Your American Idol: David Cook
May 22, 2008 at 6:52 AM (PT)
As reported on ALL ACCESS minutes after the winner was announced last night (5/21), the grown-up rocker triumphed over the smooth-voiced kid as DAVID COOK claimed the AMERICAN IDOL title WEDNESDAY, and it wasn’t as much of a surprise as it seemed.
While the judges all but crowned 17-year-old DAVID ARCHULETA the night before, the voters decided otherwise, and in a huge and unexpected way. Host RYAN SEACREST said before the results that that the margin was 12 million votes, and it turns out they broke in the favor of the 25-year-old from BLUE SPRINGS, MO.
COOK was overcome by emotion, bending toward the stage after his name was announced. When he stood up, his eyes were filled with tears, the second time in as many nights that the scruffy, grainy-voiced belter had broken down. "This is amazing," he said. "This is all your fault," he added, addressing his brother, ANDREW. The story goes that COOK was only tagging along with his sibling to the IDOL auditions to lend support, and wound up getting on the show.
COOK immediately took the microphone and began to sing "Time of my Life" by NASHVILLE singer/songwriter REGIE HAMM, winner of the annual IDOL songwriting competition, to close out season seven.
Cook refused to bow to the conventional during his three-song set TUESDAY, with COLLECTIVE SOUL’s "The World I Know" as his pick for a closing performance. He also sang U2’s "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For" and the power ballad "Dream Big," his choice from the songwriting competition’s non-winning finalists. "If I had to choose between playing a song that not a whole lot of people know that I could get behind, or the opposite, I’ll choose the lesser-known every time," COOK told THE ASSOCIATED PRESS backstage TUESDAY.
Judge SIMON COWELL said at the time that the song choices sunk him, and told ARCHULETA that he’d scored a "knockout" in the boxing-themed performance finale. But just before the winner was announced, COWELL uncharacteristically backtracked. He offered COOK an apology and said that the competition "wasn’t quite so clear cut as we called it" -- even letting on that, for the first time, he felt either finalist would have been a worthy winner.
While IDOL ratings were down all season, the final contest turned that tide, with viewership for TUESDAY’s show up 3% over last year’s performance finale, the network said WEDNESDAY. That provoked a frenzy with a record 97.5 million audience votes cast by phone and text. Last year’s total vote count was 74 million.
Text Message Record
AT&T announced TODAY that the company has shattered its text messaging record of 64.5 million by generating more than 78 million messages this season of AMERICAN IDOL.
iTunes Has Cook's First Single
DAVID COOK's first single "The Time Of My Life" (19 RECORDINGS) is available at ITUNES now. "The Time Of My Life" was written by REGIE HAMM, the winner of the second AMERICAN IDOL Songwriting Competition.