Lee DeWyze Performs 'The Boxer' on 'American Idol'

Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer" was personal for Lee Dewyze, who said he remembered it from his childhood, when it inspired him to play guitar.

Keys told him to recite the lyrics and remember what they mean while he sang. Dewyze played it as a dramatic acoustic ballad while backed by a string section, pumping up the emotion and turning the lyrics into an urgent plea.

Ellen felt the arrangement showed Lee's depth and talent, and DioGuardi said it was clear from his performance that he had a connection to the song, which for her made it his "moment" on the show so far. "That was sincere, that was emotional, that was inspiration," Cowell said, noting that he never particularly cared for the original. "I thought it was absolutely brilliant."