LEE DEWYZE edged out CRYSTAL BOWERSOX to win "American Idol" last night. But it really wasn't about the boring contestants. The show was mostly about SIMON COWELL and the 18 trillion guest stars who showed up to perform.
The show went with its usual formula of having a contestant or contestants start singing a song . . . then having the artist who made that song popular come out and finish it off with them.
They kicked off the night the RIGHT way with ALICE COOPER . . . who busted onstage to add some much-needed ROCK AND ROLL to the cast's rendition of "School's Out".
Other performers included Christina Aguilera, Alanis Morissette, Chicago, Hall and Oates, the surviving members of the Bee Gees, Michael McDonald, Joe Cocker and Janet Jackson . . . (--Who looks frighteningly like her brother Jermaine with that new, short hairdo.)
But the biggest surprise had to be BRET MICHAELS . . . who did "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" with CASEY JAMES. And he looked and sounded A LOT better than he did at the "Celebrity Apprentice" finale this past Sunday.
They also brought back a very confused-sounding GENERAL LARRY PLATT for a more high-tech version of his now-classic groove, "Pants on the Ground".
And he was joined by a special guest star: WILLIAM HUNG. (--Please. We're WAY over William Hung. What about the song's most famous singer, BRETT FAVRE??? If HE had shown up, it would have been AMAZING.)
But again, the night was mostly about Simon. There were several "comedic" video packages dedicated to him, and DANE COOK did a song incorporating some of the stuff he's said to crappy contestants over the years.
Then PAULA ABDUL made her return to the "Idol" stage to say goodbye.She tried a little standup (slash) roasting, but she was serious when she said, quote, "I love all the fun we had together, I love all the laughter we shared together." She added, quote, "[The show] is not going to be the same without you, but as only I can tell you, it will go on." Then, all the previous "Idol" winners . . . except DAVID COOK, for some reason . . . started up a song, and were soon joined by a stage full of other former contestants . . . including THE INCOMPARABLE JUSTIN GUARINI!!!
(--For those of you who don't remember them all, the other winners, in order, were: Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, and Kris Allen. David won the seventh season.)
Simon himself then took the stage, and admitted he was a lot more emotional than he thought he'd be. He said, quote, "I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support, the fun and your sense of humor. That's what's been the best part. It's been a blast. Thank you."