For David Cook, the most recent winner on American Idol, getting the chance to sing the National Anthem at Tuesday’s NBA Finals game in L.A. ranks high on his list of achievements.

"Top three," he told OK! before the game. "Between this, getting to do The Tonight Show, and I got to visit a children’s hospital in New York which was pretty heavy… Jay Leno and this, respectively, take second and third to that."

Of course, with dozens of A-listers in the crowd at the Staples Center and millions of fans watching at home on TV, David was well aware of the potential for disaster.

"It’s the one song you don’t want to mess up," he confessed. "So I’m going to try to not notice Jack Nicholson sitting in the front row."

The biggest difference between singing at the NBA Finals and the Idol finals? "No matter what I do I don’t have Simon telling me how dreadful it was afterwards."

One celebrity who was definitely rooting for David to do well was new girlfriend, and fellow AI alum Kimberly Caldwell, who waited in the dressing room while he performed but who joined him in the crowd when the game began.

As for the immediate future, David will soon rejoin his Idol competition for this summer’s tour, and then he’s got an album to release. "We’re looking at mid-fall, October – November," he revealed about the release date. "We started writing stuff this last week and so far, so good."

However, before you get your hopes up that he and gal-pal Kimberly will collaborate on a song together, David says, "There will be no duets."

By Jon Warech

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