It’s been a week now since Lee DeWyze was crowned the winner of American Idol Season 9, and we still can’t get out of our head how happy and pure of full joy the former paint salesman looked upon hearing Ryan Seacrest announce his name. Lee’s unrestrained reaction was everything we wanted in an emotional, cathartic TV-viewing experience. But how does his winning moment stack up against Idols past?
We’re jumping back in time to rate the reactions of all nine Idol champs upon discovering they were the next American Idol. Points will be awarded to each victorious contestant depending on a) how many tears were shed, b) their inability to form a coherent thought, and c) how much they acknowledged the runner-up standing beside them. (Selflessness counts!) Jump below to find out whose winning moment still makes us cry, and which Idol champion could barely crack a smile after winning the biggest reality competition in the world.
Kris Allen – Season 8 (at 1:15)
Crying Factor: 0. Not one freakin’ tear! And besides the brief O-face Kris made at hearing his name called out, the man acts like he just found an extra beer in the fridge when he thought they were all out. Dude, you just won American Idol, and barely anybody thought you would. Would it have killed you to look excited?!
Acknowledging Runner-Up: 5. Adam hugs and shakes Kris, who just stands there like a log.
Inability To Speak Clearly: 8. At least Kris is so speechless, he can barely say anything.
Overall Score: 13
Jordin Sparks – Season 6
Crying Factor: 4. She sheds a few tears, but she mostly pulls together. Boring!
Acknowledging Runner-Up: 6. Jordin holds onto Blake for dear life as he bounces her up and down.
Inability To Speak Clearly: 4. She’s incredibly well-composed the whole time and manages to speak clearly. For a 17-year old, she’s keeping things very mature and professional. But where’s the blubbering?!
Overall Score: 14
Ruben Studdard – Season 2
Crying Factor: 3. Unlike Kris, we can tell Ruben is definitely happy to win the competition. It’s just that he is so calm and dumbfounded that makes us feel jilted out of a perfect Idol Winner’s moment.
Acknowledging Runner-Up: 7. He gives Clay one big, albeit calm, bear hug.
Inability To Speak Clearly: 7. Besides “thank you,” Ruben barely says a word.
Overall Score: 17
Kelly Clarkson – Season 1
Crying Factor: 6. She says she’s crying, but we can barely see a wet spot on her smiley face… until she starts singing. Here come the waterworks!
Acknowledging Runner-Up: 6. Justin and Kelly embrace for awhile, probably sharing their grief at now having to make From Justin to Kelly.
Inability To Speak Clearly: 5. Kelly gives a cute little squeak, proving how speechless she really is.
Overall Score: 19
Taylor Hicks – Season 5 ( at 1:14)
Crying Factor: 6. Taylor doubles over in tears at hearing his name.
Acknowledging Runner-Up: 5. He gives Katharine a brief hug before going back into his patented “woo!”-ing, then takes her hand once again so the audience can applaud her.
Inability To Speak Clearly: 9. He can’t get anything out besides screaming “SOUL PATROOOOL!!!”
Overall Score: 20
Lee DeWyze – Season 9
Crying Factor: 8. He immediately doubles over and scrambles all over the stage in tears.
Acknowledging Runner-Up: 3. Lee lets Crystal hang there while he’s off in his own world, freaking out.
Inability To Speak Clearly: 10. Lee is ramblin’ like a river, not finishing any of his sentences. That’s how we like it! A real, raw emotional moment.
Overall Score: 21
Carrie Underwood – Season 4 (at 2:20)
Crying Factor: 7. Carrie immediately starts sobbing, right on cue!
Acknowledging Runner-Up: 6. Her and Bo embrace… and then everyone else swarms the country singer for a hug.
Inability To Speak Clearly: 9. Carrie can’t get anything out except “thank you” through her happy weeping.
Overall Score: 22
David Cook – Season 7 (at :36)
Crying Factor: 9. It starts off slow and reserved, but as the applause goes on, Cook breaks down and can barely face front he’s so emotional.
Acknowledging Runner-Up: 8. The first thing Cook does is give Archie a long, brotherly hug.
Inability To Speak Clearly: 8. He starts off like he’s going to make a well thought-out speech, but as soon as he sees his mom standing beside him, he can’t get any words out.
Overall Score: 25
Fantasia Barrino – Season 3 (2:30)
Crying Factor: 10. Fantasia looks like she is crying even before hearing her name called. And then she explodes in sobs! We’re seriously tearing up just rewatching this.
Acknowledging Runner-Up: 10. The woman looks like she’s going to faint on top of Diana DeGarmo.
Inability To Speak Clearly: 10. The first words out of her mouth after thanking her fans? “I broke my shoe!” Perfect, nonsensical blubbering.
Overall Score: 30. Everything an American Idol Winner moment should be.
Think one of these Idol winners should have been rated higher? And is it possible for any contestant in Idol‘s future to ever beat Fantasia’s spectacular tear-jerking victory sob? Leave your thoughts in the comments!