Reality Check: Jordin Sparks Wins Sixth Season of 'American Idol'

The "American Idol" finale was no small affair. Everyone from Jerry Springer to Teri Hatcher to Brittany Murphy turned out. The Hoff even took a break from his current scandal and "America's Got Talent" judging duties to join the 2,999 other people in the Kodak Theater.

And what did they get to see? Well, for one: Randy in an even more atrocious jacket than the night before. And then a Jordin-Blake version of "I Saw Her Standing There" that was so cute and sexy, the two almost seemed attracted to each other.

Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson performed, and then Ryan presented the first in a series of sardonic awards to, essentially, the biggest freaks that auditioned this year.

And I'll have you know that one of them — a terrifying man who does for cats what "Jaws" did for sharks — is someone I had only recently succeeded in excavating from my subconscious. Thanks for the reminder, "Idol."

PHOTO ESSAY: Star-Studded 'American Idol' Finale

What else happened? Well, the top six guys sang with Smokey Robinson; the girls did the same with Gladys Knight, who seemed at least half-blind from bangs that she oddly refused to move. Blake beat-boxed with Doug E. Fresh and Carrie Underwood's song was beautiful and she looked even better.

Because it had to happen, at some point Sanjaya took the stage shrieking "You Really Got Me" while Joe Perry played guitar and essentially ignored him, which was kind of the only thing he could do.

While Sanjaya had sounded decent with the other top six guys — like he spent his time out of the spotlight taking singing lessons — "You Really Got Me" really got us to remember how good he is at making ears hurt.

VIDEO: Jordin and Blake Talk About Their Experiences

Toward the end, Taylor Hicks, who seemed to garner less applause than the terrifying cat-man, performed, and later, a slew of Idols past and present participated in a Beatles medley.

And then we finally got what we had all been waiting for: Jordin was declared the winner. To nobody's surprise, the girl's tear ducts went into immediate action. Blake was but a distant memory.

• Get all the buzz about the sixth season in's 'American Idol' Center.

Sadly, the show had to end with Jordin singing the sappy winning number "This Is My Now," but it really became more about how artfully she cried than the lyrics or melody.

That's right: The girl actually managed to make us forget all about the song that we had already heard two times too many. And what more could we ask for in an "Idol"?

"American Idol" airs on FOX, which is owned by the parent company of

Anna David is a freelance writer. Her first novel, "Party Girl," is coming out in June 2007 from HarperCollins.

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