We sang "Pants on the Ground," mourned Alex Lambert's premature departure and tolerated Miley Cyrus' mentoring skills. Now, the ninth season of "American Idol" finally has its top two: Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze.
Next Tuesday, they'll compete for the final time. Next Wednesday, the season nine winner will be crowned. (After delays, cheesy montages and useless judge banter, of course.)
Bowersox isn't a surprise top two contender. Early in the season, fans predicted the dreadlocked mom from Ohio would secure a spot in the finals. Her guitar-accompanied, folk-inspired vocals arguably make her the most consistent singer of the pack.
Bowersox has lost some steam in recent weeks. Some fans view her "Idol" history as a plateau, rather than a path of improvement. Even though she downplayed rumors that she contemplated quitting the show, some fans think she lacks the passion to make a mainstream career out of the "Idol" title.
Then, there's Lee DeWyze from Illinois.
In many senses, he's an "Idol" producer's dream: the quiet guitar guy who slowly emerges from the back of the pack to become a front-runner. He's improved throughout the competition and on Tuesday seemed like the judges' obvious favorite. Some viewers think that if he won, Lee would be more malleable than Crystal -- easier to mold into the "Idol" formula.
However, DeWyze has drawbacks, too. He's less consistent than Crystal and has a more blurry future as a major recording artist. Could he compete with Daughtry, or would he end up on adult-contemporary stations like David Cook?
Which contestant has the edge going into next week's finale? Share your thoughts on our "American Idol" blog.