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. She was the first female finalist in three years.
Bowersox's debut album, Farmer's Daughter, was released on December 14, 2010 by Jive Records. Bowersox released her second album, All That for This, on March 26, 2013.
Bowersox and her fraternal twin brother, Karl, were born in Elliston, Ohio to Kelly Lynn Bowersox (née Bowlander) and William Lester Bowersox. Her parents divorced when she was two years old. At age six, Bowersox was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She attended Oak Harbor High School in Oak Harbor, Ohio and later attended the Toledo School for the Arts in Toledo, Ohio. She was in choir and played flute in the school marching band. 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 seventeen, she moved to Chicago, where she played music as a busker at train stations, including the Washington and Lake Redline stops. She frequented open mics, such as the In One Ear show at the Heartland Cafe, and Uncommon Ground Clark and Grace, and Devon locations. She also played extensively in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. According to Bowersox, she lived in poverty at this time, and had to resort to begging for insulin at a pharmacy to manage her diabetes after her health insurance expired.
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. She gave birth to a son, Anthony Levi Mason, in 2009; according to Bowersox, his father left her six weeks into her pregnancy.
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 due to Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) from type 1 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, 2010, Bowersox was named runner-up to winner Lee DeWyze. She announced that after her Idol career, she wants to bring more awareness to type 1 diabetes.
Bowersox is the third Idol Runner-Up (preceded by Clay Aiken and David Archuleta) to never be in the Bottom 3 or Bottom 2.
|Episode||Theme||Song choice||Original recording artist||Order #||Result|
|Audition||Auditioner's Choice||"Piece of My Heart"||Erma Franklin||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood Week||First Solo||"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"||Aretha Franklin||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood Week||Group Round||"Get Ready"||The Temptations||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood Week||Second Solo||"If It Makes You Happy"||Sheryl Crow||N/A||Advanced|
|Top 24 (12 Women)||Billboard Hot 100 Hits||"Hand in My Pocket"||Alanis Morissette||11||Safe|
|Top 20 (10 Women)||"Long as I Can See the Light"||Creedence Clearwater Revival||1||Safe|
|Top 16 (8 Women)||"Give Me One Reason"||Tracy Chapman||7||Safe|
|Top 12||The Rolling Stones||"You Can't Always Get What You Want"||The Rolling Stones||12||Safe|
|Top 11||Billboard Number 1 Hits||"Me and Bobby McGee"||Roger Miller||5||Safe|
|Top 10||R&B/Soul||"Midnight Train to Georgia"||Cissy Houston||9||Safe|
|Top 9||Lennon–McCartney||"Come Together"||The Beatles||5||Safe|
|Top 91||Elvis Presley||"Saved"||LaVern Baker||1||Safe|
|Top 7||Inspirational||"People Get Ready"||The Impressions||7||Safe|
|Top 6||Shania Twain||"No One Needs to Know"||Shania Twain||4||Safe|
|Top 5||Frank Sinatra||"Summer Wind"||Wayne Newton||3||Safe|
|Top 4||Songs of the Cinema||Duet "Falling Slowly" — Once with Lee DeWyze||Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová||3||Safe2|
|Solo "I'm Alright" — Caddyshack||Kenny Loggins||5|
|Top 3||Contestant's Choice||"Come to My Window"||Melissa Etheridge||2||Safe|
|Judges' Choice3||"Maybe I'm Amazed"||Paul McCartney||5|
|Top 2||Contestant's Choice||"Me and Bobby McGee"||Roger Miller||2||Runner-up|
|Simon Fuller's Choice||"Black Velvet"||Alannah Myles||4|
|First Single||"Up to the Mountain"||Solomon Burke||6|
- ^Note 1 Due to the judges using their one 'save' for Michael Lynche, the Top 9 remained intact for another week.
- ^Note 2 Though Crystal Bowersox was the last contestant announced to be 'safe' and moving on to the Top 3, Ryan Seacrest stressed on the Top 4 Results Night that 'safe' contestants would be announced "in no particular order." Thus, the audience has no way of knowing which of the Top 3 was the second-lowest vote-getter that night after Michael Lynche, who was eliminated.
- ^Note 3 Song selected by Ellen DeGeneres.
On May 27, 2010, one day after Bowersox's second place Idol finish, it was announced that she had signed with 19 Entertainment/Jive Records. Her single "Up to the Mountain" has since been released to radio stations and iTunes.
2010–12: Farmer's Daughter
Bowersox's debut album, Farmer's Daughter, was released to stores and iTunes on December 14, 2010. Bowersox performed her single "Farmer's Daughter" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on December 16, 2010.
On October 7, 2011, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding Jive Records along with Arista Records and J Records. With the shutdown, all other artists previously signed to these three labels would see their future material released under the RCA Records brand. However, Bowersox was not one of the artists who made the move, and was instead left without a record label.
She made her acting debut on a second season episode of Body of Proof.
An EP of pre-Idol recordings was called Once Upon a Time... was self-released in June 2012.
She was a guest on the Blues Traveler album, Suzie Cracks the Whip, performing back-up vocals on the song "I Don't Wanna Go", and appeared with them in concert at their July 4, 2012 concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.
2012–present: All That for This
In October 2012, Bowersox signed a recording deal with Shanachie Records.
On January 7, 2013, it was confirmed that Bowersox's sophomore studio album, All That for This, would be released March 26, 2013. The album was produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and features Jakob Dylan. Bowersox debuted the first single from the album, "Dead Weight", on On Air with Ryan Seacrest on February 5, 2013. Bowersox told Seacrest, "This song means more to me than even I can completely comprehend."
Bowersox began a headlining tour in support of the album on March 1, 2013. The band Montë Mar was her concert opener, as well as her backing band on dates through March 31, 2013. On March 25, 2013, Bowersox appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and performed her song "Movin' On" to promote the album. It was announced here that Bowersox will play Patsy Cline in the Broadway production of Always, Patsy Cline. It was announced on June 11, 2013 that Bowersox would be headlining the Lancaster Festival in Lancaster, Ohio on June 27, 2013
Bowersox and musician Brian Walker were married on October 10, 2010, at Uncommon Ground Café in Chicago, the restaurant where the couple had met six years earlier while both performing at Open Mic Night. It was announced on May 6, 2013 that they were ending their marriage.
While appearing on Good Day L.A. to promote her Christmas album on November 26, 2013, Bowersox came out as bisexual. "I have been bisexual as long as I can remember," she said. Bowersox then performed her song "Coming Out For Christmas" which explores the subject matter.
|2010||Farmer's Daughter ||28||2||8||90|| |
|2013||All That for This ||71||21||—||—|| |
|2010||Season 9 Favorite Performances ||6||38|| |
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2012||Once Upon a Time...|| |
|2010||"Up to the Mountain"||57||47||Non-album single|
|"Farmer's Daughter"||—||73||Farmer's Daughter|
|2013||"Movin' On"||—||—||All That for This|
|"Coming Out for Christmas"||—||—||Non-album single|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2010||"Falling Slowly" (with Lee DeWyze)||66||70||non-album single|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2010||"Farmer's Daughter"||Meiert Avis|
|2013||"Dead Weight"||Tiger Tiger|
|2011||Body of Proof||Zoe Brant||Episode: "Second Chances"|
Awards and nominations
|2010||Teen Choice Awards||Female Reality/Variety Star||Nominated|