'American Idol' crowns its 14th champion, preps for final season

The votes are in and America has its next “Idol."

29-year-old Nick Fradiani took home the title at the end of a two-hour, star-studded finale, beating out Clark Beckham for the 14th "Idol" crown.

The Guilford, Conn. native called it the best day of his life. "I'm just so happy. You know the most emotional thing that's ever happened to me," he told FOX411. "Seeing my parents out there, the whole thing was just insane… It's a surreal thing. It doesn't seem real. To be the American Idol, it's just crazy."

Runner up Clark Beckham said coming in second wasn't half bad either.

"Four months ago I was playing on the street, I couldn't even get into a bar," he said. "I think I'll be able to maybe pass the bar phase, and actually go on tour and record and actually have a career. I just feel with all my heart I'm exactly where I need to be. I can't possibly explain how grateful I am for 'American Idol' and for the judges and for this platform."

The two-hour finale showcased chart-topping acts sharing the stage with the top 12 finalists, including Steven Tyler, Pitbull and Ricky Martin. The judges got in on the action with Keith Urban rocking a solo tune before joining Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez for a medley. Urban told Lopez that next year could be emotional "when they were showing the montage clips of this year, I leaned over to Jen I said, when this happens this time next year, I'll probably be bawling."

But it was Nick's night and the advice for his post-"Idol" career came pouring in. Connick Jr. commented on song selection. "It's all about the songs and he's got a great song with that song he just sang," he said. "So if he has an album of songs like that, he'll be fine."

Singer song-writer Andy Grammer echoed that sentiment: "If you really want to have a long career, start writing a billion songs every day."

Urban says he's looking forward to Nick's future work "He knows where he needs to go, he knows who he is," he said. "He's gonna gravitate towards the right songs."

"Idol" in-house mentor Scott Borchetta appreciated the opportunity to work with Fradiani. “We took this on as an artist development mission, and I think 'mission accomplished'. I'm very proud of what the team did."

Borchetta is taking Fradiani back to Nashville as the newest member of the Big Machine Records family, and a national tour featuring the top five "Idol" singers kicks off in July.

And with season 14 in the books, preparations are underway for the next season. The 15th and final installment of "American Idol"  will air in January on Fox.