David Cook was celebrating last night after beating David Archuleta to win American Idol.

The 25-year-old rocker beat the smiley 17-year-old crooner with 12 million more votes.

And, in a rare moment, judge Simon Cowell apologised to Cook for criticising him during the final performance show.

Cowell went so far as to say that the remarks he made the night before to the future Idol winner were “verging on disrespectful”.

He said: “When I went back home and watched it, it wasn’t quite so clear cut as we called it,” he said to the final two.

Cowell congratulated and praised both Cook and runner-up Archuleta, from Utah.

He even revealed that “for the first time ever, I don’t really care who wins”.

Such comments came as a surprise to many after Cowell heaped huge amounts of praise on Archuleta and said he won the competition by a “knockout.”

Always a musical extravaganza, this year’s finale featured a number of top guests.

Perhaps the most notable was a George Michael medley saved for the very end, featuring Michael himself and the top 12 Idol finalists.

CLICK below to watch as David Cook is crowned the winner of American Idol 2008