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American Idols Open Up

Aired May 30, 2010 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight America's newest idol.


KING: The runner-up.


KING: Plus, the rest of the season's top 10.

This is your only chance to see them together without paying for a ticket. They survived weeks of hardcore competition, including the judgment of Simon Cowell.

SIMON COWELL, AMERICAN IDOL JUDGE: There was no effort, no originality. Nothing different.

KING: They share their personal stories and "Idol" backstage secrets, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

One quick programming note. Lady Gaga will be here Tuesday night. You won't want to miss it.

We've got a whole week of special guests, surprise guests all next week, our 25th anniversary week here at CNN.

Also, we'll be giving away "American Idol Live" tickets tonight. We're going to ask some trivia questions throughout the show. First person with the correct answer to "King's Things" wins. Rules for the contest posted

If you don't win, you can always get tickets at The 51-city tour kicks off July 1st.

Now we welcome to LARRY KING LIVE the winner of "American Idol 2010," Lee DeWyze.

Have you taken it all in yet? Has it hit?

LEE DEWYZE, AMERICAN IDOL WINNER: Bits and pieces. You know a little bit of a time it's kind of hitting me. I really got a sense of it, you know, today because it was the first day I got some rest last night. So I got to wake up and really think about everything.

And it's just -- it's incredible. I mean putting it in words is hard. But from the minute they announced the winner, it's just been like nonstop.

KING: Let's take a look at Lee's winning moment from the finale of "American Idol." Watch.


SEACREST: The winner of "American Idol 2010" is Lee DeWyze!



KING: OK, the obvious question. What was it like?

DEWYZE: It was -- it was the most -- like surreal feeling.

KING: It seemed forever?

DEWYZE: Yes, it did. You know, it's only a two-hour show. But it just seemed like I was waiting months. And, you know, essentially we are. You know, we start from the very beginning, and it's such a long process for everybody that it's a lot of hard work put into it.

And to get to that final moment where, you know, you're announced the winner, it's just -- it's a surreal feeling.

KING: Where did you first audition?

DEWYZE: Chicago.

KING: Now, going along the trail, was there a time along the way when you thought, I could win this?

DEWYZE: Yes, you know, there was. I think that you tell yourself that throughout the experience, you know. I want to win, I want to win, but every week you kind of end up focusing on that week before you can focus on something like, you know, the finale or winning.

And everybody, you know, myself, everyone included just every week came by, it was just about that week. You know, what -- let's get this song that we're doing down. Let's work on it as hard as we can and get out there and perform it the best that we can.

And you get a sense for the finale and wanting to win really when it gets closer and closer to the end of the show. Because that's when it really starts to hit you, I'm really close. And I want it.

KING: Is there a strategy?

DEWYZE: I think everyone approaches it differently. For me, my strategy was really trying to just take the songs that I was doing and make them my own. And you hear a lot of that throughout the season from the judges. You know, you should have made this song your own or, you know, you change up the song just right. And I think that's the big challenge of "American Idol," is taking something that's already out there and showing what you can do with it.

KING: How did you regard the judges? Scared?

DEWYZE: At first it was really intimidating because you've seen the show before, and you know what they're capable of doing, you know. They can tear you down or they can build you up, you know, and you never know.

All you really have control over is how you perform. And it was difficult at times when you feel you did a good job and they tell you you didn't. You know, and you go back and look at it, you're like, OK, maybe I could have done this better, maybe I could have done that better.

But at the end of the day, they all want the best for us. And I think that's really where they were coming from.

KING: After nine seasons of "American Idol," Simon has called it quits. He said goodbye Wednesday night. Let's take a look.


COWELL: I didn't think I was going to be this emotional, but I genuinely am. I just want to say it's great to have this little one back. But you know, what Paula said is true. The show goes forward. It will be different. But I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support, the fun --


COWELL: and -- everyone, the sense -- your sense of humor. I mean that's what's been the best part.


KING: He credited the fans. You just said something about the fans. Elaborate.

