The staff of Mt. Prospect Paint pose with Lee DeWyze. From left: Sandy Sluga, Bill Lagattolla, Lee DeWyze, store manager Mike Binek and Jeff Welton.
Posted by: Diane Capuano
Lee DeWyze, a six-year employee of a paint store in Mt. Prospect, Ill., is the Season 9 winner of “American Idol.” DeWyze prevailed over second-place finisher Crystal Bowersox in a nationally televised finale that aired May 26 and was watched by an audience of at least 26 million people.
The 24-year-old DeWyze grew up just six doors down from the store that is now known as Mt. Prospect Paint. He started working there when he was just 15 years old. After three years, he tried another line of work for a while, but then came back to Mt. Prospect Paint for another three years.
DeWyze became a valued employee at the store for his skills as an expert color and stain matcher. However, it was his talent as a singer and musician that led him to try out for “American Idol” in November 2009. He got his “golden ticket” and flew out to Hollywood in January 2010 to pursue his dream. Over the months, he moved from the Top 24 contenders to the Top 10 and eventually to the final dramatic moment when host Ryan Seacrest revealed him as the winner.
Among DeWyze’s most ardent supporters during his “American Idol” journey—outside of his mother, father and brother—were the staff of Mt. Prospect Paint. Owner Bill Lagattolla and the store’s six employees were upbeat about his chances of prevailing (more…)