Will Blake’s beatboxing be enough?

Bothell’s Blake Lewis rocked the country with his beatboxing on Tuesday night, hoping television viewers would crown him the next “American Idol” superstar.

But even if he doesn’t win, sales of argyle sweaters and flat-front polyester pants – Lewis’ signature look – might skyrocket.

The Fox television singing competition came down to two performers: Lewis, 25, and singing sweetheart Jordin Sparks, 17, of Glendale, Ariz.

It was dubbed a battle of the sexes, with two very different contestants and styles.

“I would say the best individual performance of the night was Blake, but based on overall singing – Jordin,” judge Simon Cowell said at the end of the show.

Viewers across the country cast votes by telephone for four hours after the show. The results will be announced tonight during a two-hour finale expected to feature the top 10 singers.

About 60 million votes were cast last week as fans power-voted hundreds of times for their favorite rising pop star.

Cowell initially panned the Emerald City for having no talent, but Seattle got its props on the show Tuesday. Both Lewis and Sparks auditioned in Seattle for the show and made it to the finale.

Cowell reversed his assessment of the town’s talent to wild cheers.

“I’ve always said there was talent in Seattle, and I was right,” Cowell said.

A packed auditorium in Hollywood went berserk after Lewis’ rendition of “You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi.

The applause dragged on after Lewis’ first song, drowning out the first judge’s comments.

“Yo! Yo! I can’t even hear myself talk!” judge Randy Jackson said.

Family and friends were in the audience to cheer on Lewis.

“He was amazing! He did such a good job,” said Kristi Redman, co-founder of the Blaker Girls fan club and a longtime friend of Lewis. Redman was in Hollywood for the recording.

“He definitely didn’t leave any question that he was in it to win it,” she said.

Lewis was clearly enjoying the crowd.

“I feel great! This audience is amazing,” he said. “I’m having fun.”

About 40 fans watched Tuesday’s TV performances at the UW-Bothell campus. A private viewing party of tonight’s finale is planned by a local radio station at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

The voting will decide everything.

“It’s still a tough call,” Redman said. “It’s the performer versus the singer. It could go either way. The chances are very good he could win this thing. We’ll see what happens.”

With so many people voting hundreds of times, is the show truly democratic?

“There’s certainly potential for 1 percent of the voters to cast more than half the votes,” said Gary Lorden, a California Institute of Technology mathematics professor who is the math consultant for the CBS TV show “Numb3rs.”

“But that wouldn’t necessarily make the result unrepresentative – though it could be argued that it’s still ‘unfair.’ The reason is that there could well be similar multi-voting for both finalists,” he said.

Redman said she planned to vote hundreds of times over four straight hours.

“I’m going to redial like a madwoman,” she said.

What Blake sang Tuesday:

“You Give Love a Bad Name,” Bon Jovi.

“She Will Be Loved,” Maroon 5.

“This Is My Now,” J. Peabody and S. Krippayne, songwriters from Seattle.

What’s next:

Jordin or Blake? The next Idol will be named during the two-hour finale tonight, 8 to 10 p.m. on Fox KCPQ 13.

Reporter Jeff Switzer: 425-339-3452 or jswitzer@heraldnet.com.

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