BY BILL ZWECKER Sun-Times Columnist
LOS ANGELES -- Even the morning after their American Idol finale, winner Lee DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox still seemed dazed and amazed by the journey they've been on together.
Chatting with me outside the Nokia Theatre, DeWyze said he owed it all to Simon Cowell. "I wasn't even going to be in the Top 24, except that Simon insisted -- totally demanded -- that I make that cut," said the ex-Mount Prospect paint store clerk.
• DeWyze and Bowersox, both 24, insist they will always keep a Chicago connection. "I may be from Ohio, but I completely think of Chicago as my hometown," said the singer we've come to call Mama Sox. It was due to "living in Lincoln Park and working and performing in Chicago that made me discover who I am as a person and an artist," she added, smiling happily as she recalled working at Kingston Mines and performing at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn.
• While DeWyze and Bowersox now will concentrate on putting out their solo albums and joining the upcoming American Idol Live national tour of the Top 12 competitors, they acknowledged a high point of this year's final weeks was their duet of "Falling Slowly" from the film "Once."
They nodded enthusiastically and simultaneously said, "Absolutely," when asked if they would ever do a duets album together. "Our voices and our sensibilities mesh so well. I definitely think that will happen down the road, and not too long from now," DeWyze said.
• Finally, Bowersox -- who often sang and played with the buskers on the Chicago subway and L platforms during the five years she lived there -- threw out this idea: "I don't know how the CTA would react, but I'd love to come back at some point and give a concert down in the subway!"
• Meanwhile, People magazine reported Thursday that Crystal Bowersox and beau Tony Kusian, 26, broke up Tuesday before the American Idol finale. "I want this more than anything -- this career, this lifestyle," she said. "He didn't think he was up for it."
• The American Idol Season 9 finale scored the lowest rating since the first season. The show drew 24.2 million total viewers, down 15.9 percent from 28.8 million in 2009, according to Nielsen Media Research.
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