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Encore: American Idol

Aired May 31, 2010 - 21:00   ET


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Tom Foreman here with the headlines. Sharp reaction to Israel's deadly assault on a flotilla of aid ships trying to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Protest on the streets of Manhattan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey where many of the nine fatalities were from. Israel says commandos were used only in deadly force after people onboard attacked them. Prime Minister Netanyahu canceled tomorrow's White House visit with President Obama.

Both he and the president expressing regret for any loss of life. Britain calling for an urgent explanation. The U.S. security council weighing an emergency response. Turkey is calling an incident a bloody stain on the history of humanity.

Also tonight, BP's latest shot at stopping the Gulf oil leak. Take a look. Robot subs, some cutting tools at work preparing to attach an oil collecting cap. All back in Washington, President Obama is expected to meet tomorrow with the head of his new oil spill commission. We will have more on all this throughout the night plus a special edition of "Anderson Cooper 360" from the Louisiana Gulf. I'm Tom Foreman. Now, here's LARRY KING LIVE.

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, American Idol exclusive.

Winner, Lee DeWyze, runner-up Crystal Bowersox.

And the eight finalists and to your (INAUDIBLE). We'll get the scoop on stuff you didn't see or hear on stage and find out how they feel about an Idol with Simon Cowell.


KING: It's all next on this 25th anniversary edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. Tonight kicks off our 25th anniversary week here at CNN, and we're excited to have all of our idols here for the hour. They're answering your questions.

Plus, a quick programming note, Lady Gaga will be here tomorrow night. You're not going to miss that. I'm so excited. Also, we're going to be giving away more American Idol live tour tickets tonight. We're going to ask a trivia question. The first person to tweet the correct answer to king's things wins. Rules for the contest are posted at If you don't win, you can always get tickets for the tour at and their 51-city tour kicks off July 1.

Now, let's meet our idols. We have American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, the runner-up, Crystal Bowersox, and rounding up the top 10 are Casey James, Michael Lynche, Aaron Kelly, Siobhan Magnus, Tim Urban, Katie Stevens, Andrew Garcia, and Didi Benami. First, let's take a look at the big moment from last week when Lee was named winner. Watch.


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



KING: Ryan Seacrest winning the sadist of the chord (ph) by holding that for a minute and a half before announcing. All right. Frankly, Lee, did you think it was going to be you? Straight up?

LEE DEWYZE, AMERICAN IDOL WINNER: You know, you have all these thoughts before you go to the finale, and you say to yourself, you know, I want to win. You never know because, you know, Crystal is amazing. So, I knew it was going to be, like, a big night. And I didn't really know what to expect. And when we went up there and he said the winner is -- he took the long pause, I was just like, oh, man, say my name, please. You know, and he did, and it was really exciting. And, I mean, I can't say that I thought I was going to win, but I was really happy that I did.

KING: Crystal, what were you thinking?

CRYSTAL BOWERSOX, AMERICAN IDOL RUNNER-UP: I thought Lee was going to win.

KING: Really?

BOWERSOX: Yes, I did.

KING: Why?

BOWERSOX: I don't know. I just - I woke up Wednesday morning with a feeling of calm and peace and acceptance and I just had a feeling, and, you know, I'm really proud of Lee. He's worked his tail off for this.

KING: All right. Let's run around. Casey, did you think Lee would win?

CASEY JAMES, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: I didn't know what to expect, honestly, because I mean, just like they both just said, they're both so good. And the dynamics change week to week, day to day. And there's just really no way that you could say.

KING: Michael? MICHAEL LYNCHE, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: You know, I thought they both like did such a great job on the Tuesday night. Crystal really tapped into her spirit and her soul when she sang. And Lee really tapped into his thing with the fans with those little smiles he was giving. I guess, you heard the crowd go crazy when he was doing that. And I thought that they gave their fans what they wanted.

KING: So neither one of them surprised you?

LYNCHE: No, no, neither one surprised me for sure.

KING: Aaron, what did you think of the Lee result?

AARON KELLY, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: You know, I think that both of them have had such great performances, you know, throughout the entire season. So, building up, I mean, you never know who's going to win, to take the title. So, I wouldn't have been surprised either one of them could have won it. So, both of them are great, and yes, so.

KING: Siobhan?