DEWYZE: Yes. Well, I mean for me, it was just going through the whole process. It was just something like I couldn't have imagined myself if I tried to. And when you get to the point where you start realizing that there are fans and people there supporting you and the show, you really get a sense of how big it is on the outside.

And truthfully, if it wasn't for the fans and the people that were watching, voting --

KING: They count more, right?

DEWYZE: Yes, I mean, it's -- you know, I won and I did what I had to do to win, but they also had a huge part in it because if it wasn't for them, you know, none of us would have been where we were at so -- KING: Now you'll be touring with the whole group through July, right?

DEWYZE: Yes, I'm looking forward to that.

KING: And what about an album?

DEWYZE: I'll be starting the album come tour. And then, you know, I think we'll finish it up a little bit after that. And then I'll, you know, start touring that hopefully. And I'm just looking forward to the whole process, you know, getting my feet wet, doing the "Idol" tour is going to be awesome with all the people because I love all these guys.

KING: How old are you?

DEWYZE: Twenty-four.

KING: Ready for a career?

DEWYZE: Oh, yes. Definitely.

KING: Ready to take them on?

DEWYZE: I think I am, you know. But it's a big -- it's a big deal. And it's something obviously I haven't experienced before. So it's going to be a learning process. And I'm really ready to go into it.

KING: Lee will be with us throughout the show. The "American Idol" runner-up -- they called her Mama Sox -- is standing by. Crystal Bowersox is next.



KING: Joining us now is the "American Idol" runner-up Crystal Bowersox.

Before we get to Crystal, it's contest time. The winner receives two tickets to "American Idol Live." The rules to the contest are posted at If you don't win, the tickets are on sale at

Here is the question. The duet you just heard, "Falling Slowly," won an Oscar for Best Original Song. What movie is it from?

Once more, the duet you just heard, "Falling Slowly" won an Oscar for Best Original Song. What movie is it from? Put your answer to "King's Things." The first correct answer wins. We'll be giving away more tickets later in the show.

And this is something the audience don't know and I learned off- camera. These two auditioned together in Chicago at the first audition. They were there, sitting there like two little pups. And now they wind up the two finalists. What are the odds on that?

CRYSTAL BOWERSOX, AMERICAN IDOL RUNNER-UP: It's pretty crazy. I mean we were actually there was a guy in between us and doing some strange vocal warm-ups.

DEWYZE: Interesting vocal warm-ups.

BOWERSOX: And I looked down at Lee and I was like OK, all right.

DEWYZE: Got us entertained.


KING: All right. Lee thought along the way he could make it. Did you?

BOWERSOX: Yes, I mean, I wouldn't have tried out if I didn't think I had a chance at it. But really, you take it week -- week by week. And it's, you know, it's about giving your personal best every week and just, you know, moving along.

KING: Do you second guess yourself? Are you saying there is something more I could have done, I could have won?

BOWERSOX: No, I -- personally I don't -- I live my life without regret. I try to make the most of every moment. And, you know, in that way if you do that every day, then you don't have any regrets.

KING: Now it got a lot of attention. But this week especially tough. You were the runner-up. Your boyfriend -- you break up. You have a child with him, right?

BOWERSOX: Um, yes. He is daddy so.

KING: Was he going to be supportive? Is he supportive of the child? What goes on with your life now?

BOWERSOX: I mean, I'm just -- I've been through -- I've been through harder things, you know. We're OK. We're OK. It was a mutual decision. And I respect him. He's been my rock through the whole thing. He's been very supportive and, you know, it's all good.

KING: You going on with your career?

BOWERSOX: Of course.

KING: How old is the boy?

BOWERSOX: He's 16 months.

KING: Will he be well taken care of as you travel? Like you'll be -- the whole month of July you're out, right?

BOWERSOX: Yes, definitely. Family and friends, and he's surrounded in people who have nothing but love for him. And he's going to be well taken care of. KING: Are you surprised you're the only girl in the top five?

BOWERSOX: I was. I was really surprised about that. Especially since coming into the season, you know, Simon has said it was going to be a girl season. So when I was the last one standing, it was just -- it was a little intimidating. You know, but I was trying to hold down the fort for the ladies.

