Idol's Nigel, Lee DeWyze Feud Over Finale Snub

Avid American Idol fans may have noticed a conspicuously low-key showing from incumbent champ Lee DeWyze at Wednesday night’s grand finale. Sure, DeWyze was in the audience for the fun-filled show, but why no on-stage action like fellow former Idols Carrie Underwood and David Cook?

Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe seemingly solved that mystery the day after… only to have his account of the situation refuted by DeWyze.

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“I was so upset Lee DeWyze wouldn’t present the winners trophy to Scotty. Especially as he’s been on the show this season,” Lythgoe wrote on Twitter, insinuating that the Season 9 winner refused to take part in the baton-passing. “I guess he was shy.”

Guess again, Nigel?

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DeWyze countered in a TwitLonger statement of his own, “Just for the record, I was not asked to be involved in the finale” — in advance, at least. To hear the singer tell it, “It wasn’t until about 2 minutes before they announced [the Season 10 winner] that Nigel had approached me and asked if he could ‘borrow’ me for a second. I didn’t feel a last-second jump on stage was appropriate. It was Scotty’s moment.”

DeWyze continued, “I appreciate American Idol, and the opportunity it has given me. And the people who have made that show possible. 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 wasn’t asked.”

Lythgoe has yet to respond to DeWyze’s response, but that comes as no surprise: He’s been busy with that other hit Fox series — So You Think You Can Dance, which premiered its own new cycle tonight.

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So, whose side are you on? Is Nigel exaggerating after DeWyze shunned him during Idol? Or has the former champ bitten the hand that feeds him? Let us know in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. ken says:

    totally team nigel. i can’t believe he wouldn’t go up on stage. i guess fading into purgatory in the music business is better? *shrug*

    • flutiefan says:

      they asked him at commercial break right before Scotty was crowned, pretty much as an afterthought. Nigel knew there were many reports out there criticizing him for snubbing Lee in the 1st place. so he asks at the most inopportune moment, knowing that Lee is too decent to steal the spotlight away from a teenager, that way he can claim later “Well, i asked.”

      this smacks of Nigel.

      • Princess Adora says:

        Completely agree! It was an afterthought to get out of trouble. And the trophy? No one cares about the irrelevant trophy that for some reason they decided to throw in there 2 years ago! Team Lee all the way!

      • Suncatcher says:

        I have a new respect for Lee DeWyze. Points for turning down Nigel! How disrespectful of anyone to do what Nigel did – give the reigning Champ a 2 minute lead time to be on a global show in front of thousands live and almost 30 million tuning in in the USA!

        Bad dog! No biscuit!

      • LadyBug979 says:

        I agree with you completely!!
        That’s probably exactly how it happened!!!

    • Nancy says:

      I agree with Lee to a certain extent but any publicity is good publicity.

      • cathy says:

        I disagree. Lee handled it perfectly. I have never been a fan of his but today I have such respect for him. Nigel is an ass. Lee you keep holding onto your self respect. I know I am through with idol.
        This whole year was disgusting with the judging, the manipulation on Nigel’s part. Bring on The Voice (which I love) and the X factor

        • forrest says:

          I agree – Nigel has been portrayed as a real a@@. This is yet another story adding to his ‘legend’. As far as ‘borrowing’ Lee, probably implying volenteering – no contract – no appearance fee etc. I can see Lee turning this down for all the right reasons.

    • MsWrite says:

      And WHAT??? Suddenly Lee would have a career if he went up on stage and looked like Nigel’s trained monkey? Of course he wouldn’t. He’d have the same career as he does today, but he wouldn’t be a media punching bag, because that’s exactly what would have happened. Lee was faced with an absolutely unwinnable situation and he took dignity’s way out. That’s all he’s got at this point. I can’t believe how socially inept people are that think you should prostitute yourself in any situation. I’m not a fan of Lee’s, but he did the exact right thing in this scenario and I applaud him.

    • L says:

      Team Nigel? You must be kidding. Nigel was probably freaking over all the twitters blasting him. Who plans something in the most planned and plotted of all shows, something like that with two minutes left. I mean at least Nigel did show he finally was willing to adjust to changing circumstances and super late is better than never but it was kinda of cheap of him to not have planned something to start.
      It might have been awkward for him to suddenly run up instead of Scotty just doing his thing.

      • forrest says:

        Not this first instance of Nigel producing ‘on the fly’ – confusing situations for Paula Abdul and commenting on multiple performances come to mind. I have no reason not to believe Lee’s version of events.

      • LadyBug979 says:

        I disagree super late only makes Lee look bad and saves face for Nigel. Nigel should have planned it days sooner like he claims he did and he should have asked him to perform too but I don’t believe he did that. For Lee to jump up there at the last minute would have looked tacky and like Lee was trying to steal Scotty’s thunder. Lee made the right decision. He is a man of great character.

        • L says:

          Yeah as I said he kinda just made Lee look bad while pretending to make himself look good, but it seems that few fell for it.

    • anonymous says:

      How do you perform an act on tv that has not been rehearsed somehow. Surely there is some form of rehearsal even when we don’t know the results until the very end. He wouldn’t have known what he was supposed to do and if you believe Nigel would have really helped him out I have some lovely property in the everglades you can buy. Nigel and the people at American Idol know what they did was wrong, there has been an uproar by his fans and people who aren’t his fans but feel badly about how Lee was treated. Now Nigel is trying to place the blame on the boy.