SIOBHAN MAGNUS, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: I said this before, but I think Lee and Crystal have been the most consistent performers throughout the whole season. And it didn't surprise me at all that it came down to them because they deserved it.

KING: So, you say they were the deserving duo to be there at the end. What did you think, Tim?

TIM URBAN, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: I think that they both really worked -- As she said, say they were consistent throughout the whole season. I think when we got to the top 12, me personally, I just started watching the competition, and I was watching Lee and Crystal. I honestly thought, early on, like these two are going to be, if not, the top two. They're going to be at least top three. So, I wasn't surprised at all that they wrapped there at the end. And then, at that point, it really was anybody's game. They both had such huge fan bases. They still do. I mean I really could have gone either way.

KING: Katie?

KATIE STEVENS, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: I remember watching them in the beginning and thinking, wow, these two are amazing. And I wasn't surprised at all when they were the two left at the end because it was all of the things I had a feeling that it was going to be them the whole time. And I'm so proud of Crystal. She did amazing. And I'm so happy for Lee and proud of him for winning because I know he wanted this really bad.

KING: And Didi?

DIDI BENAMI, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: I think that there's something very special about these two. And I knew that from the moment that I met them during Hollywood week. So, I'm just so proud. And honestly, I had no idea who's going to win either. You know, and I'm so happy that it was them two in the end because they definitely both deserve this.

KING: And Andrew?

ANDREW GARCIA, AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST: I was crazy. I never saw them feel that music like that before. And they gave it. They gave it their all. I just saw them light up that stage. And I don't know who was going to win. I mean, I had a feeling like mix and stuff, but it was crazy cool. It was cool.

KING: We have a lot of tweets that have come into our Twitter for questions for each and for all of you. One for lee. You just won. You already have fans in Venezuela. How does that make you feel? You're big in Venezuela.

DEWYZE: That's awesome.


KING: They love you in Caracas.

DEWYZE: That's excellent. No, I think that's the cool thing about the show is that, you know, it's called American Idol but it reaches out to so many different places and so many people that like so many different kinds of music. It really gives you an opportunity to show yourself to the world, not just, you know, people here in America. So, it's really awesome to know that.

KING: Casey, why did you sing "Mrs. Robinson."

JAMES: Same reason I sang every other song on the show, I love the song. That was it.

KING: Period.

JAMES: That's it. I think you really realize, really didn't think and put the pieces together until after I pick the song and then go wait a minute with the ladies and everything, but it's just -- I love the song.

KING: I get it. OK. This is a tweet for everyone. We'll go around. The question is, if you were stranded on a desert island with one favorite all-time singer, who would it be and why? We'll start with our runner up, Crystal.

BOWERSOX: Oh, I was hoping you would start with someone else and you didn't (ph).

KING: You would like to pass it on?

BOWERSOX: Yes, I'll pass it to Lee.

KING: Favorite all time? Desert Island now.

DEWYZE: Desert Island. I watched them with a lot of song because they should teach me (ph) with one (INAUDIBLE). I think Paul McCartney would be pretty amazing. KING: Not a bad choice.

DEWYZE: I think, you know, also, because I think that he'd be a cool guy to sit down and work on stuff. I want someone that still loves the music as much as they do when they started. So, I think he'll be my choice.

KING: Tim?

URBAN: That's really hard to say because there really aren't -- there really are so many greats. I'm not sure.

KING: Anyone that made a great impression on you growing up?

URBAN: Growing up? That's true. It could be anybody because the one I'm thinking of isn't really around anymore.

KING: What singer (ph)?

URBAN: John Denver.

KING: Not bad. We'll be back with more of our top ten. We'll continue with that same question who they would want to be on an island. Surprised that you two guys picked two guys. We'll be right back.


KING: Quite a venue. Great to do it all together. All right. Who you would like to be stuck with, Michael?

LYNCHE: For me, on a deserted island by ourselves, I'm picking Janet Jackson. I mean -- you're on a deserted island. There's a lot you can do.

KING: Have you come up with a thought yet, Crystal?

BOWERSOX: Yes, after seeing that clip, it would be Joe Cocker. We could just sing like that all the time. I'd be happy forever.

KING: Get to hit that note.


KING: Aaron?

KELLY: Can it be a group?

