Jordin Sparks, American Idol
Ah, the glamorous life of a newly minted American Idol: Mere hours after a Badgley Mischka-clad Jordin Sparks beat out Blake Lewis for the coveted title on May 23, the effusive 17-year-old Arizona native had changed into jeans and was wolfing down a roast-beef sandwich. "Sorry," she said, politely covering her mouth. "I haven't eaten since breakfast." While Sparks seemed like a clear victor after nailing her final performances, she swears she didn't see it that way: "I had no idea what was going to happen. When Blake and I were standing up there [waiting to hear who'd won], he was just like, 'I love you, sweetheart,' and he squeezed my hand, and I realized that no matter what happened, everything was going to be OK."

OK, indeed. Here is TV Guide's post-finale sit-down with your newest American Idol.

TV Guide: Was that the first chance you've had to eat all day?
Jordin Sparks:
Yeah, pretty much. I'm so hungry. It's been so crazy today.

TV Guide: How did you spend the day?
Jordin:
Rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing. We had to rehearse our group numbers, and we had to do a run-through of the entire show to make sure everything would work out. So that's basically all I did. That's all I had time to do.

TV Guide: Did your mom and dad give you a pep talk before the show tonight?
Jordin:
Did they...? [Jordin looks over at her mom, who is now finishing the sandwich Jordin was noshing on moments before.]Jordin's mom: Before the show?
Jordin: She just hugged me and said she loved me.
Jordin's mom: Jordin gets in her "zone" where you can't really talk to her before she performs.
Jordin: Mom! [Laughs] I do not! Not true!
Jordin's mom: I didn't mean that in a bad way. But she's all focus. We said we loved you.
Jordin: That's all I really need, just to know that they're there for me. That just makes everything better. It kind of alleviates the pressure a little bit.

TV Guide: I know you must've been sent a lot of good-luck flowers and gifts. Who were the most surprising ones from?
Jordin:
Well, I got a lot of flowers. My fans sent me tons of flowers. I got some from Blake Shelton, who is one of my favorite country artists. I got some from Martina McBride. She told me I did a great job with Broken Wing last night, and I was reading the card like, "What the heck?!" I just love her. Badgley Mischka, who dressed me, sent me flowers. And Jennifer Hudson sent me some. She said, "A great journey well deserved. Love, Jennifer." It was so cute. I was like, "Wait! Am I reading that right? An Oscar winner knows who I am?" It was the weirdest thing.  

TV Guide: Speaking of Badgley Mischka, how many different gowns did they give you?
Jordin:
Four. Wait, five. Five. Can you believe it?!

TV Guide: Do you get to keep all of them?
Jordin:
Yes. It's crazy! I asked them how much they cost, and then I was like, "Wait. No. I don't wanna know." The bad thing is, I can never wear them again because everyone's already seen me in them. I guess they'll just hang in my closet. Isn't that sad?

TV Guide: It seemed like after the ballads last night, you were a sure thing. Did you expect to win tonight?
Jordin:
Blake and I are just two totally different performers. He went out and did his own thing, and I came out and did my own thing, so it was anybody's game. I had no idea what was going to happen. When we were standing up there [waiting to hear who'd won], we were holding hands and he was just like, "I love you, sweetheart." And I was like, "I love you, too." He squeezed my hand and I realized that, no matter what happened, everything was going to be OK. And it turned out really great! [Laughs] But I would've been happy with whatever happened. I'm just even happier right now.

TV Guide: You've said that when you turned 16, you cared more about being able to audition for American Idol than driving a car.
Jordin:
Pretty much, yeah. [Laughs] And I can't believe that I won the whole thing. What the heck?!

TV Guide: What was going through your head when Ryan actually announced your name?
Jordin:
It was just like, "Seriously?!" And then: "OK, what are the words to the song? What are the words to the song?" He handed me the mike and I was like, uhhhhh. And then the words just came out. I don't know how they did. They just did. It was just so cool. And seeing everybody there — my family was all bawling their eyes out — and my brother and my uncles. And Paula [Abdul], she was crying, too. She's just so sweet. She's been so supportive. Randy [Jackson] and Simon [Cowell] both came up to me later and were like, "Congratulations. You deserved it." And I was like, "Thank you. Why couldn't you have said that on the show?!" [Laughs] The night has just been so cool. I just can't believe this. I don't think it's really hit me yet.

TV Guide: So what kind of album can we expect to hear from Jordin Sparks?
Jordin:
Well, I love all different types of music so I would love to infuse a lot of that into my album. Like I love country, I love R&B, I love pop, I love soul, and I love rock. So I would love to put that all together. Kelly Clarkson kind of did that, with a whole lot of different genres all on her album, and I think that would be really cool. And I want to sing about things that matter to me, things that touch me. Hopefully, I'll be able to write a little bit on it, too. I'm going to try, and see what happens!

Which dream of Blake's came true? (And what T-shirt plan of his didn't?) Who was "Crying Girl" rooting for? Go inside the Idol finale with our on-the-scene recap of who said what before and after the big show.

Let our new Online Video Guide show you some of the best Idol video clips.

Send your comments on this Q&A to online_insider@tvguide.com.