Reality Check: David Cook Crowned 'American Idol'

Well, it isn't the first time and it certainly won't be the last but I made the wrong call on this year's "Idol."

You wouldn't think it would be so difficult. I mean, I had 50-50 chances, right? And all signs were pointing toward Archuleta.

He seemed to get more shrieks from the obsessed prepubescents.

His "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" on Tuesday night was probably the best performance of the season.

Photo Essay: 'American Idol' finale.

Video: catches up with new 'Idol' David Cook.

Blog: The Scoop on 'American Idol.'

He was the most adorable thing to ever set foot on the "Idol" stage.

Alas, Papa Archuleta's dreams did not come true this year because David Cook — the bartender who only auditioned because he was coaxed into it by "Idol" producers when he accompanied his brother Andrew to try out — was crowned the winner.

Trust me, this isn't bad news. Even an Archuleta-ite who'd shriek and fall into a dead faint if she could so much as touch her beloved's hand would have to admit that the other David is just as worthy.

He was consistent, original, sexy, humble and kind. Though he'd never be accused of being overly chipper or enthusiastic, it was difficult — you could even say impossible — not to like him.

And the fact of the matter is that it's easier to picture him as a rock star — putting out albums, touring and doing all that comes with it — than it is little Archie (although I was thinking as the Jonas Brothers performed that our young cherub would be their ideal opening act).

Speaking of the Jonas Brothers, the "Idol" finale brought out some of the heaviest hitters around, which meant that we got to witness, among other performances, Donna Summer singing with our top six girls and David Cook churning out "Sharp Dressed Man'" with ZZ Top (who looked exactly the same as they did 20 years ago, which seems to be one of the primary advantages of having scraggly beards as a main part of your look).

We were also privy to Graham Nash teaching your children well with Brooke White (her voice drowned out his, which made the song sound, um, slightly unrecognizable), and Archuleta "apologizing" with One Republic. There was also a duet by Seal and Syesha and even a George Michael appearance.

Yet believe it or not, it was even better to see some of our most sorely missed top 12 contestants than it was to witness the superstars in their midst. I'm talking, of course, about Carly Smithson and Michael Johns, who did such a freakishly amazing job on their duet of "The Letter" that it seemed, at that moment, a pity they weren't our final two.

And fantastic in an entirely different way was Renaldo Lapuz, whom faithful viewers remember from the audition episodes as the songwriter and performer behind "I Am Your Brother," an utterly ridiculous but oddly catchy song that seems to just consist of several sentences strung together and repeated — an altogether bizarre piece of performance art that even the grumpiest cynic in the world would have to smile at.

On the opposite end of the silly spectrum was, of course, our 2008 "Idol" winner, who teared up so genuinely when he got the news that even I found myself on the verge of getting misty. And why not? It's been a long and drawn-out competition between the two Davids — two guys that both appear to be so nice that "I Am Your Brother" could very well have been their battle theme song.

Anna David is a freelance writer. Her novel, "Party Girl," is in stores.