      • Maybelle says:

        I am Team Lee! I “use to” like Nigel, thought by Idol bringing him back would somehow make it better than Season 9. Only it was only better as in there weren’t many guitar props. Lee as the outgoing Idol winner deserved to be on that stage handing the keys to the new cars like all previous Idol winners have done. SHAME SHAME ON NIGEL AND IDOL.

    • djm says:

      Can I select team “neither”? Unless it’s in his contract to perform on the final show, I don’t think anyone should assume anything. The FACTS are that Lee hasn’t really done anything on the charts so why include him when you have GaGa & Beyonce & U2 (well, part of it) & Steven Tyler there to perform? If I were Nigel I wouldn’t have asked him either. Should they have taken a second to acknowledge him during the show? Probably, but really, who cares? In any other season there is no way Lee would have won (at least in my opinion) so I say we all just move on.

      • anon says:

        Because they always ask last season’s winner back to perform no matter what!
        But it’s not surprising, he dumps on Haley so why not Lee. He doesn’t even recognize amazing true stories going on and tries to bash them down with his own pre-planned boring scripts.

    • Bdub says:


    • JD says:

      Nigel is a d-bag limey. I agree with this Lee guy and it was the right decision to tell the limey to F off.

      I missed the last two seasons of Idol, and don’t want to start watching again until I get caught up. So I guess Dewyze won the last season of Idol. They used to be respectful of the former champs, I mean sure in ‘real life’ they can be treated to how their doing in sales. But for the show, it should be about ‘the title’. So the former champ should get a song and a passing of the torch, no matter how lame thay are or dissappointing in record sales. When the show is on, they are the s***. They should try to sell how losing would suck, maybe that is why the finales have usually been weak because everyone is getting a contract anyway. And now, they aren’t even treating the previous years winners right.

    • WWP says:

      Nigel is so full of it his eyes are brown

    • Beth says:

      Nigel…is that you? Lol.

  2. Ehjay says:

    Lee seems like a nice guy from twitter and when I saw him on the Idols tour. I’m more inclined to believe his version of events. It’s kind of a travesty that he wasn’t invited to participate. I know we always disparage him a bit, but he did win.

    • flutiefan says:

      100% agree. every other finale, the previous year’s winner was brought out. they didn’t even ask Lee. when word got out of this obviously tacky move, that’s when Nigel asked him in the commercial break, “hey, so you wanna hand the winner the golden mike or what?” i’d say no, too. don’t treat me like that.

  3. Stacey says:

    This isn’t Miss America. The reigning isn’t required to be put on stage the night the new one is given the title. So while I can see why Lee fans are miffed. But personally, never missed him. And I don’t think it was needed. Carrie was there as a performer for Lauren. Taylor was kept away from view of American Idol for years. David was performing on the performance show because he did the boot song.

    Sure maybe Ryan should have acknowledged him in the audience. But the show was going so quick; I doubt they were even thinking…

    • Elke says:

      I agree. It’s pretty obvious Carrie was only performing because she’s one of Lauren’s idols. From everything Lauren’s been saying she’s really happy about that. David Cook didn’t perform at the finale, he did the boot song 1 day earlier.

      I agree just a moment to recognize Lee would’ve been a nice gesture. I know he hasn’t been a success by AI standards but scrubbing him out of the show’s history seems harsh. It seems like they did try to include him at the last second and it didn’t work out.

      The whole finale show went so well, Nigel Lythgoe didn’t need to be getting into petty stuff over something that didn’t happen.

      • Jillibean says:

        They should have at least acknowledged him, especially since at one point, Ryan was in the audience and was standing right in front of Lee.

    • Musica1 says:

      Taylor performed at the finale the year after he won. Every winner has until Lee this year.

  4. Jake D says:

    Lee owed Nigel jack s***. He has every right to not want to get swept onstage as an afterthought. Lord knows I wouldn’t want to.

    When Nigel treats previous winners like crap, he shouldn’t expect favors from them.

  5. cheryl says:

    Team DeWyze. Nigel is such a liar. What a phony!

  6. Jon says:

    Team Nigel

  7. claudia says:

    No way do I believe Nigel’s version of things. An American Idol winner is too shy to go on stage? Ya rite.
    I read a few days before the finale that Lee had not been asked to participate. So Nigel acting now that Lee was asked & refused doesn’t make sense, unless it was last minute like Lee said. If so, who would blame him? I’m sure Nigel only did it because of all the tweets about Lee getting the shaft from the show that pimped him & pushed him to the title.

  8. Leslie says:

    I guess I’m one of the few people that actually like Lee and enjoy his singing (pitchiness and all) and I felt that he should have had some part in the finale–it’s only right. oh, and those of you that feel Crystal isn’t going anywhere—she’s currently very hot on the country music scene–and she’s played at the Grand Ole Opry. That’s not small potatoes! Nigel should be ashamed, I would have rather seen Lee than Spiderman. Although—-I do love U2…..

    • flutiefan says:

      i got Lee’s album as a gift, and i was surprised by how well it was done. his songs are very marketable and i have started to really like a few of them.
      too bad i moved to an area with no country radio (NYC, can you believe it?), so I don’t get to hear Crystal. i think if country radio gave Lee a chance (or vice versa), he might have a shot there, too.

      i would’ve rather seen Lee than Spiderman, too.

      • @galaga6846 says:

        I admit, I haven’t been following season 9, but country? Mamasox is doing COUNTRY!?! I never thought I’d see the day. She’s more of a Lilith Fair, singer-songwriter, indie-folk type of an artist. I’m confused. And country is definitely on the avenue for Lee. Stay TRUE to who you are! What’s next?