KING: Lee, according to strategy, did you see Crystal as the one to beat?

DEWYZE: To be honest, you know, and it sounds like a generic answer, but truthfully, like, I hung out with these amazing artists for so long. I mean everybody that was in the top 24 down to just me and Crystal. And they're all so talented that, you know, it's almost hard to say that's the one or that's the one because there is so much talent in one room.

And it can get intimidating at times because you want, you know, to be the best. You know that's the goal of the show. But essentially, we were all so different from each other that it was so hard to pinpoint somebody as the one to beat. I mean they were all so talented.

KING: The toughest part of a program like this, and there have been a history of shows like this going back to Major Bows (ph) on the radio is that you're both performing and competing.


KING: Right? So that's double strength -- double attention, double problem.

BOWERSOX: Yes. I mean --

KING: You're not just performing and doing a show. You're competing with the guys down the row.

BOWERSOX: Yes. Yes, I think Lee and I both were going through this, you know. Of course it's a competition. We both wanted to win. But, you know, I'm proud of Lee and I'm sure he's proud of me. We just try to do our personal best every week. And, you know, look at the outcome. I mean this is amazing that we made it here. It's really cool.

DEWYZE: It's pretty incredible. I mean -- and I remember when we were sitting there before we went on stage for our -- this, for our Joe Cocker number. We were just looking at each other like, are we really about to go perform with Joe Cocker on the stage right now?

And it was just --

BOWERSOX: Just happy to be there.

DEWYZE: It was amazing. It was so cool.

BOWERSOX: No matter what the results were.

KING: Were the judges helpful, Crystal?

BOWERSOX: Yes, of course. You know, any criticism I get, any critique or anything like that, I try to take and, you know, take it in and use it to better myself. So everything that they've said, they've been great.

KING: How important, Lee, are the numbers you choose to play or sing?

DEWYZE: That's a good question. They're very important. But I think the hard part is when you see, you know, what's in front of you and picking a song that speaks to you as well as an audience that you're trying to connect with.

And that's I think the most difficult part for me when it came to picking songs. Because there were songs I saw that meant a lot to me. But, you know, I'm out there performing for an audience and myself.

So I found a middle ground with my songs. And the judges had their comments sometimes about the song choices. But, you know, there is good and there is bad comments and you kind of try to find a middle ground.

KING: Do you agree? Choice.

BOWERSOX: Yes, I think song choice is really important. But for me personally, it's hard for me to sing a song with complete feeling unless it's something that I connect to lyrically, something that I can take and apply to my own story. So I really chose the songs that I could carry that way.

KING: You're seeing an hour with the "American Idols." Casey James and Michael Lynche. They are standing by. They are next as we go to break.

Here is a little bit of "American Idol" winner Lee DeWyze's winning performance.


LARRY KING, HOST: It's time now for another top moment in LARRY KING LIVE history. The year, 1998, the guest, the timeless, incomparable Bette Davis, watch.


KING: I love Bette Davis. She called me the next day. How did I do? She had just had a stroke, showed a little in the face. But she was very resilient and wonderfully responsive.

BETTE DAVIS, ACTOR: Every doctor there thought I would die. They did not think I would make it at all. You don't know Bette Davis. She will work again.


DAVIS: I'll thank you to remember this.


KING: The thing that surprised me the most is how small she was. Because she was on screen, that Jezebel, she had that face that jumped at you. She smoked through the whole interview. (INAUDIBLE) smoked about -- what are we, going to yell at you? And she had her assistant who would bring her her cigarettes. Another one, dear.

Everyone who imitated you always did it by first putting...

DAVIS: Oh, I know, I know.

KING: ... the cigarette and lighting...

DAVIS: Oh, I know, I know. And the elbow. They do the elbow. They do this.

KING: The best guests are those with no disconnect between brain and mouth.

You once said sex is God's joke on human beings.

DAVIS: I think it is. Because during those sexual times, oh, the person is divine. There comes a day and you -- look, and you say, what?

KING: Bette could not have run for office.




KING: Remaining with us Lee and Crystal. Joining us now "American Idol" finalists Casey James and Michael "Big Mike" Lynche.

