May 22 2008, Published 7:00 a.m. ET

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TV Fanatic recaps American Idol ’s super season finale!

“What a show. Ryan started off the night by announcing the there were 97.5 million votes, and the winning David had earned 56 percent of them. Well I did vote for Cook. Twice!

Both Davids got plenty of love from their hometowns with Idol rejects – sorry, former contestants – season three’s Matt Rogers and The Nanny-voiced Mikalah Gordon of season four, doing the emceeing. Come on, you couldn’t get season six's Antonella Barba?

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The top 12 took the stage to sing and shimmy. Hey, this isn’t Dance Wars. Some of these kids have no rhythm, and it showed. The Davids got their chance to sing a duet. It sounded pretty. Me liked! The plug for The Love Guru? I could have lived without. But the skit was funny. And Guru Pitka’s advice made sense to me.

Third place runner up Syesha Mercado returned and looked ah-mazing. It was almost enough to distract me from her slightly off-key duet with Seal. Almost. We then got treated to a recap of all the Ford videos of the season, which is good, since I missed most of them when they first aired.

Amanda Overmyer looked thrilled to be singing Donna Summer's biggest hits. Come on, Overmyer, Donna’s a true diva, so you better work that stage, especially when Donna herself is standing next to you. Didn’t Donna work it with Mariah Carey’s studded microphone! My girl hasn’t aged since she first crooned “Love to Love You Baby.” What’s her secret?

Were the break dancers a not-so-subtle plug for the So You Think You Can Dance season premiere tonight (at 8 p.m. on Fox!). Don’t worry, Nigel.  We'll be watching!

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Now if I was one of the contestants who lasted longer than Carly Smithson and Michael Johns, who Ryan pointed left too early, would I have taken that as a dig? It’s a contest, they got voted off, get over it. But it was fun to see these two polished players sing together.

Jimmy Kimmel was brought back to toss off more zingers about Idol and his first, about season six’s Sanjaya, struck me as a little politically incorrect! He got Paula, Simon and Ryan, so just how did Randy escape Jimmy’s wrath? I think Randy cornered him at the water cooler and warned him to think twice about digging on the dawg. And Jimmy listened. ‘Nouf said.

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The boys hit the stage for their solo, and ouch, Michael Johns had to introduce the Davids. That must have hurt! Were the yells here louder for Archuleta? We’re only 59 minutes into the show at this point and I wasn’t sure if I could last another hour, but then Bryan Adams took the stage. That made up for the pain a little bit. And he looked good!

Cook sang with ZZ Top. That was kind of cool. No, way cool. Really, it was. Don’t try to deny it. The Graham Nash and Brooke White “Teach Your Children” duet was real sweet. Maybe she should do CMT’s Can You Duet next. 

David Cook
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Cook. Recreating the famous guitar scene from Risky Business. In his underwear! Thousands of women (and a few men too!) around America just fainted. I had to call OK!'s Elizabeth Herr and make sure she was okay. And was that Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester in a PSA?

I’m not a nine-year-old girl, so I can't fully appreciate the appeal of The Jonas Brothers, but they’re cute, clean-cut enough boys. I was surprised Archuleta didn’t sing with them.

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Instead, he crooned up with One Republic on their hit “Apologize.” Archuleta sounded good, though I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had enough life experience to understand the lyrics.

The worst of the worst got their 15 minutes of fame, again, with Renaldo Lapus getting an extra five. So you really don’t need talent to make it to the Idol finals?

Current Idol winner Jordin Sparks hit the stage with her new single, “One Step at a Time.” Now, I’m no fashionista, but I’m pretty sure Project Runway’s Christian Siriano would say that her gold lame dress was a hot tranny mess. Stop. Retract that. Christian would rule that Carrie Underwood's weird shawl/sleeve/sash was the hot tranny mess of the night. Fierce song and singing tho!

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Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. do their own sight gag as Gladys Knight's backup Pips. Downey may have actually been able to handle the real gig with his subtle performance.

We’re subjected to another top 12 number, this one comprised of George Michael hits. It was  pretty much the clue that one-half of Wham was going to take the stage. Now GM can come out and sing the phone book. You never have to apologize your vocals to me, George!

But Simon did apologize to Cook for insulting his performances the night before. It got me thinking that maybe he knew something we didn’t? No matter. Moments later, David Cook was crowned the Idol winner. YEEEEEAAAAAAH! He cried, I cried, his 12 million extra voters cried, and the Fremantle record producers are crying tears of joy.

‘Cause David Cook is gonna be huge…

Do you think the right David won? What was your favorite moment of the Idol finale? Will you go see The Love Guru? Let us know!


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