        That being said, TEAM LEE!!! It was said days ago that Lee wasn’t invited. Nice try Nigel. My husband said that the worst things about AI are now the main things about AI. I’ll continue to watch, for the contestants, but the shameless promotion and underhanded politics of it are a real turn off.

        • galaga6846 says:

          *not ON the avenue, it’s NOT the avenue for Lee. Sorry.

          • flutiefan says:

            no, Lee never struck me as country, either, until i heard his album. he has a few songs that could crossover into the genre quite well. and country’s fan base is notoriously loyal and supportive. also, country is expanding. Kid Rock, Uncle Cracker, Kelly Clarkson, the singer from the rock band Staind…they’re all doing country and doing well, though they all started off in vastly different styles.

            i just think Lee might actually have a decent career in country.

        • Holly says:

          Have you bought Crystal’s CD? It is fantastic! Not really country, but very indie-folk as you said, with a little southern-rock flavor too. I could see where some of her songs would do very well in a country/crossover venue, and I applaud her for taking advantage of any opportunity to develop fans. She is such a fantastic vocalist (I think one of the best ever on Idol, she just got cast in an “off” year) and the listening public should not be deprived of her voice. Go Crystal!

      • SiriusXM is based in NYC. It’s worth the investment to get a subscription. Their country stations are excellent, as are the many other genres they represent. If you don’t have a radio that plays it, you can still get it online.

        • flutiefan says:

          thanks! i am out of work right now, so i definitely can’t afford a subscription. but i will look into the online option! my cable just got Pandora, too, so i am looking forward to trying that.

          and no, Lee never struck me as country, either, until i heard his album. he has a few songs that could crossover into the genre quite well. and country’s fan base is notoriously loyal and supportive. also, country is expanding. Kid Rock, Uncle Cracker, Kelly Clarkson, the singer from the rock band Staind…they’re all doing country and doing well, though they all started off in vastly different styles.

          i just think Lee might actually have a decent career in country.

      • anon says:

        @flutiefan – haha why you be shocked NYC doesn’t have a country station? Nobody but nobody who is not a transplant listens to country here. Nobody. Grew up here. Didn’t know of a single kid in my entire high school who listened to it. Not one.
        (a couple of the most extremely crossed over from Underwood get air play and a few from Antebellum or all scary amount of Swift is all I’ve ever hear get radio play and before a few years ago nothing country ever other than maybe a LeeAnn Rhimes once or twice)

        • deltadawn says:

          You don’t have to be born in country-land to enjoy country.
          I’m European and I really enjoy it. Gee, close-minded much?

          • anon says:

            I was just commenting on his making it seem strange that NYC of all places would have no country station as if NYC would especially have been expected to have one if any place would. But it is not the slightest bit surprising that NYC doesn’t have one considering how few people listen to it in the region. If there was a big city that would not have a country station then NYC would be one of the ones you most expect not to.

        • flutiefan says:

          my father grew up here. he LOVES country music.

          NYC is the largest market in America. country music is inherently American. the way i see it, why WOULDN’T NYC have country radio? we’ve got country venues here, i’ve seen several country shows here. only makes sense to have country radio.

          and FYI, for being such a “native”, you realize there was country radio here up until about 3-4 years ago right? they changed ownership and format once they were sold.
          and a little more FYI, i moved here from LA, which you would not think of as a country music haven. but guess what? the #1 country music station in America is in LA.
          one more FYI, if NYC is a city of transplants like you say (and i agree), then wouldn’t it make sense that people have come from country-loving areas? they had to transplant from SOMEWHERE.

          i’m 35, i don’t need to “grow up”….but somebody here sure does.

          • flutiefan says:

            and i’m not a “he”, just FYI.

          • anon says:

            Well, I had been away from the area a lot during the mid-00’s.
            Anyway obviously there are not literally zero people in the region who listen to country music (although it is literally true that I never heard a single person in my high school in the NYC suburbs listen to it). Being such a gigantic population hub and given the sheer number of people there will be many people who do listen to it on a raw numerical basis of course, but percentage-wise it’s awfully small and country music certainly is one of the least popular types of music in the region.
            And if that was a lie then believe me there would be country FM stations all over the dial here since if there is $$$ in it someone will most definitely show up and if even something as relatively obscure as Caribbean can get a station and survive, at least for now, and country can’t then country definitely is very far from the most popular genre here.
            I can see how the radio would be frustrating here for you though and sadly there isn’t a way around it that is free. Either you have to get sirius which has a ton or just do mix CDs/tapes. Maybe you can check what stations have low ratings and ask if they will switch and give it a try once more.
            As for SoCal, I heard tons of people listening to in interior CA but never a whole lot along the coast in places like SD, La Jolla, Newport, Laguna Beach, Palos Verdes, BH, Malibu, UCLA/USC campuses, or getting farther north like SB or Carmel/Monterey but I did hear it like crazy just a bit farther inland in many areas like Soledad, Atascadero (not sure I heard anything but country). Maybe it is more popular in LA itself than I think, I guess I was just in the wrong parts or around different crowds or something.

