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.
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