Casey, did you ever think you'd get to finish third?

CASEY JAMES, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: I sure didn't. You know, I really didn't.

KING: So you didn't go, I'm a winner here?

JAMES: You know, for me it wasn't about -- it wasn't really about -- I believe in myself. I just didn't think that the competition would be -- that I would be able to succeed at. Because I'm more of a musician than a singer, really, in my opinion.

KING: And the show favors singers?

JAMES: I think so. KING: All right. Here's an example. Casey James had an interesting relationship with one judge in particular. Let's take a look at Casey singing "Mrs. Robinson."


KARA DIOGUARDI, AMERICAN IDOL JUDGE: We all got the memo, the cougar is a fan. We all know, right? We got it.

ELLEN DEGENERES, AMERICAN IDOL JUDGE: I actually think it was your best performance that you've done to date.

COWELL: I think it was the best performance of the night so far.


KING: How did you pick it, Casey?

JAMES: You know, I picked it because I love the song. That's really what it boils down to for me every time. Never -- didn't even think about the -- you know, the relevance of the song in my situation until after I picked it. But, you know, it is what it is.

KING: Casey -- Michael, rather. Getting eliminated had to hurt, though, right? Just missing the top three?

MICHAEL LYNCHE, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: Well, yes, you know, I think --

KING: Came so close.

LYNCHE: If it doesn't hurt a little bit, your heart wasn't in it enough, you know?

KING: But you were -- the judges seemed to favor you all along the way, right?

LYNCHE: Yes --

KING: Haven't you ever thought I'm going to win this thing?

LYNCHE: Well, you know what?

KING: Frankly?

LYNCHE: I'm a competitive guy. And I think from the outset of when you see "American Idol" the show, I thought like -- I thought that my skill set fit well. So I mean, if your eyes not on the prize and you don't believe in yourself, nobody else can believe in you, you know.

KING: The judges used their one-time only save this season to keep Big Mike from being voted off. Take a look at what happened.


RANDY JACKSON, AMERICAN IDOL JUDGE: Dawg, I've got to give it to you. Yo. Crazy.

DIOGUARDI: You are a different Mike, and I'm feeling it.

COWELL: We only have one save in the competition.

LYNCHE: That's right.

COWELL: We're going to see you next week.



KING: I don't mean to borrow from the bible, but how did you feel being saved?

LYNCHE: It was nice. You know I thought going into the competition that I liked that idea of sing for your life. That right now at this moment, I've got to sing for my life and the life of my family and the future of my family.

And I get to pick my weapon of choice, which is my voice. I felt like I could stand tall in a moment like that, you know. And the fact that actually came down to that was crazy. But I remember always telling my wife, if it comes down to it, sing for you life, I felt like I can do it, you know.

KING: How old is your little daughter?

LYNCHE: She is four months old right now. Teething.

KING: So you've been away from her?

LYNCHE: Yes, yes. Too long. But I can see her this weekend.

KING: But she watches?

LYNCHE: She does. And they were there with me.

KING: They were?

LYNCHE: Yes. Yes. They got to be up there and stay with me. So it was nice.

KING: What did our winner and runner-up think of third and fourth place?

Lee, what did you think of these two?

DEWYZE: I got to admit, like, being with them in the top four was an awesome experience. But like I said before, you know, we all want the same thing. And they're both so talented. And Crystal is so talented.

So it was just -- it was very -- it's a weird feeling because we're all friends. And at the same time like you said, we're competing. So it was cool, though.

KING: It is a little weird, though?

DEWYZE: They belonged there. You know they're both --

KING: What did you think of them, Crystal?

BOWERSOX: I loved both of these guys. I mean, me and Mike had a bond.

KING: Very different.

BOWERSOX: Yes. Different styles. And I think all of us have our unique flavor. But -- I mean, Mike is a dad. His little girl is so cute. And Casey, I mean, god, your chops on the guitar, I mean, I wish I could play guitar as good as you.

KING: Casey and Michael will be back at the end of the show. We're going to have our own grand finale.