KING: Yes.

KELLY: Rascal Flats.

KING: OK. Siobhan?

MAGNUS: Hanson. No question.

KING: No question?

MAGNUS: Not any question at all.

KING: OK. Back row. Didi?

BENAMI: I don't want to be stranded on a deserted island, but Lee took my answer. So, I saw the picture of Paul McCartney out there and --

KING: Can you have him, too.

BENAMI: Yes, I would definitely have him.

KING: Oh, I assume (ph). Andrew?

GARCIA: I'd have to say Beyonce.

KING: Beyonce? Not bad. And finally, Katie?

STEVENS: Christina Aguilera. I met her on the show, and I just like started crying because I've listened to her music since I was 6 years old, and I really admire her. So, to be on an island kind of not really literally pick her brain but get ideas from her would be cool.

KING: How many of you are going to do albums? Everyone?

Is that part of the deal, Lee?

DEWYZE: Now, that I'm at the point that I'm at, I know that when we go on tour this summer, I'll be starting to make my album while the tour begins. So, there will be a process going back and forth, but I definitely will be making an album and I'm like, you know, totally looking forward to it. It's going to be amazing.

KING: Is the album with Simon's company?

BOWERSOX: Well, we work with my team and our management and then we get the deals outside that. So, you know, it's all in the works right now.

KING: Someone wants me to ask Lee why he didn't do his version of Beautiful People on "American Idol" and will it be part of the album?

DEWYZE: I don't think that's going to make it on the album but that's a version of that song I did a long time ago. I didn't do it on the show because, A, I don't, you know, think that really fit in with the criteria for the show. But, you know, if given the opportunity, I would have. It's just a really cool song. It was fun, you know.

KING: A tweet for Tim, is it weird going back to school and have all those new found popularity? Do you get more girls?

URBAN: I -- I'm not -- I think you're asking Aaron. KING: It said Tim.


KING: You're done with school.

URBAN: I'm not going back to school.

KING: Are you going back to school.

KELLY: I'm in cyber school, but, you know, I have had a lot of people that I hadn't talked to, you know, before I left that are talking to me now.

KING: What about girls?

KELLY: That's what I mean like people in general from school.

KING: Someone is asking Tim, seriously, another tweet, seriously ask Tim Urban if he is single.

URBAN: Yes, I'm single.

KING: If you were married, you'd be robbing a cradle.

URBAN: Correct.

KING: We have an I-report question for idols. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, my name is Ryan. I'm on CNN I-report and you two, do you consider yourself a celebrity and do people stop you when you're walking down the street?


KING: Do they all know you now?


DEWYZE: I mean you get recognized a lot more than before we came on the show, that's for sure. But it's -- it's weird because we've been kind of very -- we've been in a bubble for a while now. We haven't had a chance to really get out so much. I think my first experience will really realizing how big this is all is when I went home to my prospect in Arlington Heights and I played that show for the hometown story. That was like mind blowing. I mean, it was just a real opportunity to see what was going on outside of the show.

KING: What's it been like for you, Crystal, to be recognized?

BOWERSOX: It's nice. It's nice to know that you can make someone's day brighter just by being there and being yourself. And I definitely can't hide with my hair.

KING: You finished third. You're well recognized now, right?.

JAMES: A little bit, yes.

KING: Like it?

JAMES: Yes, I love it. I mean, it's -- you can't have one without the other. My goal in life is to play music and, you know, to have people come to listen to what I do. And so because of that, you know, you have to have people that know you.

KING: The "American Idol" tour starts July 1st. They're going to come soon to a city near you. After nine seasons, Simon Cowell said goodbye to being a judge. And we'll ask our audience what they thought about him and his critiques and whether "Idol will ever be the same without him. That's when we come back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm about to show you just how missing me feels

COWELLL: It was honestly -- it was torture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there something wrong?

COWELLL: Yes, it was the worst version of that song I've ever heard in my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know you want to make me

COWELLL: In every single way, that was just everything I hated.


KING: I like Simon. But then again, what do I know? No, I forgot to ask Casey who he want to be stuck on an island with.

JAMES: I'm going to go with, believe it or not, Merle Haggard if I had a couple of acoustic guitars and --

KING: You're a country guy?

JAMES: Not 100 percent, but you know, he's one of my favorites. He wrote music and he played sang and so.