          • flutiefan says:

            i know you believe the percentage is small based on your microcosm, but it’s really not. we wouldn’t have Good Morning America booking Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, and Scotty & Lauren for their Central Park Concerts. the Today Show wouldn’t have invited Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, nor the Zac Brown Band to perform live in front of their studio, in the heart of Manhattan. there wouldn’t be standing room only at both the Phil Vassar and Dierks Bentley shows i went to. i would’ve been able to buy a ticket to Taylor Swift at MSG, but …it was sold out.

            i realize that YOU may not see it on a daily basis, but i do. there is a good-sized market for country radio in NYC. the last station was very successful, but one of those conglomerates (RadiOne? Clear Channel? i don’t know) bought them out and the new owners wanted a format that they listened to. so while they could make money keeping it country, they chose another genre that they liked better. that is their right, but i don’t have to like it!

            if bars like Rodeo, venues like Joe’s Pub, and places like Southern Hospitality can be thriving in NYC, then so can country radio.

            as for the California question, i went from Ventura County down the coastal regions to San Diego. the whole way, there’s tons of country radio. i even had a show once on the #1 country station in America (at the time it was 93.9 KZLA). all of my friends there from high school in Thousand Oaks down to college in Long Beach (rap capital)and Orange County love country, or at the very least will tolerate it and admit to liking some songs. San Diegans dig it, too.

        • Anna says:

          LOL I always love it when someone steps up to be the self-appointed spokes person for a city of millions. No arrogant, self-important thing going on there! And yeah, no one in NYC listens to country. I guess that’s why country acts never sell out concerts in NYC…

          oh wait…

    • LadyBug979 says:

      I would rather have seen Lee perform than GaGa and her man (two monkeys having fake sex on a rock). If I want to see that I’ll take a trip to the zoo. This show is supposed to be about the contestants. Although I enjoy the guest preformers who didn’t make their careers through Idol. I can go to their concerts. I especially don’t want to see that profanity. This show should be about this show (the contestants) and the reigning idol should have been given the same honor as the past idols have been given. If they could do it for Taylor they could have done it for Lee.

  9. Julie says:

    Team DeWyze. If Lee had gone on stage at that point, he would have been accused of trying to steal the limelight from this year’s winner. Lee was right…it wasn’t an appropriate time for him to go on stage, it was the moment for this year’s Idol. Nigel is such a jerk. He loves all this negative publicity, thrives on it.

    • CandaceTX says:

      My first thought…if it was last minute, maybe Lee refused because he had yet to go through hair, makeup and styling. why would anyone want be thrown on last minute unprepared like that… my two cents.

    • zaza says:

      What got me was Ryan doing one of his from-the-audience announcements, standing next to a guy with weird hair, while Lee was standing right behind the guy. And we only got to see Lee for a second or two, because Ryan was blocking him from camera’s view. It would have been so much better if Ryan had stood next to Lee, asked him to give brief advice for the future winner or something, and then made his announcement. Lee deserved at least that much acknowledgment.

  10. June says:

    I tend to believe Lee. From everything we have seen of Lee to date, he seems to be genuinely honest and always willing to give credit to American Idol forgiving him his b

  11. flutiefan says:

    i’m inclined to believe Lee. he hasn’t been shy about the fact that Idol did not ask him to be on the finale, as they have asked every other previous-year winner. all of a sudden, the day after, Nigel complains that Lee refused? no Nigel. you just got some bad press for such an obvious snub, and now you’re trying to save face. it was an egregious slight and you know it.

    • anon says:

      Between busing Haley and dissing Lee I think Nigel better never travel to Chicago hahahaha!
      Although who knows maybe they did suddenly realize they Haley after all, but yet again far too late. Lauren said she always expected to go on (despite her suddenly hurt voice which just boom went away, she doesn’t know why, sounded very, very scratchy today) although she said Idol called Haley and asked her if she would replace Lauren. Lauren said thank God Haley refused. Although it’s possible it might not have gotten as close as that makes it sound. It’s even for things to get misunderstand, which was probably the case. But who knows.

  12. Joe says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is. Nigel didn’t lie. He asked Lee to hand the statue to the winner and Lee declined. He was offered a chance to be part of the show. Yeah, if Lee is to be believed it was a last second offer, but if it were so important for Lee to be seen on stage he should have ran up there and handed the statue off.
    Lee is one of the worst winners in AI history if not the worst. He and Taylor Hicks can battle over that indignity. The show owed him nothing and the fact that he didn’t take the chance to have his mug shown on TV as last years winner is on him. The offer was made. He was too proud to accept it so that’s that. Let’s not canonize a contestant who was clearly inferior and has a terrible debut CD and will be a footnote in AI history. Maybe they forgot about him until the last second because he was so forgettable. He was reason number 1 my wife and I gave up on last season after sensing that Simon was so bored with the show he decided to push Lee on America. Lee is proof positive that tween girl text votes don’t mean squat once the money counts.

    • Julie says:

      You have a right to your opinion, but you must realize that there are many, many fans who love Lee’s music and think he’s the best Idol. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. (He did get the most votes, after all) But whether you’re a Lee fan or not, Idol fans know it was tradition to have the winner on the finale and Lee was not asked. Nigel got negative flak for that. Then they don’t even recognize him on air from the crowd. Then suddenly Nigel makes the last minute request to have Lee give the winner the trophy, and Lee declined because he said it was Scotty’s moment. That should have been where it ended, but no—Nigel had to tweet it and spin it like Lee snubbed Idol. Dirty treatment, in my book. I have no respect for Nigel.

      • HA HA HA says:

        He’s the best Idol? WHAT!

      • Debbie M says:

        Some people think Lee is the best Idol winner? Seriously? Over Kelly, Carrie, and Cookie? I find that really hard to believe.

        • postsalot says:

          Many many fans could be what, fifty. I’m sure fifty fans think he’s the best.

          Well maybe forty.

