Lee Dewyze Performs 'Hallelujah' on 'American Idol'

Going back to a song that has been pay dirt for several former "Idol" contestants, Cowell chose Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," which the judge said he suspected DeWyze could knock out of the box.

Backed by a string section and a gospel choir and bathed in white spotlights, Lee poured all of his gravelly spirit into the song, his voice rising to meet the ascending arrangement before climaxing with a sustained note that earned him a standing ovation and, likely, a berth in the finale.

"Lee, you are what this show is all about," Kara gushed. "Somebody who starts in one place and ends up here tonight in an incredible, epic moment. You are the heart of this show this season, and you just owned the entire night."

At the end of the performance, the crowd stood up and Simon bestowed an "I told you so" look upon his fellow judges. Randy praised Simon for his song choice, while DeWyze appeared to tear up and admit he waffled on the song at first. Ellen called his performance "stunning" and Kara said, quite simply, that he "owned the entire night."