Reality Check: 'Idol' Says Bye-Bye Brooke

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While she may well be the nicest soul to ever grace the "Idol" stage — and surely the only one, save perhaps young David Archuleta, to have not seen an R-rated movie — it was becoming abundantly clear over the past few weeks that Brooke White had reached her nadir and would leave us soon.

Before we got to that inevitable conclusion, however, there was a whole lot to get through. And, refreshingly enough for a results show, it wasn't all fluff!

First, Ryan addressed Paula's Tuesday night flub. While it's always nice when they acknowledge a scandal, it did remind me that a few of the more interesting ones this season — those concerning male strippers and oppressive stage dads, to name but a few — have gone completely unremarked upon.

Also, would it have killed them to give us a flashback of this? I mean, so long as they were going to deal with how embarrassing the moment was, why not fully embrace it?

Alas, this was not to be. Instead, Paula was invited to talk some more and she used the opportunity to tell David Archuleta to enjoy himself more. The poor boy claimed he was having fun but then insisted he would try harder while looking simultaneously miserable and thrilled (a signature Archuleta look, actually).

A good deal of time was then spent teasing "So You Think You Can Dance" (which premieres the day after "Idol" ends), and I have to say that this only served to show us how much more impressive those kids are. Watching them turn, twist and flip, it occurred to me that belting out a ditty had never seemed easier.

Ryan then asked David Cook how he felt about Paula all but declaring him the winner on Tuesday night, and Cook went off on this whole thing about how Simon had said pronouncements like that were the kiss of death. Whether it's David Cook or Archuleta who's left standing at the end, I thought it was sort of cute that Cook bothered to act like anything Paula says actually matters.

And then we were in for a flurry of unscripted preciousness — first when guest Natasha Bedingfield all but cuddled David Archuleta before Ryan asked her to be the kid's prom date, and then, a few minutes later, when Simon's first kiss called into the show.

Usually, the calls Ryan fields are from "Idol"-obsessed kids (and non-kids) who are either trying to convey how in love they are with a certain contestant or seem genuinely curious about the exact nuances of Simon's more opaque insults. But this time we heard from a lovely-sounding British woman who'd kissed Simon when he was nine, and before we knew it, the two of them were reminiscing about the good old days in England right there for all of us to see.

Now I don't mean to veer into Brooke-esque sentimentality, but there was something undeniably sweet about being able to witness Simon's softer side. In fact, I was still smiling to myself about it when "Idol"'s sweetest contestant sobbed her way through her final song.

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