NEW YORK (CBS) It was a "Beautiful Day" for Lee DeWyze on Wednesday night when he beat out Crystal Bowersox to become the newest "American Idol."
"Thank you guys so much, everybody," a visibly shocked DeWyze told "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest after he had been announced the winner. "I can't believe this. I love you guys."
The newly-appointed winner then sang the U2 song "Beautiful Day" as confetti flew through the air and fans in his hometown of Mt. Prospect, Ill., showed their admiration via satellite.
The announcement came at the end of a two-hour finale event that brought back past "Idol" winners and notable recording artists.
The show opened with this season's "Idol" cast performing "School's Out" complete with school uniforms and a cameo from Alice Cooper.
Runner-up Crystal Bowersox performed a duet with Alanis Morissette, while Casey James, who was eliminated last week, took to the stage with "Celebrity Apprentice" winner Bret Michaels.
Other performances included a mediocre new tune from Christina Aguilera and cameos during "Idol" performances by Hall & Oates, the Bee Gees, Michael McDonald and Joe Cocker.
The best performance of the night, however, came from Janet Jackson. Sporting a new short haircut, Jackson began with the ballad "Nothing" before transitioning into a fantastic rendition of "Nasty Boys," complete with a sexy catsuit and very Michael Jackson-esque choreography.
Miss Jackson and the "Idol" final two aside, the other star of the night was Simon Cowell. Wednesday's finale was the final episode of the reality show that the notoriously blunt judge would appear on.
"Idol" winners from previous seasons, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks and Kris Allen, took to the stage to give Cowell a musical sendoff, while former judge Paula Abdul returned to wish him well, saying that working with Cowell gave her "immeasurable joy."
"I've loved all the fun we had together. 'American Idol' is not going to be the same without you," she said.
"I didn't think I would be this emotional, but I genuinely am," Cowell said.