KING: OK. Let's get to it. First, I tell you what, last week's finale was Simon Cowell's last show. He's going to have another new show, actually. He got a little emotional on stage saying goodbye. Let's take a look at part of his speech and then get our gang to say what they thin about it. Watch.


COWELL: And, you know what the truth is when everyone asks who's going to be -- who's going to replace me, who's going to be the next judge, the truth is you, guys, are the judge of this show. And you've done an incredible job over the years. And even you, I'm going to honestly, honestly miss you. I want to thank everybody, I'm not going to name names but the production team, the people who put all this together, thank you very much indeed. It's been a blast. Thank you.


KING: OK. Let's go around. Lee, what did you think of him?

DEWYZE: I think he was a really genuine person. And, you know, when you see him on the show, he's kind of this judge. That's what he does. He critiques people whether be good or bad. Getting a chance to meet him outside of the show is really interesting experience because you got to see a different side of him that you don't necessarily see when --

KING: You liked him?

DEWYZE: Oh, yes. He's a really good guy.

KING: What about you, Crystal? You don't have to like him now, it's over.

BOWERSOX: No. No. I think Simon is great. He's honest, sometimes brutally honest, but that's what people should have a little more of.

KING: Do you think he hurt some people?

BOWERSOX: Yes. I mean I'm sure, but if you can't handle the truth, you know --

KING: Aaron?

KELLY: You know, my take on Simon is if he doesn't say the things like he does, you're not going to really remember it. So the way he puts things, it sticks out in your head. You remember them. So, I mean, I feel really privileged, you know, to get to share the final season with him. It's really awesome.

KING: Katie?

STEVENS: I like Simon, actually. I mean, I don't really mind him being mean because that's not even what he is. He is just honest. And, like they said, I think that some people need a little more of that.

KING: Andrew?

GARCIA: Simon is a really cool guy. I mean, he's up there wanting you to do your best. So, he's going to tie what you need to hear. So, he wants you to step it up the next time around.

KING: Was he rough on you?

GARCIA: He was a little rough on me, but, I mean, that guy is a cool guy. I got to talk to him outside of the show.

KING: You say you appreciated him?

GARCIA: Very much appreciate him.

KING: Didi?

BENAMI: You know, I have mixed feelings about Simon. At the beginning, I liked him and then in time in the middle of the show, I didn't really. I mean, at the end of the show, he actually turned out to be a really nice guy. So, I appreciate some of the things that he said. You know, but he's a good guy, and I know that.

KING: Siobhan?

MAGNUS: He sure is clever. Those things he comes up with to say about your song, like where does that come from? You know, instead of just saying that was really bad or that was really loud or, you know, he told me it sounded like I was giving birth. And he told Mike he sounded wet. And I was like, what, where is that coming from? I don't know.

KING: Tim, what did you think of him?

URBAN: Kind of mixture of everything. He has a really unique way of putting things so you do remember it. And everything he says, like, it may be worded kind of funny, but there's something you can use in there if you look hard enough. He knows what he's talking about. So, I mean I've always respected his opinion, and I really appreciated that I got to be on his final season.

KING: Casey?

JAMES: You know what? I think of the show, I think of him first and foremost. But, you know, being a part of his last season was an honor. He did say a lot of things that were -- he has an interesting way of putting things.

KING: No kidding. Michael?

LYNCHE: I love Simon. He has a great swag about him. Different than regular people. His swag is a little bit up there, you know? But the thing that I wish more people saw was like the time he spends with us when we leave the show. Like right at that moment when we get voted off or whatever that is, and he comes and has a few words for us. That's like the best. It's so encouraging.

KING: Good to hear. A lot of young attractive people working closely together. Was there any "Idol" romance? Backstage? We'll ask next.



PAULA ABDUL, ENTERTAINER: Our relationship on the show -- and I call it a partnership, really, Simon. I do call it a partnership.

COWELL: Shut up, Paula. You're really annoying me now.

ABDUL: But it brought me immeasurable joy.

Shut up.

COWELL: I'm just reinforcing your point.

ABDUL: Shut up.

I love all the laughter we shared together.

COWELL: what the hell was that?


COWELL: What the hell was that? You just made that -- calm down, I'm talking.

