shot at it. But, um, you know, I’m happy no matter what happens. I’ve got good friends, good family, amazing fans, and my son’s healthy. I really have no complaints in the world.
How would you describe your relationship with Lee?
Lee’s my buddy. I said — I think a few weeks ago when I was the only girl standing — that I was one of the guys. He’s hilarious. He’s got good jokes, he’s talented, he sings well. Lee’s got a light inside of him that’s just brilliant and pure. He’s been humble through this whole thing. He’s never once said “I think I’m going to win.” He’s genuine. He’s just completely genuine, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, so I’m happy for him.
With your original song “Holy Toledo” being featured last week, was there a part of you that was really pulling for being able to get an original song this week? Did you try for that?
We talked about it. You know, it’s fine that it didn’t happen, because that’s what now is for. Now the show’s over and I can sing my songs and stuff. I’m just really glad that they even used it in my hometown package, because it’s an important song for my community right now.
When did you learn that you were going to be singing with Alanis Morissette?
They tried to keep it a secret, but when you’re practicing to sing her songs, it’s a little obvious. I don’t know, a couple days before the show? We ran through a couple times [together], that was it, and then showtime.
Did you get to talk with her at all?
A little bit. She’s kind of a shy, quiet person, but so gracious. She’s got just a glow about her. She’s amazing.
She just seems like the kind of female artist whose career you might want to emulate.
I want to emulate myself, but I highly respect her, and I’ve always loved her music.
Finally, what is it like to sing next to Joe Cocker?
Fabulous. He’s a living legend, and I grew up listening to his music. It was a dream come true. No matter what the results were, that was probably one of the peak points in my life.
Be sure to check back on EW.com next week for Michael Slezak’s Idolatry exit interview with Crystal Bowersox.
Click here for Lee DeWyze’s post-finale Q&A: “I feel now that a weight’s been lifted off of my shoulders.”