Lee DeWyze was criticized by American Idol judges Tuesday for lacking confidence.
"I didn't," the 24-year-old Ill. native said backstage after the show. "I mean, it's not easy performing in front of 7,000 people in a situation like that."
DeWyze performed "The Boxer," R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" and U2's "Beautiful Day." Crystal Bowersox, 24, sang, "Me and Bobby McGee," "Black Velvet" and "Up on a Mountain," and was praised by the judges.
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Continued DeWyze, "Throughout the season, the word 'confidence' has come up with me a lot. I think looking confident and being confident are two different things for me. If I wasn't confident, I wouldn't be able to do this. You have to have confidence to do this and I do... it's just, I go up there and I go in my zone and I do my thing."
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Judge Kara DioGuardi told Us DeWyze will look back on his performances in a few years, "and say, I didn't have that confidence,' or 'I didn't have that fire.'"
DioGuardi thought Bowersox, "sang her defining moment of the season. I thought she had her walls up and those walls came down and and there was a very emotional thing going on as well as a superb vocal. When those two things come together, it was an undeniable performance."
A winner will be named on Wednesday's show.
Taking the title "would be amazing... thinking about winning... I'm lying to you if I said I'm not... but what can you do? You put everything out there and hope for the best," DeWyze said.
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Bowersox, the laid-back Ohio mom, promised a big reaction if she's named American Idol.
"I think throughout the season, people have been maybe disappointed in my lack of big reactions to things. I'm just a mellow person. But I personally am interested to see how I react [Wednesday], because I don't know... I might hoot or holla or something."