NEW YORK (CBS) A living legend, a pop queen and a death-defying rocker were among the performers on stage Wednesday night before Lee DeWyze was crowned the new "American Idol." The ninth season finale treated viewers to a cavalcade of music entertainment.
Joe Cocker's surprise performance at the end served as the final big-name highlight of the show.
Before the winner was named, the British rock singer joined with finalists Crystal Bowersox and DeWyze to perform his hit song, "With a Little Help From My Friends." Cocker's gritty and melancholy voice was the perfect midpoint between Bowersox's and Lee's styles.
Alice Cooper and Bret Michaels were two other surprise guests on the finale. Cooper joined forces with this season's finalists and opened the show with a rendition of his classic hit, "School's Out." Michaels, once again proving he's resilient, accompanied third-place finisher Casey James to perform Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."
Dressed in all black, Janet Jackson showed off her new cropped-do and performed her new song, "Nothing." Later, the 44-year-old singer took center stage and strutted her stuff to her hit, "Nasty."
Christina Aguilera, who's taken a break from the music scene these past few years to raise her son, proved she's back in the game with her performance to "You Lost Me," from her forthcoming album. With nothing more than a piano and a few strings to accompany her, Aguilera showed off a powerful voice that earned a standing ovation from the audience.
Previous "Idol" champs, Carrie Underwood and Kris Allen also graced the finale stage. Allen came by to sing "The Truth," his debut single from his third album, and Underwood, the show's most famous - and profitable - star, showed off her skills and sass with her latest single, "Undo It," which was co-written by "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi.