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Lee DeWyze: “It’s Going to Be Intense” Touring and Recording Album

Days after being crowned the newest American Idol, Lee DeWyze tells he was honored to be a part of Simon Cowell’s final season.

Related: PHOTOS: See how Idol contestants have changed over the years

"With Simon leaving the way he did…it was a big deal," DeWyze, 24, tells Us. "It was a really big season and a real big honor to be a part of it."

Adds runner-up Crystal Bowersox: "It's a pivotal season for American Idol. It leaves a lot of open-ended things and there's really limitless possibilities for the show," the singer-songwriter, 24, says. "For us, we've got a great launching pad and we're both going to be forever grateful to the show."

Related: PHOTOS: Inside the American Idol finale

Since Wednesday's finale, both have signed record deals and will begin working on their albums while on tour this summer. In the meantime, DeWyze and Bowersox will join the rest of the Top 10 in rehearsals for the American Idol tour, which kicks off July 1 in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Related: PHOTOS: Before they were Idol judges

"We’re still working on the set and the order I’m gonna do them in, but I’m definitely looking forward to songs that I’ve picked," DeWyze — who hinted he'll be covering a Kings of Leon song — says. "It's going to be really fun."

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