Crystal Bowersox blew Lee DeWyze away and said goodbye to Simon Cowell on the 'American Idol' finale with her best performance of the year on 'Up to the Mountain' -- but it may not have been enough.

And you know what -- who cares. We watch this show for moments like tonight, when Crystal finally laid bare her soul, seemed on the verge of tears and gave us goosebumps with her slow, somber and controlled vocal.

It was enough to redeem what's mostly been a mediocore, disappointing year, and actually may have been the best moment of the entire finals. Randy called it "amazing," Ellen "unique," Kara said for once Crystal was totally "emotionally invested." 

And Simon, in his last critique after nine years on the show, said simply, "that was outstanding."

Lee is great, and overall had a better season than Crystal. As Simon said, his growth is the reason why this show exists, to give unknowns a chance to tap into their potential. He was nervous and wasn't as strong tonight as he's been, but still would make a worthy champion.

And he's built up a big following among the teeny-boppers who live to vote and, in the past few seasons, have determined who wins "American Idol."

Really, I'm happy no matter who wins. Crystal deserves to be champ on the basis of tonight; Lee on the strength of his overall season.

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Here's how I ranked the performances tonight; put in your two cents in the comments, below:

1) Crystal's "Up to the Mountain" was her best performance of the year, and a fitting end to her season and Simon's nine years on the show.

2) Lee's "Beautiful Day" was easily his best song of the night, but by his standards, it was just OK. He was nervous, swallowing his words, trying too hard instead of letting it all flow.

3) Crystal's "Black Velvet" had a Siobhan Magnus scream at the end, but otherwise. while strong, didn't raise any goosebumps, despite being the perfect choice.

4) Lee's "Everybody Hurts" was a bit too fast and high-pitched for me. He frittered away a good song choice.

5) Crystal's "Me and Bobby McGee" had Kara praising the "fire in your belly," but I didn't think it was as good as the first time around.

6) Lee went back to "The Boxer," but he was clearly nervous, and it fell a bit flat, which is odd for him.

PHOTOS: "American Idol" final round | Lee, Crystal and Casey go home | "Idol" top 12 party with "Glee" stars

REWIND: See the winners and top finalists from each season of "American Idol"

MORE: Read all of our other "American Idol" posts

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