        • cathy says:

          You know something. This is not about whether Lee is a successful winner or not. It is about class. It is about a show that makes millions and millions of dollars per minute off these contestants. It is about a producer who feels that he can treat them any way he wants because he has all the power and they have none. It is tradition to have last year’s winner on the show to pass the crown over. It has happened every year that I have watched. This year Nigel has decided that Lee was not good enough to be on his show with his Hee Haw twins. Lee’s fans reacted and sent Nigel twitters telling him what an ass he is. The news picks it up and Nigel now has egg all over his face. He has been shown to the world as the classless act that he is. Now he has to do something. Again he does the douche thing. Instead of acknowleging Lee in anyway he tries to push him on the show in the last moment so Nigel and the show does not look bad. Lee declined and rightly so. He deserved more. As far as I’m concerned (and I was not a fan of Lee’s last year) Lee is a class act and Nigel is an ass.

      • apl says:

        WELL SAID..and yes,for me- he is the Best IDOL!don’t care if some people can’t believer.IDOL doesn’t need to be fancy to be idolized.or doesn’t need to create a diff character just be noticed..and numbers are just quantity…

      • Musica1 says:

        I don’t know anyone who thinks Lee’s the best winner, but many people think he’s a good singer who put out a good album. But even if you personally hate his singing, it’s still a slap in the face to all the people who spent time watching & voting last seaon to ignore the season’s existence on the next finale.

        • LadyBug979 says:

          I agree it is a slap in the face to all of us who voted for Lee last year and to Lee. I have suffered through a lot of nonsense with this show and never considered not watching anymore until I read this article. It was bad enough to diss him Wed. night but to now put the blame on him. Might just be enough already for me!

          • LadyBug979 says:

            AI had a great season. Why did Nigel have to go and ruin it with this nonsense?

    • Andrew says:

      No, Nigel didn’t lie. But he disrespected Idol tradition. Every winner except Fantasia has performed on the next season’s finale. And I think that’s a great tradition because it shows that Idol is a family that makes sure it’s winners get the promotion they deserve. Nigel said they didn’t have the time to put Lee on, but puts Beyonce on twice and we end up watching a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with Idol or is embarassing to watch (i.e. the bad audition reel – do we really need to see those again?). I’m positive Nigel’s last minute request was the result of all the harassment and bad press he was getting and he was trying to cover his ass and I don’t blame Lee for refusing. He isn’t a model at the Oscars, handing off trophies, he’s the guy who did what millions of other people couldn’t. He won the show and deserves a couple of minutes in the spotlight before handing his title over.

    • Sebby says:

      So…’re mad AT Lee for winning last year instead of being mad at the voters or Idol for not changing their voting method. That’s mature. What would you have wanted Lee to do when it was announced he won?? Say, “No thanks, America!” Seriously, do you think it was all a joke to him???? Believe it or not, everybody has dreams. You act like he is the worst singer in the world when clearly he must have impressed the judges enough to make it to the live shows. And its not like Idol didn’t make plenty of money off of him during his 12 weeks on the show and the subsequent tour. That the tween power votes took over is not his fault and he absolutely deserved the same amount of respect as every other Idol winner.

    • teresa says:

      It has nothing to do with liking Lee or not liking him. When the Idol winner is treated with disrespect by the show, it diminishes the title.

      Breaking the tradition of having the latest winner perform on the finale is disrespecting the title. Having the latest winner present the Top 2 finalists with their Fords is only a few years old, but not having Lee do that when Kris and David Cook did looks odd, to say the least.

      It would have been simple to put together a montage honoring all nine former winners, at least giving Lee a few seconds of recognition.

      To have done none of that, but then to run up during a commercial break to ask Lee to hand over the trophy? With no planning, no walk-through, no make-up?

      There would no way to make that moment work. If Lee brought on the trophy after the announcement was made, he’d basically be a stagehand — there would be no time to acknowledge him while the audience was screaming and the winner was singing.

      If Lee brought out the trophy before the announcement, he’d be forced to stand there awkwardly while the accountant explained the auditing of the votes. It would be lose-lose no matter how it was done.

    • Brenda Russell says:

      You do not know talent when you hear it. His CD is great- very diverse and lots of stripped down acoustic guitar. He is a quiet and humble guy but very talented. I saw him live- he was fantastic and very appreciative and available to his fans. Nigel had negative press and tried to make himself look good by throwing Lee a bone. Obviously you have no taste in music-you and your wife don’t know talent when you see it- Scotty is way more boring than Lee and also you are RUDE! IF you are bored look at yourself- you’re probably bored with yourself. He is very attractive as well-no mug there. He wanted to perform and would have been way better than some of the crap I saw. I feel sorry for your obvious lack of taste in music. His raspy voice is great, he is an accomplished musician and songwriter-what is your talent?-being negative. I hope you read this-you need to hear it.

      • I agree with Brenda. Lee is a humble guy he didn’t want to steal the scene at the AI10 finale. It was “Scotty’s Moment”. A 2-minute request to hand the trophy is inappropriate. He made the right decision. Such well-mannered guy. Never mind if he is at the bottom of the chart. What is important is he is a decent and respectable person. He knows his craft and he is a talented musician. He is definitely different from the other AI winners. Lee Dewyze is Lee Dewyze.

  13. karen o says:

    Definitely believe Lee in this situation. That sounds like such an idol move. I think Lee is a boring performer, but I don’t believe for a second that he’d make this up.

  14. Ash says:

    Worst winner ever..,but I believe him over that weasel Nigel.

  15. Jackie says:

    Team Dewyze. He should have performed in the finale. Plain and simple. Would have rather seen him crooning in his fantasticly real voice singig his heartfelt upbeat love songs than all the gyrating and whatever going on on that stage. Lee is a real classy guy with a real talent. Rock on and don’t change Lee. We love you!