Coming up next on this special "American Idol" edition of LARRY KING LIVE, finalists Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus. Don't go away.



KING: What a lot of talent. Joining us "American Idol" finalists Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus.

Before we talk to them, it's time to give away more "American Idol Live" tickets. Here's the question. Who came in third place in season five "American Idol." Once again, who came in third place in season five?

Tweet your answer to "King's Things." First correct answer wins. Still got more tickets to give away. They're also on sale at

Aaron Kelly, do you think being the youngest helped, hurt or didn't matter?

AARON KELLY, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: Being the youngest -- I mean I looked at it as, you know, we're all here for the same reason. And the only difference for me was that I had to go to school on the show. But --


KING: Got a tutor?

KELLY: We did. We had a tutor. Me and Katie actually had a tutor. So we went to class together. But I -- you know, I kind of thought of it as an advantage, you know. I didn't have to think about what the judges had said to me the night before. I was thinking about my homework. KING: The judges had some fun with Aaron Kelly's age. Let's watch.


DEGENERES: You have such an amazing voice. And you're what, like in third grade or something.


DEGENERES: If I had that much confidence when I was 11. How old are you?


KELLY: I'm 16.


JACKSON: Dude, I'm a fan, I'm a fan.


KING: You're going to do an album?

KELLY: I would love to.

KING: Are you going to college or going to go on with the career?

KELLY: I'm going to go on with the career. I'm finishing up high school, and definitely would like to continue with music.

KING: And now to Siobhan, the lovely Siobhan, who has quite a set of pipes. Take a look at some of their powerhouse performances. Watch this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't -- I don't know how you do that. I don't know how you hit that note.

COWELL: I felt there were parts of the song which were terrible, and then that note was incredible.



KING Is there a number for that note? It is High D?

SIOBHAN MAGNUS, "AMERICAN IDOL" FINALIST: I don't even know. I don't think of it like that.

KING: How did you come up with that?

MAGNUS: I figured out I could do that in the shower once, and it came in handy, like a lot, you know. And I was able to work it into the type of music that I love to sing.

KING: You were compared to Adam Lambert.

MAGNUS: That was awesome. It's an honor, really, because what he stood for last season, that he stood out as being someone who was totally not afraid to be different and be himself and express himself, which has always been something that is important to me. And so it was such a huge compliment to be compared to him. Not just because of the screaming, but because he is a great performer.

KING: Did you think you would make the top ten?

MAGNUS: I had no idea. I almost didn't try out. So the whole thing was just a blessing.

KING: Were you confident, Aaron?

KELLY: I didn't really think I would make it past the auditions, because I had a lot of friends who had tried out and didn't make it through. I didn't know what they were looking for, so I just went for it.

KING: Simon once said, Siobhan -- he commented on your personality, saying it was odd, that he found you interesting and talented. Which judge seemed to get you the best, do you think?

MAGNUS: You know, I think Randy understood me the best. And he was always -- he was probably the most constructive, because he has a way of being honest without being cruel. And he would defend me sometimes when Simon would just start bashing me for my outfit or something. And he would be like no, I think it's cool. And I get it because you're an artist. You're not just a singer.

KING: What did you think, Lee, of these two?

DEWYZE: These two are two of the most talented that were on the show this year. And, you know, every time Siobhan sings, all of us were in the back like, oh my god, her pipes are amazing. And Aaron, being the youngest, it was just incredibly talented. I wish, you know, I could have been where he was at at that age. I respect them both so much. It's just awesome that I'm a part of this.

KING: Crystal, what did you think of her voice?

BOWERSOX: Oh, man, Siobhan is amazing, and we all know that. It was her and I were the last two girls left. And I have to admit I was intimidated, you know. It's a strange thing. I respect you so much that it was intimidating at the same time. You know I love you. And Aaron, you're the nicest kid in the world. He really is. He is the family hugger.

KING: Aaron and Siobhan will be back for our final on this show. We're going to meet three more "Idol" finalists, Tim Urban, Katie Stevens and Andrew Garcia right after the break.