ABDUL: You know, "American Idol" is not going to be the same without you, but as only I can tell you, it will go on.


KING: All right. We're going to ask about relationships, first. Obviously, Crystal, you broke up with your boyfriend the night before the final?

BOWERSOX: It was on show day, on Tuesday's performance morning.

KING: What did your boyfriend do? Was he around all the time?

BOWERSOX: Yes, he's great. He has been my solid rock through this whole thing.

KING: So why did you break up?

BOWERSOX: He's a small town guy --

KING: And you're a big town girl.

BOWERSOX: I'm a small town girl, too. But I'm ready for this life.

KING: He's not?

BOWERSOX: Yeah. We're going to be friends for a long time. He's a great guy. You know, he wants to be home with his family and stuff.

KING: What does he want to do? What does he do?

BOWERSOX: He is a machinist. He works for his dad at a shop.

KING: What city? BOWERSOX: Well, you know, at home. You know, I want to protect him, too. He was great through this whole thing.

KING: So you'll always be friends?


KING: Any other relationships on the show? Come on.


KING: But there was a little smirk from Dee-Dee.

BENAMI: Nothing that I know of.

KING: There was no romance at all?


BOWERSOX: There was a lot of bromance on the show.

DEWYZE: No, we've all become really close I think through the whole thing.

KING: What do you mean by extremely?


DEWYZE: We're like brothers and sisters.

LYNCHE: Everybody fits in their role.

KING: Her romance wasn't in the show. It came before the show. He was your boyfriend before the show. Let's talk about our good friend -- my good friend Ryan Seacrest. He keeps the show moving. Let's take a look at Ryan in action. Watch.


RYAN SEACREST, "AMERICAN IDOL": What part of the dancing or the other -- or other components of the performance looked desperate to you?

COWELL: Do you want me to talk to you or talk to mike?



SEACREST: I'm actually trying to help him out a little bit, buddy, because I want him to stay on. You all right with that?

COWELL: Now, Ryan --

JACKSON: You can't even remember the guy.


SEACREST: No, he's right over here.

COWELL: Back on the stage, Ryan. Ryan, back, please. Back on the stage, please. Ryan, Ryan, back on these stage. Please go back on the stage.

SEACREST: I'm trying to give him some constructive criticism.



KING: Mike, frankly, how much of that was play?

LYNCHE: I -- I -- I was in shock of it. I was like is this really going on the first night on the big stage, you know? But Ryan genuinely cares for us and loves on us. I don't think he wants anybody to talk bad about us or say anything that's not -- he knows how hard we're working. Ryan is the best.

KING: Lee, is he the glue?

DEWYZE: To the show? He has a lot to do with the success of the show. Because what he does is he brings everything to the show. He brings humor. He brings, you know, the level of suspense that we all get. He's been doing it for so long. He is a pro at it. To replace him would be impossible. I mean, he knows what he's doing.

KING: Do you like being live?


KELLY: Yes, it takes some getting used to in the beginning.

KING: Are you the youngest one here?

KELLY: I am.

KING: How old are you?

KELLY: Seventeen.

KING: And you're still in high school then?

KELLY: I am.

KING: You're going to be able to tour because it's the summer, right?

KELLY: Yes, sir.

KING: Why do you say sir?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's just how Aaron is. He's always yes, ma'am, yes, sir. LYNCHE: During the afternoon. Wait until after 6:00.


KING: We have some more Tweets. Tweet, "are you for 'American Idol' allowing original songs and eliminating theme weeks?"


DEWYZE: I disagree. I don't think so. I think that the "American Idol" experience is really about playing by a set of rules of the competition that we've chosen to enter into. Part of the rules are taking songs that are not your own and making them original to yourself. So I think after the competition is where you get to shine and do your own thing.

LYNCHE: In a competition sense, things make sense.

KING: Anyone disagree?

BOWERSOX: I disagree. I think can you combine the two and have one theme week where it would be an original week. I mean, the show is really about finding who the next big recording artist or true artist could be. And I think that writing should be a part of the artistry.

KING: Don't forget, we're giving away tickets to the "American Idol" live tour. Stick around and find out how you can win. More with our Idols when we come back.


