Backstage at the American Idol finale

by Michael Maloney, posted May 22nd 2008 9:03AM
David Cook and the cast of American Idol
The battle of the Davids has come to a close, with David Cook emerging as the victor for the seventh season of American Idol.

The highly anticipated finale had everyone -- bloggers, fans and even celebrities -- buzzing about which David would be the next Idol. But even after David Archuleta's much-praised performance Tuesday night (and Simon Cowell's endorsement), many were predicting Cook to win the title.

Still, backstage at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, the result had the press gasping. Cook himself seemed surprised that he received the majority of 97.5 million votes cast. "I walked into this competition with no expectations and I'm walking out with out any," Cook told the press.

So what went through Cook's mind when he heard host Ryan Seacrest declare him the winner? "My music teacher in the second grade made me sing in a Christmas pageant," he recalled. "And now I'm here. The ride's been pretty nuts. You couldn't write this."

The champion took a beat, realized he was in a room full of writers and added with a smile, "Well, maybe you [all] could."

"I didn't think I was going to win."

Even more surprising was the ever-caustic Cowell apologizing to Cook for being so hard on him on his final songs. "I don't know if Simon's apology was warranted," Cook mused. "At no point did I feel disrespected."

Archuleta, however, was glad Cowell came clean. "I don't think anyone realizes how much work we put into this," the runner-up said.

David Cook winsThe 17-year-old had nothing but good things to say about the guy who'd just beaten him. "He's like my big brother," he gushed. "He's a great guy, humble and down to earth. People chose me to stand beside him. That was an honor."

And Cook returned the praise: "He has more talent at his age than I'd know what to do with at 25."

Graham Nash, who performed his hit 'Teach Your Children Well' with Idol contestant Brooke White, picked Archuleta to win based on his performance of 'Imagine.' But he said he didn't vote, joking, "They were afraid David Crosby was going to call me during rehearsal so they took my phone away."

Donna Summer, who debuted a song from her new CD Crayons, praised the Idol singers for showing growth throughout the season. "Everyone here starts off at a certain place and they get better," she observed. "That's [especially] true for both Davids."

Unlike Nash, Summer said she did vote, but unlike Nash, the disco queen didn't share her pick. "I'd tell you [who I voted for]," she responded to one journalist, then added with a smile, "But then I'd have to kill you!"

Cook began his reign as the American Idol champion with a rendition of 'Time of My Life,' written by songwriting contest winner Regie Hamm. (The single's available for downloading at and on

As for the future, both Davids want to continue making music. "I hope to see what happens," said Archuleta, realizing he has music, college and other options in front of him.

What kind of album would Cook like to make? "A good one," he said with a smile.

Get more American Idol coverage at AOL Television

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

David Archuleta, you are THE WINNER, you are a WORLD IDOL, what the producers of american idol have done to you is very nasty, Simon is a nasty guy who came to america to take all american`s money, He fixed the show for David Cook to make this guy win. The night before you were declared winner and the next day the other one won, with over 12 millons, to justify that he won honestly, wake up America, the show was fixed for David Cook but DAVID ARCHULETA YOU ARE THE BEST, A WORLD IDOL.

May 23 2008 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to William's comment

Dude, seriously, lay off the drugs.

May 23 2008 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Simon Says
For all the true fact about American Idols
songwriting contest
A must read.

May 22 2008 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Simon Says's comment

I'm surprised you haven't gotten banned or suspended or whatever they do to spammers around here...

May 22 2008 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

are you STILL thinking anyone but you cares? The songs are sappy and boring. If it bothers you that crap like that doesn't get your name on it then it just means you can't write the crap they want. Be grateful for that!

May 22 2008 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Congratulations to both Davids! To have made it to the finals out of all the people who auditioned is something for you and your families to be really proud of.

I really enjoyed the show last night. The guest stars were great, loved the performances by this year's top 12, and even the featured Idol reject was entertaining. I couldn't stop laughing when the USC marching band came in playing that song (still chuckling even now). At least Reynaldo was pretty much in key with them!

I thought Jordin Sparks sounded fantastic and looked amazing. She still looks like a teenager and not a tramp like some of the other entertainers her age. Stay sweet Jordin!

May 22 2008 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A BIG CONGRATS!! To David COOK I loved him all season. its about time american idol Fans called the right ONE!! Wishing him the best in the world & Thanks american idol for a GRReat show this season. You did have lots of talented people perform!! God Bless & Good Luck to David in his career!!!Bev loyal Fan all the way!!

May 22 2008 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick cokely

Seventh season... :)

May 22 2008 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners