Notes after the jump.
(David Cook wins. Dialidol.com called it. I will offer a few theories later.)
Way behind getting started, but I'll catch up. Seacrest keeps talking about the "closest competition." Closer than Clay/Ruben? I suspect not. Ryan also says 97.5 million votes came in. Smashed the record for the show, he says. Says it's 56 percent, 44 percent. Feels like Cook won then. Reports from the Davids' home towns. The Top 12 offer the inevitable performance to hype the tour, and to promote "So You Think You Can Dance." Looks lip-synched, and even then there's no discernible audio for Amanda Overmyer.
The Davids sing together, although DC gets the lead-off. "Hero." They sound pretty good together. Ryan chats with the guys. Mentions two mentors -- Clive Davis and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Hype for Mike Myers' "Love Guru" movie. Tape and then Myers onstage. Moving on. Syesha Mercado sings with Seal. She's off in spots, still has some things to learn. He's a lot better.
Jason Castro sings "Hallelujah." Moving on. Car video. "Good Times Roll" (Sam Cooke version) with clips from various videos. The women from the top 12 sing "She Works Hard for the Money/Hot Stuff." Overmyer looks especially out of place, bad on the steps. Enter Miss Donna Summer herself with a new tune to promote, as well as singing "Last Dance." Sounds good but I'm moving on.
Duet on "The Letter" by Carly Smithson and Michael Johns. They're using the Joe Cocker arrangement. And hey, Ryan says there's ... a tour!
Jimmy Kimmel recaps the season. Only thing missing is a rim shot after the predictable jokes.
David Hernandez (the Forgotten David!), Jason C and Michael Johns sing "Summer of '69." Chikezie joins. They then must pause to let David C and David A sing. Again, David C gets the first solo. And then Bryan Adams himself takes the stage. Paula is standing and clapping along.
Jordin Sparks on tape, promoting Walt Disney World Resort's "American Idol" Experience in January.
David Cook sings "Sharp Dressed Man" with ZZ Top. The coronation goes on. Not his best song but hey, he's got a really good band.
Hometown update. Graham Nash and Brooke White sing "Teach Your Children." Cute, but I'd rather hear more ZZ Top. And considering this is originally by one of the great harmony groups, it's not all that good.
David Cook in a parody of "Risky Business," commercial for Guitar Hero.
Ryan asks girls around him to introduce the next band. Hard to make out in the shrieks. Oh, Jonas Brothers. Catchy. Moving on.
Clips from the worst and most bizarre of the season. Hey, Renaldo! And Renaldo sings again onstage, with the USC band and cheerleaders.
OneRepublic performs "Apologize." I have to say that, even with a lot of fast-forwarding, this is a much better results show than the one "Dancing With the Stars" did last night. Plenty of music, even if some of it is iffy, and not too much cutesy filler. And, so far, no boxing references.
Archuleta joins in on "Apologize." He meshes rather well. Hometown update.
Jordin Sparks sings "One Step at a Time." Like her voice generally, but I liked her duet with Chris Brown better than this song.
The Gladys Knight bit -- old footage with Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. edited in as Pips. Funny at first but goes on way too long, although I'm happy to hear classic Gladys.
Carrie Underwood. Working on some hottie/pop-star moves. Powerful but needs work.
Archuleta does the "Risky Business"/Guitar Hero spot.
The Top 12 strike again. "Faith." Side note: Four women in sheer stockings, Carly in dark stockings (does she have leg tats?), Amanda in pants. The guys come in for "Father Figure." So where's George Michael? "Freedom." So. Where's. George. Oh, there. Not sounding great. But he's making Paula cry. And this song is reallllllly long. Randy and Simon join Paula for a standing O. And, Ryan tells us, he's going on tour!
Simon backpedals from his declaration Tuesday that DA won, and apologizes for seeming disrespectful.
Winner: David Cook. He's in tears. Everyone comes out for the songwriting competition winner, "Time of My Life." And so the hell of winning begins.