KING: All top ten Idols will be here for the hour on Monday night, answering your questions from Facebook, Twitter, and our blog. And Tuesday night, Lady Gaga. Joining us now, "American Idol" finalists Tim Urban, Katie Stevens, and Andrew Garcia. The judges weren't always the biggest fan of Tim's performances, but they said his smile would get him far. Take a look.


COWELL: You're not going to win, but it doesn't matter because you're going to smile. The audience is going to vote for you. Nobody cares, and you'll be here next week. So well done.

TIM URBAN, "AMERICAN IDOL": They picked on me for a lot of things. I never thought that smiling would be one of the things they didn't like.

COWELL: You have managed to go from zero to hero in two weeks.


KING: Tim, appearing on behalf of flossing. Anyway, you had a bumpy ride for a while. You were first cut before the top 24, and then they called you back. Do you feel lucky?

URBAN: Yeah, very lucky, very blessed, to be honest with you, just kind of looking back at the whole thing. It is almost confusing to look back and think about all the emotions that went through my mind.

KING: Were you surprised at how far you made it?

URBAN: A little bit. After you get cut in Hollywood week, you go home and it's over for you. So to get called back, I mean that alone was pretty crazy. And to make it top 12, top 10, yeah, I was really surprised, actually.

KING: Are you looking forward to the tour?

URBAN: Absolutely. The tour is going to be so much fun. And honestly, I'm just excited about going on the stage with all those people. The energy is going to be really, really exciting.

KING: You will sing individually and then collectively, right?

URBAN: Yeah, a couple of individual songs and some group numbers as well.

KING: Because of Mike's save by the judges, there was a double elimination one week. Remember we showed you Mike being saved. And Katie and Andrew both went home at the same time. Let's take a look at the two of them in action.



DEGENERES: I think it was your best performance so far. I thought you sounded great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is where you belong. These types of songs, right, Randy?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing makes me happier than to say that is one giant leap in the right direction.




KING: Andrew, Mike got saved and both of you got double eliminated. How did you feel?

ANDREW GARCIA, "AMERICAN IDOL": Agh! At that point, you're not supposed to -- I don't expect anything, just because you don't want to get let down. So I was just prepared for whatever happens. And I'm happy as far as I made it. I mean, it's crazy. Top ten out of over 100,000 people, I mean, on the tour.

KING: How did you feel? The judges early on, they liked your rendition of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," and then they said you never brought that kind of thunder back. How did you react to that?

GARCIA: I don't know. That's my thing, taking pop songs and doing what I can do with them. And I guess they just didn't feel that with the older songs that were given to us by the themes.

KING: Do you disagree with the judges?

GARCIA: A little bit because I gave it my all. I put my heart into it. They said stuff about swag. I think I have swag. They have their opinions and it's all good.

KING: You were one of the two youngest this year, right? Do you think you should have waited?

KATIE STEVENS, "AMERICAN IDOL": No, because, in my opinion, everything happens for a reason. So I auditioned when I was supposed to. And I made it this far. And I have no regrets about anything that happened.

KING: Were you confident throughout?

STEVENS: I was. I think that you always need to be confident in your abilities and how you present yourself. So even if I got a bad comment, I knew that those comments were going to make me stronger going forward.

KING: Lee, how did you rate these three?

DEWYZE: Well, Andrew has been -- you know, he was my roommate all the way through the whole experience. He is one of my best friends. And I think that, you know, for me, watching that first performance with the "Straight Up," it was almost like he did something amazing. It's almost like he was penalized for it. I think that, you know, Andrew is extremely talented and is going to do great things. And Katie, I mean being as young as she is --

KING: How old are you, Katie?

STEVENS: I'm 17.

DEWYZE: She just kills it whenever she is up there. Her presence for someone so young is incredible. And Tim, I'm telling you, he is like the nicest guy in the world. I give him so much credit for being able to stand up for himself when they were so hard on him sometimes. And he really trudged through it. And the fans had his back. And the fans are really what keeps us all there.

KING: As has been said before. What did you make of this trio?

BOWERSOX: I always loved Tim's approach to the whole thing. He can't help but smile. He was trying to keep a straight face here.