  16. Andrew Rogers says:

    With the way Nigel has been running things this season, definitely Team DeWyze. I’m almost positive that his “last minute ask” was just a ploy to cover his ass because he was getting harassed by fans on twitter to add Lee to the finale, especially after we all saw the crap that made it on instead. Did we really need to see Beyonce twice? Did TLC need to make a grand comeback? How about promoting the guy who fought his way to the top last year. After meeting Lee on tour, he seems like an honest, genuine guy and considering Nigel’s the one calling people tweeting at him “morons”, I’d say Lee’s got the upper hand here.

  17. Annie says:

    Team DeWyze, of course. Lee is one the most honest and humble Idol ever. He’s such a class act. While Nigel is a really manipulative bastard. So… yeah.

  18. Sam says:

    Regardless of what kind of career Lee has had since Idol, he was still the reigning American Idol. Would it have hurt Nigel to cut that crappy second Beyonce song and give Lee a couple of minutes? The finale was just a pimp job for the judges and any Interscope artist that has something coming out. What was the TLC, and Tom Jones stuff anyway. Thought Nigel wanted to be relevant. Alrighty then.

    I totally don’t blame Lee for this mess. Totally spin by Nigel. Why Nigel do you think any prior Idol would give you the time of day after all the media trashing you have done to them all season. I’ll be glad when Idol is cancelled. Maybe then these alumni can get on with their careers without being tied to it.

  19. Jay says:

    Team Lee.
    I may not be a huge fan, but you can tell his statement is genuine. Nigel has been really annoying via twitter the past few days. There was absolutely no need for him to even tweet that. It was like he wanted to make Lee look bad (but masking it with “he’s shy..”).

  20. Kj says:

    Team Dewyze..Nigel behaved very unprofessionaly even tweeting that.. His goal was to take the heat off him & put it on Lee.. Lee took the high road and didn’t bash anyone.. Just told the truth…he seems like a class act .. I’m a fan..

  21. gatorgirl5028 says:

    Without a doubt, I’m Team Lee. What we’ve got here is a classic case of class vs ass. Lee has always been supportive and grateful to American Idol and as far as I’m concerned, Nigel just crapped in his Easter basket. Not watching it anymore as long as he’s involved and I have no desire to watch any other show he is associated with. With all due respect, the man is a tool :)

  22. kakuyper says:

    Lee for sure! Not going to lie… Nigel seems kinda sleazy…and it totally doesn’t surprise me at all.

  23. Ted says:

    There’s never been any parity in the way former Idols are treated or handled on the show. “Fair” doesn’t play into it, ever. Carrie is clearly the crown princess of Idol, appearing multiple times in every season since she won, but obviously she has more than earned that level of support and promotion from the show. David Cook, the most successful and popular male winner, is the crown prince – he’s also been invited back at least twice each year since his win. From there it is very hit or miss how the Idols are handled. Kris Allen did not perform this year. Lee has not yet proven that he is a viable winner or any kind of draw for the show. It was a douchey move on Nigel’s part, but he has advertisers to appease and ratings to bring in, and Lee just didn’t make the cut.

    • flutiefan says:

      that’s not the point. the fact is, the current title holder has performed on the finale and essentially handed over the “crown” to the new winner every single year. this is the 1st year that they didn’t allow Lee to do so, and it was obviously a personal snub. it was not necessary.
      Taylor Hicks had low sales, he was invited back to the next finale. Kris had even lower sales, he was invited back to the next finale. even with Lee’s basement sales, he should’ve been invited back to this finale. he got shafted.

      (*the exception was Fantasia, she was asked but had to decline. scheduling issues or something. but they still asked her in advance.)

  24. erin says:

    I don’t care for Lee, but idol did him wrong. Everybody doesn’t have to like the winner but they at least deserve the respect of the shows producers and such, this is the first time in many years that the previous years winner didn’t get pimped, that should be at least 1 perk of winning. Yeah Lee’s album sales are horrible and he probably wont have much of a career but I feel sorry for him, I don’t get it on the part of idol, their futur success hinges on the success of its contestants as much after the show as anything you would think they would do everything in their power to boost their winners up in any way they could, it may or may not work in Lees case but cmon you have to try. Oh well! And who the hell manages Lee? If he were my artist ain’t no way in hell he would be treated like that.

  25. CaliGirl77 says:

    I rarely believe a word Nigel says.

  26. PAT says:

    I thought that the snub of Lee was very low class. When You have time for ridiculous performances by several other people,(and sometimes more than one) but you can not find time for the reigning idol to even make an appearance there is a problem. I’m sure he would not have refused to appear had he been asked before last night. He was right behind Ryan, and ignored by him too.

  27. xyz says:

    Nigel made a character accusation against Lee and he had to make a response. Not one bit of this controversey was started by Lee himself in any way. Yes his fans got upset on his behalf but a big shot millionaire TV producer shouldn’t have to take things out on Lee and his fans over twitter. I can’t be anything but team Lee here, he did absolutely nothing wrong and was the bigger person in this mess.

    • Between Nigel and Lee, who is supposed to be more gentleman, more professional, more dignified, more credible? I think Nigel made a mountain out of an anthill. Sounds very defensive for himself over this issue. Lee has replied that he doesn’t feel bitter or disappointed because he did the right thing a “class act”. What a character! He must move on and leave behind that finale issue. Best of luck to Lee.

