Lee Dewyze Performs 'Everybody Hurts' on 'American Idol' Season Nine

After a tepid opening performance that left the "American Idol" judges less than impressed, Lee DeWyze bounced back with an inspired take on R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" during Tuesday night's (May 25) performance finale.

It seemed like an odd, potentially sleep-inducing choice when Ryan Seacrest introduced the tune, but the 24-year-old stepped up to the mic with his guitar and immediately made clear that this performance would be different, and far better, than his first one (a second stab at Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer" from "Idol Gives Back" week). There was genuine emotion on his face and in his voice as he sang, "Everybody cries/ And everybody hurts."

The producers have decided that America wants midtempo ballads from Lee, because they give him a second with this R.E.M. song. He brings more fire to this than to "The Boxer," but it's still more a flashlight than a flamethrower. As the judges say, it's a shaky vocal — but given that his voters love the howling roughness of his voice, I'm not sure the off notes will hurt him.