Cook Beats Archuleta on 'American Idol'

The battle of the Davids ended with a surprise twist last night, when Missouri rocker David Cook beat out teen prodigy David Archuleta on American Idol. A record-smashing 97.5 million votes were cast by AI viewers, and Cook won by a solid 12 million, according to the show's host, Ryan Seacrest.

Archuleta was the clear victor on Tuesday's performance show, bringing down the house with his reprise of John Lennon's "Imagine" and winning his highest praise of the season so far. Even Simon, who'd all but declared Cook the winner over the weekend, deliverd the unofficial verdict at the end of Tuesday night's broadcast by calling Archuleta's performance a "knockout." But alas, Cook proved to be the audience favorite in the end.

Just before the results were delivered, Cowell seemed to admit that he'd been a bit too subjective in his final judgment. "I want to congratulate both of you," judge Simon Cowell said. "It wasn't quite so clear as we called it. In fact, David [Cook], I will take this opportunity to apologize because I think I was verging on disrespectful with you and I don’t think you deserve that."

Finally, Seacrest announced Cook as the winner, and the newly crowned American Idol graciously recognized Archuleta's talent in front of the audience before bowling over with emotion and heading into a performance his soon-to-be first single, "Time of My Life."

For our live blog of last night's finale and to tell us what you think of the results, check out Sound Check,'s music blog, now!