KING: Twenty years on CNN; there will be a seven night celebration. And there will be a couple of major surprises coming later this week. You'll hear about them probably tomorrow. The judges are a huge part of "American Idol." Let's take a look at Randy, Ellen, Kara and Simon doing their thing.


JACKSON: The vocals were so boring. I was like what show is this?

DEGENERES: I still can't get over the fact that you're 16 years old and you sang that with such. How old?

KELLY: Seventeen now.


DEGENERES: Never mind. Then I'm not as impressed. I thought you were 16.

KARA DIOGUARDI, "AMERICAN IDOL": With the right songs, if you had ten hit songs -- you're just ready to make an album. You're just there. COWELL: This is not personal, but I don't know what you're listening to, Kara.

JACKSON: That's what is called being a star!

DEGENERES: And I say all aboard the Shania Twain.


KING: Were the judges helpful or not, Lee?

DEWYZE: Yeah. I think that they all have their say. And they didn't always agree with each other, but it's helpful in a sense of the show. I think -- as an artist, I think a lot of us kind of knew who we were. And to hear what they had to say really helped to impress the show and getting better in that sense.

KING: Show's over. It can't hurt you anymore. Tim, any judge you didn't like?

URBAN: I mean some of the stuff I didn't enjoy hearing. They had some less than nice things to say to me several weeks. But, I mean, you just sift through it and find what can you use.

KING: Andrew?

GARCIA: They were cruel. In the beginning, they were a little harsh. But I love them.

KING: Did they help you at all, Siobhan?

MAGNUS: They did help at times. Sometimes it was difficult. A lot of times for me personally, they would say more about my outfits than they would give me criticism about my singing, which was confusing to work with, because I was there primarily to sing.

KING: Did they help you, Aaron?

KELLY: I mean some of the times, you know, they really do help. Sometimes it was a little confusing, because one week they would say something, and then the next week they would completely conflict what they said. But, you know, all in all, they are definitely there to help us.

KING: Katie, what did you think of them?

STEVENS: For me, I definitely got some confusing comments. But through the confusing comments, I was kind of able to sift through them and figure out what I wanted to do, because, ultimately, who I am as an artist is up to me and not the judges.

KING: Crystal?

BOWERSOX: They were always pretty kind to me. I mean the criticisms and things -- I mean it's always helpful. It's constructive and you use it to help you. KING: Lee?

DEWYZE: You know, what they said to me throughout the show -- there was -- I had ups and downs during the whole season. I had times where I did really well and they told me, and times where I didn't. I think all of them really, generally, were out for the best interests of each one of us. They said things honestly to help us. Sometimes maybe they threw in a comment that, you know, we could have gone without. But you're always going to be judged, whether it's by four judges or by the public. So it was a good life lesson, too.

KING: Casey?

JAMES: Yeah. They were really good comments and bad comments all the way around throughout the competition. But some of it was really helpful and some of it was not so much.

KING: Mike?

LYNCHE: I went into the show with a game plan from months ahead of time. And I never wanted to take the great things they said to heart or the bad things to heart. So I just wanted to stay down the middle and stick to my plan. So anything they said, you know, was good. But you have to keep your even keel about it, you know?

KING: Now this is very competitive, right? Do you all get along, really?


DEWYZE: We all get along. But I mean we're very close all the time, you know, throughout the season. So there is always going to be times when there is frustration in the room, or just tension, you know, when it comes to songs and things like that. But, at the end of the day, we're all really good friends. And it's more of a competition with yourself than it is with the other contestants.

KING: What are the auditions like?

BENAMI: Mine was like super emotional. But, I mean --

KING: Why?

BENAMI: Well, I did it -- I actually did "American Idol" because I wanted to pursue a career in music because I lost my best friend. And that --

KING: Lost them through --

BENAMI: A car accident. She was a singer/songwriter who inspired me to follow my dreams. So getting to that audition, to that point, because it was the third time that I had auditioned and never gone through, was super emotional for me, because it was like a dream was coming true.

KING: You voted for your favorite top moments in LARRY KING LIVE history. When we come back, we'll reveal the fifth most popular moment from our show. Don't forget, Lady Gaga for the hour tomorrow night. More of your "Idol" questions answered next.





KING: I like him. What do I know? You had a lot of great mentors on this season. Let's take a look.


