Lee DeWyze, Bret Michaels and More: American Idol Finale, In Pictures

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Simon Cowell said goodbye.

Bret Michaels said hello.

And Lee DeWyze was crowned champion.

It was a long, entertaining, emotional night on American Idol, capped when Ryan Seacrest announced DeWyze as the winner, a conclusion Lee later summed up thusly:

"It just all happened so fast. It was amazing, it felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and now that this big step is done, it's on to the next step, which is to make an album and go on tour and do all the things I wanted to do for a long time."

Below, we've gathered a slew of photos from the evening. There's Paula Abdul waving to fans; Carrie Underwood on the red carpet; Crystal Bowersox backstage; and so much more.

Click on each photo to enlarge it...

  • Backstage Bret
  • Ninth Idol
  • Backstage with Paula
  • Kara Fashion
  • The Runner-Up
  • Fiery Singer
  • Always Beautiful
  • Archie Image
  • Ellen Pic
  • At Season 9 Finale

[Photos: Fox, Splash News]

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]
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