Season 7 was going to end with one of its Davids crowned as king; after close to 100 million votes, it’s David Cook, the 25-year-old bartender from Blue Springs, Missouri, who wears this year’s American Idol crown.
”I’m at a loss for words,” Cook said after host Ryan Seacrest revealed he had received 12 million more votes than the runner-up, 17-year-old David Archuleta. ”This is amazing. Thank you.”
The two-hour wait to learn the winner of the duel of the Davids was filled with music, with all the top 12 Idol contestants reunited for several group and duet performances. The finale also featured guest appearances by Seal, Donna Summer, Bryan Adams, ZZ Top, Graham Nash, the Jonas Brothers, OneRepublic, season 6 Idol champ Jordin Sparks, season 4 winner Carrie Underwood, and a grand finale appearance by George Michael.
Among a mixed bag of taped comedy bits, Jack Black, Ben Stiller, and Robert Downey Jr. performed as Gladys Knight’s Pips, and Mike Myers plugged his summer comedy The Love Guru, appearing as that film’s Guru Pitka doing shtick with the two Davids. Myers also turned up on stage, as did late-night host Jimmy Kimmel for a quick roast of the judges.
To end the night, a tearful Cook stepped to center stage for his first performance as Idol champ, singing the winning tune from the Idol songwriting competition, ”Time of My Life.”
For a full analysis of tonight’s show, reflections on season 7, and your chance to sound off on all things Idol, come back in a few hours for Michael Slezak’s American Idol TV Watch. Until then, keep checking EW.com through the night and tomorrow for on-the-scene reports, highlights of both Davids’ journeys through Idol season 7, and much more. In the meantime, you can have the last word on tonight’s result by voting in our poll below — tell us if you think the right David won.