URBAN: Trying.

BOWERSOX: Can't do it. Just a light in the world. And Katie, I mean you're so mature and just you really -- it blows my mind, and your voice as well. You know what is going on. And Andrew too. You guys are just sweethearts. And I'm glad that we went through this whole thing together. And, you know, it's going to be cool this summer.

KING: And you have a child, right, Andrew?


KING: How old?

GARCIA: Two. Two years old.

KING: Is it a he or a she?


KING: Does he get to watch you?

GARCIA: Yeah, every time I'm on the screen, he says daddy. He knows I'm up there. It's cool.

STEVENS: I think we're going to have a baby band.

KING: Are you looking forward to the tour, Katie?

STEVENS: I'm so looking forward to it. It's going to be a completely different environment because we're not getting judged now. It's going to be everybody who is supporting us.

KING: Performers.

STEVENS: Performers.

KING: "American Idol" finalist Didi Benami is standing by. She'll join us right after the break.

Plus, we'll show another top 25 LARRY KING LIVE moment. And a special guest will join us. Don't go away.



KING: Didi Benami, "American Idol" finalist, finished in 10th place, 23 years old, Knoxville, Tennessee. You were pretty emotional. You had lost a friend, right?


KING: Was that right before this?

BENAMI: No, that was several years before. This was in 2005, right before Christmas.

KING: But you dedicated it to her, did you not?

BENAMI: Yeah, I pretty much dedicated my whole music career in a way. I mean, I wouldn't have pursued music had this not happened, to be completely honest. I went to college to do broadcast journalism because I was too afraid to pursue music.

KING: You should have stayed with that! The judges said you lost your way.


KING: Do you agree or disagree?

BENAMI: Well, in retrospect, I was a little confused towards the end. I got so many different, you know, comments, and I kind of wanted to branch out because I knew what I wanted to do. And I kind of thought I had established that. But I guess I hadn't. And I wanted to show that I could do other things and I enjoy doing other things.

KING: You're adorable and you're a terrific talent.

BENAMI: Thank you.

KING: Stay right there, because we're going to have all the top ten on to finish things up.

Time now for another top moment in LARRY KING LIVE history. In 2007, we put together one of the biggest productions ever, broadcasting live from Graceland on the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death. Watch.


KING: Let's go!


KING: Hello, Priscilla. Thank you for having us.

PRESLEY: Welcome to grace land.

KING: That's the most expensive LARRY KING LIVE ever done. The expense of going there, the amount of crew setting up, Graceland, renting that Cadillac.

ELVIS PRESLEY, SINGER: You'll never know how happy I am to be here. Someone asked me this morning what did I miss about Memphis, and I said everything.

PRESLEY: It's like nothing ever happened. It's like Elvis is here. You feel his spirit. And everyone who has come here says the same thing.

KING: I was amazed at Graceland, how well they keep it, how incredible the crowds are that turn out there.

You still love him.

PRESLEY: Of course. He was a hard person not to love.

KING: A very nice lady. Very well within herself, and I could see where he was crazy about her. I appreciate Elvis Presley more and more. Think he had a terrific voice and a great sense of stage life without you

It was a hot day in Memphis.


KING: Joining us now on the phone is Priscilla Presley. You are -- you're in the finals, Priscilla, one of the top 25 moments in 25 years.

PRESLEY: Oh, my gosh. It's quite an honor. It really is. I wish I could be there with you. I remember that day very, very well though.

KING: So do I. Boy, it was hot that day in Memphis.

PRESLEY: Do you remember -- do you remember how hot it was?

KING: Boy.

PRESLEY: It was 108.

KING: That's right, 108. And we had to walk outside that beautiful city, and yet thousands of people come to Graceland. Are they still coming?

PRESLEY: They are still coming. It's unbelievable. We're always amazed every year. But he -- I'm telling you, Larry, he is probably one of the most loved icons that we have today.

KING: How do you explain -- I mean, you were married to him. You loved him. You divorced him. You had a child. How do you explain his endurance with the public?