  28. Jenny says:

    I have to say I believe Lee before Nigel. It has become a tradition that the previous winner performs on the finale. Nigel knew the finale was going to be boring so he needed to create some drama.

  29. Steve says:

    Aside from the initial snub and Nigel’s last minute attempt to save face, I’m sure that Lee is also probably pretty sick of hearing public comments from the Idol brain trust about how bad Season 9 was. I totally understand why he was in no mood to do Nigel any favors. Lee should have been standing alongside the judges on stage right when the winner was announced, and handed off the trophy… but that should have been planned in advance, not dropped on him during the final commercial break.

  30. barbls says:

    Anyone who has seen what Nigel Lythgoe has done to this season of AI with all the hyping, pimping and manipulation knows Lee is telling the truth. Nigel probably saw the tweets early in the day about the Lee snub and decided at the last minute to include Lee and also probably knew that Lee would decline the last minute invitation. This way he could spin “I am a good guy.” I offered and Lee said no!!! I love the part about Lee being to shy to do it. Nigel is beyond belief.

  31. Noiiigel is full of shyte says:

    Pretty sure Nigel is just covering his arse and acting like it was Lee who turned THEM down when he so graciously asked Lee at 10:02 pm to present the radio microphone trophy to Scotty. Harumph!

    Also, why didn’t Lee get to give Lauren and Scotty the keys to their Fords? David Cook gave Kris and Adam their keys; Kris gave Lee and Crystal their keys.

    So yeah. Team DeWyze. And I don’t even like the guy!

  32. Josie says:

    I’m willing to bet if Nigel had asked Lee *in advance* (by which I mean considerably longer than two minutes beforehand), he would have gone along with it. They could have worked out exactly what he was to do and when to do it. Perhaps Lee could have said a couple of words to Scotty and Lauren before the announcement. It wouldn’t have made up for not getting to perform, but it could have been a nice little moment.

    But asking just two minutes before the announcement? That’s ridiculous, rude, and obviously calculated just to enable Nigel to tell the outraged Lee fans, “Hey, I asked him, and he said no. Not my fault.” Lee would have gained nothing by saying yes, except a couple of excruciatingly awkward minutes of fighting through the crowd of people surrounding Scotty to try to hand him that trophy. Does anyone think Nigel & Co. would treat Lee any better going forward if he’d done it? Not likely.

    • anon says:

      also love the way he puts in that ridiculous maybe he was jsut too shy to make an attack on Lee’s character or something

  33. Cassie Moran says:

    Totally on Lee’s side. I’m not a fan of Lee’s or anyone from his season, but Nigel backpedals more than anyone. Between Nigel and Ken Warwick there are a lot of snubs and nasty comments made about past Idols.

    So I’m with Lee. I believe him and I think he did the right thing. They should have asked him to participate in advance.

  34. Steph says:

    Everyone knows that Nigel is an egotistical, conniving, pompous jerk (not the word I wanted to use, but the other would be censored automatically), so I’m definitely on Team Lee and I’m not even a fan of his. By not asking Lee to come back for the finale, no matter how badly his career has been since Idol, Nigel completely tarnished the Idol finale tradition. Lee had every right to participate. We could’ve done without one of Beyonce’s appearances or that stupid Spiderman thing at the end to give Lee a 3-min. performance, I think. I’ll never believe a single word that comes out of Nigel’s mouth about anything, he’s so full of it.

  35. aizjanika says:

    I am completely on Lee’s side. Nigel has already proven himself to be thin-skinned and likely to lash out if he’s criticized. He’s just trying to make Lee look bad to make himself look good. I’m not buying it for even half a second. I agree with everyone that said Lee has done nothing wrong–not even in posting on Twitter to explain himself. He wasn’t defensive or accusatory. That was all on Nigel’s part.

  36. Tobi says:

    Absolutely believe Lee! He was never anything but a great, sweet, very humble guy while Nigel Lythgoe is nothing but a show seller!

    Every year before this year, the previous winner(or sometimes, all of them?) has come back to at least sing a song on the finale. Not only was it completely awful for them not to include him, it was insulting to have Ryan stand with Lee right behind him so that he could blare all over the screen. He wasn’t even very close to the front of the stage…nice to see how they treat the previous winner when they don’t care for them!

    This year was absolutely the best in talented singers, but the worst as far as I’m concerned with the producers, directors & judges!!

    • LadyBug979 says:

      Thank you! You’re the first person to see that scene the same way I did. It looked to me like a slap in the face to Lee even letting him be seen on camera at all at that point. And it looked to me like Lee was trying his best to avoid the camera. Understandably so after being treated the way he was. But I kinda saw that coming after the way they have acted about last season. Still don’t understand it. The talent last season wasn’t that bad! In fact I thought it was good. Maybe not as good as some previous seasons but not bad either.

  37. JS says:

    I think it’s fine that Lee turned it down. He doesn’t owe Idol but Idol doesn’t owe him a slot either. The tacky thing I think is that after Lee declined for whatever reason Nigel had to go and tweet about it and make it seem like Lee was the bad guy. He should have just let it be!! Lee proably was shy though. He seems the shy type and it’s kind of lame to turn over the title anyway!!!

  38. Blair says:

    Nigel Lythgoe: a.k.a. “The Manipulative Master of Too Little Too Late Last-Minute Damage Control”.
    I do think it a shame for Lee’s sake, though. Let’s face it. Lee wasn’t exactly having and easy time as it was selling records. And now on top of that, this whole fiasco only makes him look like a jerk to most Americans after Nigel craftily covers his own backside like he always does.

