Photo Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic;Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Dedicated American Idol fans may have been surprised to see season 9 winner Lee DeWyze hanging out in the audience during the season 10 finale -- especially since he didn't perform, was seated way back in the fifth row, and wasn't even acknowledged by Ryan Seacrest on the air. What happened to the tradition of featuring previous Idols on the finale? The answer to that depends on whose Twitter account you believe.
According to executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, Lee DeWyze declined an offer to present the trophy to this year's winner, Scotty McCreery.
"I was so upset Lee DeWyze wouldn't present the winners trophy to Scotty," Lythgoe tweeted on Thursday. "Especially as he'd been on the show this Season. I guess he was shy."
DeWyze, however, tells a different story. A few days before the finale, he wrote that he wouldn't be performing because "I wasn't asked to." Then after Lythgoe's dis on Thursday, DeWyze returned to Twitter to tell his side of the story.
"Hey everyone, first off I want to say congrats to Scotty & Lauren, awesome job," the guitar-playing Idol alum tweeted. "Well done Scotty! Secondly, just for the record... I was not asked to be involved in the Finale. It wasn't until about 2 minutes before they announced that Nigel had approached me and asked if he could 'borrow' me for a second. I didnt feel a last second jump on stage was appropriate. It was Scotty's moment."
"I appreciate American Idol, and the opportunity it has given me. And the people who have made that show possible," DeWyze continued. "I am not angry, or bitter etc. It was an amazing Finale, and I would have loved to be a part of it. I just wasnt asked. Good luck to all the Contestants and stay true to yourself. Thanks everyone for your support, tour coming up... Good times :) I'll talk to you all soon. Love ya!"
Honest, but gracious. Well said, Lee.
This mini-drama is reminiscent of last year's kerfuffle over Adam Lambert's absence from the season 9 finale. The 2009 runner-up was supposedly cut from the Simon Cowell tribute number due to laryngitis, but he stated on Twitter that he "would have loved" to perform and wasn't asked. Sure, Lambert wasn't a first-place winner, but he's one of Idol's most successful graduates. In the future, we hope that the producers have a little more respect for these talented kids than they showed DeWyze and Lambert.