PRESLEY: You know, I just feel that Elvis was just so authentic, Larry. He was so pure. He was so giving. He was -- he was -- he was -- and I said this many times. He was born to be who he was. And I think that people -- people get that. People get it. When he sang, there was something that touched everyone.

KING: Do you think Elvis would have, had he lived, guested on "American Idol"?

PRESLEY: Oh, I think he'd be a very big fan. I mean, he was always very generous and always felt that there was room for everyone, and whenever anyone wanted to, you know, be in the business or sing, he was so encouraging. I can't imagine him not wanting to somehow -- somehow be a part of or help these young kids because he felt that, you know, it's our generation and our youth to carry them into the future.

KING: How are you doing?

PRESLEY: I'm doing well, thank you. You know, I'm actually here in Las Vegas.

KING: Oh, for the show.

PRESLEY: Yes. We're tweaking it and doing better and better. And, you know, it just got off the ground just a couple of months ago, but it's -- it's standing ovations nearly every night.

KING: Thanks, Priscilla. Always good wishes.

PRESLEY: Thank you very much, Larry. Thank you.

KING: We thank Priscilla Presley. Pick your top five moments at We'll count them down beginning Monday. Vote as many times as you like. Voting ends Sunday night. While you're there, don't forget to enter our sweepstakes, a chance to come meet me here in Los Angeles, see the show. We'll have dinner.

Coming up next, all of the idols join us together right here. As we go to break, here are the idols appropriately sing an Elvis hit, "Viva Las Vegas."



KING: All right. It's contest time. The winner receives two tickets to "American Idol" live. Rules for the contest posted at If you don't win, tickets are on sale at Here's the last question: the duet you just heard "Falling Slowly" won an Oscar for best original song -- wait a minute, that was an earlier contest. We're putting up the wrong contest. If we figure out another contest, I'll give it to you. If not, we'll close the thing out with these ten people who are going to be with us.

Here's the correct question. I get to play. Anyway, here it is again. What is the last stop on the "American Idol's" live tour? What's the last stop on the "American Idol's" live tour? Check in now. The first one to get the right answer, go to King'sThings, first correct answer wins. Rules for the contest are posted at If you don't win, tickets are on sale at I thought I had asked that about.

All of our idols will be back on Monday. We'll give away more tickets. Here they are, the whole group. Applaud yourselves.


KING: Monday night, they will all be with us for the full show, all ten of them. I know Lee wanted to say something specifically to the fans.

DEWYZE: Well, to the fans, just I think from all of us, but, you know, I really appreciate, you know, everything that you guys have done for us, and it's -- it's the fans and it's everybody on the production staff, everybody that's helped us behind the scenes, you know, we just appreciate it. It's been amazing and thank you guy guys.

KING: Where do you all go from here? What's next?

GARCIA: To the top, baby.

DEWYZE: Andrew is apparently going to the top.

KING: I meant physically where you're going from here.

STEVENS: We're going to new York.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The pretzel tour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eminem's pretzel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're playing inside a giant pretzel. A pretzel covered in a giant shell.


DEWYZE: We're going to be inside a giant M&M performing, doing what we're doing and it's going to be really fun. So check us out.

KING: Wait a minute. It's one giant M&M. DEWYZE: A lot of chocolate.

KING: Is it edible?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to think so.

KING: Is M&Ms paying you for this?

DEWYZE: Larry, you like to talk about money a lot.

KING: That's a big company. In fact, they are the most successful -- successful candy company in the world. They make M&Ms.


DEWYZE: I think it's more or less, you know, since the show is done, we're going to be going on tour. It's going to be a good thing for us to kick start everything off.

KING: What's the pretzel have to do with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a new product.

KING: A new product, a pretzel M&M. An M&M-coated pretzel. I think I got it. Thank you all very much.


KING: And remember, you can't eat just one. Don't forget, next week starts our big 25th anniversary. We'll have more with the "American Idols" on Monday Night, Lady Gaga for the hour on Tuesday night, and a couple of surprise guests you will not want to miss. That's all next week on LARRY KING LIVE. Right now to New Orleans, "AC 360" and Anderson Cooper.