    • Blair says:

      and just in case you couldn’t tell from the above post, I am MOST DEFINITELY TEAM DEWYZE on this one.

      • sadtroll says:

        Really? But you called Nigel a “master” of manipulation and said that he made Lee look like a “jerk” with his crafty ways.

        And you also slammed Lee for not selling records very much.

        Sounds to me like master manipulator Nigel has tricked you into posting this hateful comment to Lee, the disrespected Idol champ.

        • sadtroll says:

          and just in case you couldn’t tell from the above post, I am MOST DEFINITELY TEAM HOWCANANYONEGIVEACRAPABOUTTHIS on this one.

        • Blair says:

          @sadtroll: Sorry if you misread the intention of my previous statement. I guess you couldn’t read the sarcasm I was trying to put into the post. Hence, I felt I needed to clarify myself. Nigel IS a “Master of Manipulation” and in a very SLIMY way that I don’t condone or heap upon any kind of praise in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. I was hoping the message got across that the SHAME was in how unfairly Lee was treated by Nigel who in his “crafty” (i.e. sneaky, underhanded) way was setting out to make Lee look like the jerk, and that on top of the fact that Lee was at the same time, struggling to sell records (i.e. kicking the poor guy when he was down) when in fact, Nigel is the BIGGEST JERK OF ALL! It’s a no-brainer.

  39. nisa says:

    Absolutely team DeWyze.

  40. tweetybird says:

    I completely believe Lee and think Nigel was completely disrespectful and bottom line the message here is…. hey contestants if you win and don’t become Carrie Underwood then to heck with you…..Nigel is a pompous jerk and he did a terrible job with the entire season. Simon Cowell is going to eat his lunch and I for one will be delighted. American Idol has lost it’s MOJO….BIGTIME! This is a perfect example! Everyone agrees that Lee’s a nice guy and clearly he deserved better!

  41. Lucy says:

    Lee is a good guy. The AI machine failed on this one in a big way. It has nothing to do with a singer’s success and everything to do with integrity, respect and setting an example for young viewers. Be good to people. Always.

  42. Felmar Rowell says:

    Lee DeWyze is definitely more believeable than Nigel Lythgoe. And I just want to thank Lee for showing us his fans and the world that he will never bend down to the mean tactics of Lythgoe in order to achieve fame and rake in money. Lee has shown that he is a class act and that Nigel can go below meanness just to achieve his own ends. A careful reading of Lee’s tweets places side by side with Nigel’s tweets will instantly show this.

  43. Rhama says:

    Last year they forgot to give any credit to Ricky Minor and his band. It’s not just Nigel, the whole idol machine is rotten.

  44. Miya says:

    Team Lee all the way. It seems to me that Nigel only decided to try and acknowledge Lee after fans and bloggers complained. Basically Nigel is a douche bag, always has been

  45. Chuckie888 says:

    Nigel is such a slime. The fact that he initiated the finger-pointing speaks to Nigel’s lack of credibility and agenda.

  46. Lorrie says:

    Team Lee all the way ! The last few years the previous winner offered up the keys to their new car to the finalists, not the damn trophy. This year I was irritated to see Seacrest offer the keys to their teachers and the Scotty and Lauren while In the audience, with Lee in the background …what a slap in the face. That must have been around the time Nigel offered up the after thought offer to Lee.

    Then I was amused to see the judges ON STAGE (??) when the winner was announced, My first thought was to keep Lee out of camera shot.

  47. aunt_deen says:

    Totally Team Lee.

    Whether or not you’re a fan, whether or not you think he “deserved” the title, he’s the winner of Season 9. He should have been asked to perform in the finale. Or else to participate in some other way. For Nigel to approach him two minutes ahead of time and ask him to run up onstage and hand over the trophy? That is an asinine, insulting move and I’m not surprised he said no. Furthermore, Nigel’s the one who tweeted his little sneering “I guess he’s shy.” Lee’s response was completely mature and gracious. Nigel is an ass.

  48. Peaches says:

    definitely Team DeWyze.

    Lee is such a class act. Congratulations to his parents for raising one fine, decent gentlemen. In this world full of manipulators and money hungry men, Lee is a rare breed. He’s remain humble and grounded and decent. I am sure he will succeed in his career and Lythgoe will one day beg him to perform to Idol. I am so proud to be a fan.

  49. marie says:

    Not a Lee fan at all, but I believe his account of what happened. Clearly, that conniving lowlife Nigel did not want Lee’s involvement, or he would have been invited to participate in advance as would be normal. It seems quite clear that Nigel asked at the last minute 1) because he knew Lee would have to refuse under the circumstances; and 2) just so he could claim later that he’d asked and been refused. What a swine. Don’t blame Lee for assaying no one bit.

    • marie says:

      ^^^ (Whoops, tiny phone screen + overenthusiastic auto correct = “assaying” instead of “saying.”)

  50. apl says:

    Team LEE. Nigel was well aware how fans reacted upon learning Lee won’t perform..tweets are overwhelming but no response from Nigel.If he was able to remember asking Lee at the last minute when the most EXCITING part of the show is about to come, why he’s not able to ask Lee earlier. this ‘at least I asked” thing is a crap. Putting myself on Lee’s situation,having myself as part of the audience and not part of the Finale, could have been the most awkward moment in my life. Ans sometimes, during low moment, it’s hard to make a decision spontaneously. Lee still think and did the right thing..I salute him for quick thinking to think about the winner..and to make a stand for himself. May not be the best idol, but at least he is not a puppet and just obey to what’s being told. Dignity..