`Idol' finalists ready to record albums, tour

Lee DeWyze, winner of Season 9 of American Idol, poses backstage after the finale on Wednesday, May 26, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

May 28, 2010 7:34:17 PM PDT
The show is over, the confetti all swept away, but "American Idol" winner Lee DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox are just getting started.

The 24-year-old singers talked with reporters Friday about what lies ahead as they launch their professional music careers.

Bowersox says she forsees a future that includes diverse music, drama and diabetes advocacy, adding that she'd love to work with fellow diabetic Bret Michaels. The dreadlocked single mom from Toledo, Ohio, says she'll be meeting with record executives next week to discuss her musical future.

Discussions for DeWyze's debut album have already begun, he says.

"It's been a crazy experience, the whole album-making thing, and talking and going to the meetings about it and everything," says the shy former paint-store clerk from Mount Prospect, Ill., adding that he'll have a lot of say in the sound and will also be writing new tracks for the record.

Expect "a folk/rock/alternative vibe," he says. "I want it to be very earthy ... I'm looking to make an album that can really speak to everybody, good stories and good music to back it up, because that's the kind of stuff I like to listen to."

Both "Idol" stars will be recording their albums while traveling the country on the "American Idols Live! Tour," which begins July 1 in Detroit.

Bowersox scored an "Idol" first when she played her own original song, "Holy Toledo," on a recent episode, and she's excited to play it again when she performs in her hometown during the "Idol" tour.

She also hopes to write new music for her album and collaborate with some of her heroes, including Melissa Etheridge, Ray LaMontagne and Leslie Feist.

"The craziest thing is it's all possible now to work with these people," she says. "I can say it and it can be true."

Bowersox is also interested in acting: "Drama was my first love, actually, before music."

DeWyze is looking forward to the live shows and collaborating with a range of artists, too.

"I'm just excited to get on the big stage and really put on a performance, put on a show without time limits, without judging," he says.

Regarding his forthcoming album, he says, "There's a good list of people that I've been told I'm going to be getting a chance to work with, and I'm just stoked about it because I think it's going to come out really, really well."

Not faring so well, at least in the ratings department, is the Fox singing contest itself.

The DeWyze-Bowersox duel failed to ignite ratings for the two-hour show Wednesday, which fell sharply from seasons past, according to Nielsen Co. figures.

A total of 24.2 million viewers watched this year's finale, compared to the nearly 29 million viewers who saw Kris Allen win over Adam Lambert last year and the more than 31 million who tuned in for David Cook's victory over David Archuleta in 2008.

The 2003 finale between winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken, an hourlong show, drew a series-high 38.1 million viewers.

"American Idol," long TV's top-rated series, faced slumping viewership this year and at times was bested by ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" in the weekly ratings. But the singers beat the hoofers in their respective finales, with "Dancing" on Tuesday drawing 18.4 million viewers.