MILEY CYRUS, SINGER: What's up? All Hannah Montana all day. You're already my favorite. This is the biggest hug I've gotten. Everyone else is scared to touch me.

SHANIA TWAIN, SINGER: Be a bit happier in your tone of singing, maybe. It's a cheerful song.

JAMIE FOXX, ACTOR: It's a seduction. Act as if I'm a woman. Look right at me and seduce me.

ALICIA KEYS, SINGER: Reiterate it. Let people, like, feel inspired by that, definitely.

USHER, SINGER: I just want to make sure that you add a little pizzazz and attitude.

ADAM LAMBERT, SINGER: I think if Lee just smiles and connects a little bit more, I think he's got a chance to do really well.


KING: Were they helpful, Lee?

DEWYZE: Yeah. Sometimes the mentors -- you know, they all have their ways of going about helping us. And I think that some were a little more helpful than others as far as just really getting into the process of us performing our songs. But, overall, they all really helped.

KING: Did you have a favorite, Tim?

URBAN: For me -- I mean all the mentors had something unique to say. But I think Alicia Keys was my favorite, juts because I got to, you know, hear some stuff about her personally and different things she's involved in.

KING: Crystal?

BOWERSOX: I think Harry Connick Jr. was the best.

KING: You're all nodding, huh?

BOWERSOX: He was 100 percent available and committed to it. He genuinely cared about us.

KING: Great guy, isn't he?

JAMES: He is amazing. He spent a lot of time with us off camera, which is time where you can say what do you really think?

KING: No phoniness in him?

BOWERSOX: Not at all.

KING: We have a tweeter question for Siobhan. You haven't gotten your driver's license yet?

MAGNUS: No. I haven't.

KING: How old are you?

MAGNUS: I'm 20.

KING: Do you drive?

MAGNUS: No. I -- I don't own my own car. I never could afford anything like that.

KING: So you walk out the house and someone picks you up?

MAGNUS: Yes. Usually, I would just coordinate rides with other people and people I was going with.

KING: Can you afford a car now?

MAGNUS: Well, not yet.

KING: What do you get -- what do the runner ups get?


KING: I mean, you perform for them. You added to their bank account. What do you get?

MAGNUS: Well, while we're on tour, we're professional musicians now. So we do get paid for appearances as a group.

KING: Weren't paid for the TV show, though?

MAGNUS: We were because you have to join the union. And so you do get payments.

KING: Let's get a coffee. Don't you want to drive?

MAGNUS: Yeah. I do. It will be nice to -- to be able to afford things that I used to consider very big luxuries. I just appreciate everything that much more. KING: Aaron, do you play any other instrument?

KELLY: Actually I didn't play any instruments on the show. But I do play a little bit of guitar and piano. I don't play well enough to -- the show.

KING: Casey, you have been a professional, doing it a while?

JAMES: Yes, about 11 years being paid to play.

KING: So what does "American Idol" mean to you?

JAMES: It means me doing what I do for people that aren't there to get drunk or find a woman or a man.

KING: Not the Ramada Inn?

JAMES: Exactly. That's what it boils down to.

KING: Andrew, you are a father, correct?


KING: How do you juggle that?

GARCIE: It's rough, but he keeps me motivated to keep doing. It's for him. I want to provide a better life for him.

KING: How old is he?

GARCIA: He's two.

KING: The wife is home with him?


KING: While you're doing -- you had to get some renumeration, right? Some money for this?


KING: Or how does the family eat.

GARCIA: Exactly.

KING: What's your goal, Katie?

STEVENS: Put out an album after tour. I'm just excited for everything that comes. I initially did this for my grandma because she had Alzheimer's and I wanted her to be able to see me do this before the disease took over. I was able to do that. In that, I feel like I won.

KING: That's nice. When do you rehearse the tour, Crystal?

BOWERSOX: We start rehearsals pretty soon, in a couple of weeks, actually.


BOWERSOX: Next week, OK. Next week.

KING: You're out the month of July, right?

BOWERSOX: July 1st, the tour kicks off in Ann Arbor, and we'll be gone for the summer, spending some time together.

KING: Looking forward to that, Lee?

DEWYZE: Yeah. The rehearsals are coming. We have a lot of things coming up. We have the M&M show we're doing.


DEWYZE: We're going to be on the M&M stage doing our thing together. So it will be pretty fun.


