The ninth season of Fox's "American Idol" wrapped up tonight with paint salesman Lee DeWyze, 24, of Mount Prospect, Ill., proclaimed the winner.
"I've never been happier in my life," he said.
Single mom Crystal Bowersox, 24, of Elliston, Ohio, came in second despite a much stronger final night performance on Tuesday. But as I wrote in yesterday's OnMedia column, her loss is probably a victory in disguise.
It was also the finale for Simon Cowell, who's off to produce his own show, "X-Factor," which is expected to air on Fox in fall 2011. Yes, Paula Abdul came back to say goodbye.
Guests included Bret Michaels, Janet Jackson, Chicago and Joe Cocker.
In the biggest shock of the night, the show ended as scheduled, at 9:07 p.m., pleasing local Fox affiliates, who hoped the big "Idol" audience would help out their late newscasts.
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.