David Cook, the rocker and former bartender from Blue Springs, Mo., was crowned this season’s champion during last night’s star-studded two-hour finale of American Idol.

It was a surprise the all-American boy next door, David Archuleta 17, wasn’t the one to win since all the girls seemed to have gone crazy for him. But he lost to his fellow competitor by a difference of 12 million votes. It was the highest number of votes ever in American Idol history, after 97.5 million votes were cast for the final two, smashing the record by more than 23 million.

Last night’s finale featured the return of the Top 12, including Cook and Archuleta, who opened the show with a group number followed by another performance of Chad Kroeger’s Hero by the final two.

Promoting the film The Love Guru, coming out June 20, and offering advice to Cook and Archuleta was Guru Pitka, also known as Emmy Award-winning Canadian actor, comedian, screenwriter and film producer Mike Myers.

Among last night’s celebrity performers were Seal, Donna Summer, who sang her new single Stamp Your Feet, Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, ZZ Top, Graham Nash, The Jonas Brothers and One Republic. George Michael even made an appearance coinciding with his first tour in 17 years starting in San Diego June 17.

And to add a few laughs was Renaldo Lapuz, who tried out for the competition earlier on in the season, to perform the song he wrote for judge Simon Cowell called We Are Brothers Forever.

Jordin Sparks, last season’s American Idol winner, and Carrie Underwood also made appearances.
“For the first time ever I don’t really care who wins,” said Cowell, commenting on how great both the final competitors are.

“I started this season … as the word nerd, and I’m very much at a loss for words,” said Cook after the results were read, before singing his new single Time Of My Life.