DEWYZE: In an M&M.


DEQYZE: Once the tour hits, I think it's going to be a lot of fun for all of us to just be together again and to be able to do our thing together on stage.

KING: No down side? You're all happy you did this?


KING: It's our 25th anniversary week. We've been showing you our top moments in "LARRY KING LIVE" history. We've counted all your votes. Here's your pick for number five.


KING: I live for two things, interviewing people and being on top of a story where I'm in the middle of things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J. Simpson has been missing now for about seven and a half hours.

KING: I'm in Washington. He's about to be charged. He's supposed to surrender. We had on the head of the local Urban League. While talking to him, they come in my ear and say, cut away.

OK, I'm going to have to interrupt this call. I understand we're going to go to a live picture in Los Angeles.

Go to a highway, O.J. is in a car and he may kill himself. And so now they go to the highway. We're viewing a car apparently being driven by All Kalin (ph), one of O.J.'s oldest friends and a former teammate. Police radio saying that Simpson, the passenger in the car, has a gun at his head.

He's on Route Five. He's on 405. I'm following a map to know where he's going.

He's driven through two counties. We followed him all the way.

People told me they would be in airports, missed their plane, just watching the drama.

ERIC SPILLMAN, KTLA: Total chaos here. Motorcycles, black and whites, people running around.

KING: I followed that car for two hours and 15 minutes.

O.J. had written sealed letters to his mother, to his children, and then wrote a letter to the public in which O.J. said, I have nothing to do with Nicole's murder, I loved her, saying goodbye to people and saying he was pretty much at the end. It certainly reads like a suicide note.

Right at midnight is when he came to the house and they cuffed him. Nothing is as historic. That's one of the great moments in television history.


KING: Who was the biggest flirt on "American Idol"? The friendliest? The class clown? We'll ask the Idols for their senior superlatives when we come back.





KING: OK, it's finally contest time. The winner's going to receive two tickets to "American Idol Live." Rules are posted at If you don't win, tickets are on sale at

Here's the question: what was Lee Dewyze's audition song. Again, what was Lee Dewyze's audition song. Tweet your answer to KingsThings, first correct answer wins.

Don't give it away. Do you guys make money from your iTunes downloads?


BOWERSOX: We don't know how much yet. KING: You don't know how much yet. We do this every year, senior superlatives we call them. Who was the class clown?

LYNCHE: Lee, hands down.

KING: Someone described you as shy?


DEWYZE: You know what, here's the thing. The music side of me --


DEWYZE: and, you know, the music side of me and the way I am when I'm with my friends just hanging out are two different things.

KING: So you're a comic inside?

DEWYZE: I like to bring the humor out.

KING: Who was the biggest flirt?

LYNCHE: Andrew.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely Andrew.

KING: The father?

LYNCHE: No doubt. He was the biggest flirt with the guys.

KING: Who was the biggest brown nose?

BOWERSOX: What does that mean?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, like sucking up.

KING: You know, we love you, Simon.

BOWERSOX: I genuinely love him, but I said it all the time. I don't know if that's brown nosing.


MAGNUS: We're all too mad at him, right?

KING: Who of the group is most likely to succeed?



LYNCHE: We're going to flood the marketplace.

KING: Who is the most shy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say Aaron.


KING: He's the youngest, too. And who's the friendliest?

LYNCHE: Aaron?

DEWYZE: I'm going to go Tim. I nominate Tim.


DEWYZE: But Tim is like -- come on, Tim is like the nicest guy ever. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body.

KING: How long do you think the show is going to go on for?

DEWYZE: As long as they keep making it.

LYNCHE: It's about the people.

KING: We're going to run around quick. One word, describe your experience?

DEWYZE: Amazing.

BOWERSOX: Magnificent.

KELLY: Incredible.

MAGNUS: Mind blowing.


GARCIA: Loving.

STEVENS: Spectacular.

URBAN: Nuts.

LYNCHE: Outstanding.

JONES: Life-changing.

KING: There you have it. We have a big week of shows for our 25th anniversary. Tomorrow night, Lady Gaga is here. And later this week, a few surprise guests you will not want -- you will kick yourself if you miss this. You won't miss our next show either. It's Anderson Cooper with "AC 360," and it starts right now.