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[05/25/05 - 12:00 AM]
Carrie Underwood Is Crowned the "American Idol"

[via press release from FOX]

CARRIE UNDERWOOD IS CROWNED THE "AMERICAN IDOL"

Over Half a Billion Total Votes Cast During Historic Season Four Of Television's No. 1 Show

Carrie Underwood was crowned the American Idol during the live season finale tonight on FOX. Underwood, 22, of Checotah, OK, emerged as America's choice in a competition that began with over 100,000 hopefuls who auditioned in Cleveland, St. Louis, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Over the course of the season, viewers cast more than half a billion votes to support their favorite contestants.

Tuesday night's final performance show was a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll, as Underwood and co-finalist Bo Bice each performed three songs. Both sang the original IDOL single "Inside Your Heaven." In addition, Underwood sang "Angels Brought Me Here" and Martina McBride's "Independence Day," and Bice sang "Long, Long Road" and "Vehicle" by The Ides of March. The Top 12 AMERICAN IDOL contestants were reunited on tonight's final results show, joined by guest artists George Benson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny G, Babyface, Billy Preston, Rascal Flatts and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Underwood is the fourth American Idol to be crowned, joining the elite group of Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia as winners of the coveted title, a major recording contract and a management contract.

Eight-time Emmy-nominated AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Chief Operating Officer, Production, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Nigel Lythgoe, President, 19 Television; and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.

Go to www.idolonfox.com for all of your AMERICAN IDOL news and highlights from this season.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (ABC)





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