Crystal Bowersox, Age 26
January 16, 2012 by staff
Crystal Bowersox, Age 26, Crystal Lynn Bowersox (born August 4, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter and actress, who was the runner-up on the ninth season of American Idol. Bowersox’s debut album, Farmer’s Daughter, was released on December 14, 2010 on the Jive Records label.
Bowersox and her twin brother, Carl, were born in Elliston, Ohio. She attended Oak Harbor High School in Oak Harbor, Ohio, and later attended the Toledo School for the Arts in Toledo, Ohio. Bowersox performed her first professional gig at the age of 10. She appeared at local bars in Toledo, most popularly Papa’s Tavern, and The Village Idiot in Maumee, Ohio. At the age of 17, she moved to Chicago looking for opportunity. She most commonly played as a busker at several train stations, including the Washington and Lake Redline stops. She frequented open mics, such as the Uncommon Ground Clark and Grace, and Devon locations. She also played extensively in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. In 2006, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs chose Bowersox to represent Chicago folk musicians in the Sister Cities program “Experience Chicago”, held in Birmingham, England. In 2007, Bowersox traveled internationally on an independent small cafe tour, including Memphis, Tennessee, Oaxaca, Mexico, and Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey.
Bowersox auditioned for American Idol in Chicago, Illinois. She sang “Piece of My Heart.” Guest judge Shania Twain commented that she had a “raw, natural talent.”
On March 2, 2010, Bowersox was hospitalized because of complications from diabetes, forcing a last minute switch in scheduling to give her extra time to recuperate. Bowersox confirmed the illness on the May 19, 2010 results show during an interview with host Ryan Seacrest. The men competed that day instead of the women. She sang the next day and impressed all of the judges.
The following week, her strong performance prompted Simon Cowell to state, “Right now, you are the one everyone has to beat.”
After Siobhan Magnus’s elimination from the top 6 of American Idol, Bowersox became the last remaining female contestant in the competition.
Bowersox is the first female contestant to make it to the finale since Jordin Sparks won the title in 2007. She is also the first contestant in American Idol history to have one of their original songs played on the show, or at least during their hometown package. Crystal’s original song “Holy Toledo” was played on the May 19 Top 3 Results show as the background music for her homecoming package – when she returned to Toledo, Ohio and Elliston, Ohio the previous weekend – and segued into her live performance of the same song at “Bowerstock”.
During her time on Idol, Bowersox dated Tony Kusian, but the couple broke up just hours before the Idol finale.
On the final performance day, in Simon Cowell’s final critique on American Idol, he called her performance of “Up to the Mountain” “outstanding” and by far, “the best performance and song of the night”.
On May 26, Bowersox was named the runner-up to winner Lee DeWyze. She recently announced that after her Idol career, she wants to bring more awareness to the disease of diabetes.
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