Crystal Lynn Bowersox (born August 4, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter from Elliston, Ohio who was the runner-up on the ninth season of American Idol. On March 2, 2010, Bowersox was hospitalized because of complications from diabetes, forcing a last minute switch in scheduling to give her extra time to recuperate. Bowersox confirmed the illness on the May 19, 2010 results show during an interview with host Ryan Seacrest. The men competed that day instead of the women. She sang the next day and impressed all of the judges.
The following week, her strong performance prompted Simon Cowell to state, "Right now, you are the one everyone has to beat."
After Siobhan Magnus's elimination from the top 6 of American Idol, Bowersox became the last remaining female contestant in the competition.
Bowersox is the first female contestant to make it to the finale since Jordin Sparks won the title in 2007. She is also the first contestant in American Idol history to have one of their original songs played on the show, or at least during their hometown package. Crystal's original song "Holy Toledo" was played on the May 19 Top 3 Results show as the background music for her homecoming package - when she returned to Toledo, Ohio and Elliston, Ohio the previous weekend - and segued into her live performance of the same song at "Bowerstock".
During her time on Idol, Bowersox dated Tony Kusian, but the couple broke up just hours before the Idol finale.
On the final performance day, in Simon Cowell's final critique on American Idol, he called her performance of "Up to the Mountain" "outstanding" and by far, "the best performance and song of the night".
On May 26, Bowersox was named the runner-up to winner Lee DeWyze.
On May 27, 2010, one day after Bowersox's second place Idol finish, it was announced that she had signed with Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment and with Jive Records. Her single "Up to the Mountain" has since been released to radio stations and iTunes.
Bowersox and musician Brian Walker were married on October 10, 2010, at Uncommon Ground Café in Chicago, the restaurant where the couple had met six years earlier while both performing at Open Mic Night. Bowersox's debut album Farmer's Daughter was released to stores and iTunes on December 14, 2010.