FOX's new American Idol is 17-year-old Jordin Sparks. The teenager outsang and outperformed her last remaining rival Blake Lewis, wowing the Idol judges and hauling in a majority of the record 74 million votes cast. Jordin, the daughter of former New York Giants cornerback Phillippi Sparks, is the youngest ever Idol winner.
The Idol finale was a star-studded spectacular—with Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, Gwen Stefani, Gladys Knight and Tony Bennett among the performers. Neither Idol finalist seemed overawed by sharing their stage. Melinda Doolittle, possibly the best Idol discovery to date, returned to perform and almost stole the show.