"American Idol" may be idling, if the ratings for Wednesday night's live Season Nine finale are any indication: Only about 24.2 million viewers tuned in to see Lee DeWyze beat out Crystal Bowersox for the crown. While that's still an enormous audience, it's down 15.9 percent from the 28.8 million who watched Kris Allen win Season Eight last year, according to Nielsen Media Research figures.
Indeed, it's the show's lowest-rated season finale since the very first, when 22.7 million viewers saw Kelly Clarkson named champ in September 2002. The highest-rating finale came the following year, with 38 million watching Ruben Studdard win.
WHY LAMBERT'S UPSET. Last year's runner-up, Adam Lambert, says he was dissed by the show's producers. Addressing rumors that he had blown off rehearsals, the singer, who's preparing for his first tour, claims he simply wasn't invited to perform.
"HAHA. I have now just been made aware of more gossip and rumormill," Lambert, 28, tweeted.
"First of all, I was never asked to appear on the finale in any capacity," he wrote, and added that due to a "throat bug" he "was put on vocal rest yesterday from MY show's rehearsals." He went on to blame the rumors on "certain journalists and jealous people in the industry."
BOWERSOX'S BREAKUP. Runner-up Bowersox said on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show Thursday that on the morning of the finale, she and her boyfriend, Tony, ended their relationship, "He went home. He wasn't cool with the lifestyle," she said. "The breakup, occurring just hours before the finale, was mutual," she added.