'Idol' Insider: Everything Came up Carrie
May 26, 2005

The big night finally arrived at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, Wednesday night, as Carrie and Bo faced off in the final "American Idol" showdown, and from the limos to the red carpet to the backstage drama and more, "Extra" was on hand for every minute.

The night kicked off with celebrity gridlock, as the stars arrived, and Bo seemed to be the red carpet consensus, as the famous faces were more than willing to share their vote.

"Weíre here for the rocker," Courtney Love said.

"Bo!" added Kirstie Alley.

But notably missing were former "Idol" winners Kelly Clarkson, Reuben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino. Word is that superstar Kelly has been distancing herself from all things "Idol."

But Paula says nothing could overshadow the final show, not even the controversies. "Check out the ratings!" she insisted. "I'm still standing, aren't I?"

Even Judge Simon Cowell said this "Idol" season was the best of all. "More than anything, I wanted a competition this year, and that's what we got. America got it right."

And while the stars walked the red carpet, only "Extra" rode to the finale with Bo and Carrie's families.

"I had never flown before this competition and so this is a whole new world," Carrieís mom said. "We never expected this. I mean, I guess we thought, ëOkay, sheíll make it through a couple of rounds.í"

"I waited my whole life to get anywhere near Lynyrd Skynyrd, and here it is, the day I finally do, it's because my son is performing on stage with them," Boís father enthused. "How awesome is that?"

Yes, it was certainly an awesome night, and before they took the stage, Bo and Carrie came straight to "Extra."

"I'm not nervous," Bo told us. "This is awesome, how could we be nervous? We have a blast doing what we do, that's the main thing."

"I get to perform with Rascal Flatts," said Carrie. "This is the highlight of my life so far."

And what a highlight the night would turn out to be -- especially for Carrie. Just moments after being crowned, she headed backstage to our Terri Seymour.

"It took me a second to realize that he called my name," Carrie revealed. "It's just the most incredible feeling of my entire life."

Carrie wasn't the only "Idol" in "Extra's" exclusive interview room. "I honestly, from the bottom of my heart, think that the right person won this contest," Bo said. "I wish her the best."

So what did Bo say to his opponent after the competition? "I just said congratulations, and that I loved her," he revealed.

And what did Carrie have to say to Bo? "I love him to death," she said. "He really is my big brother."

While Bo and Carrie were all about the love, the tension between the judges continued. Simon was snickering since he'd picked Carrie from the very beginning. But Paula was always in Boís corner, although she said, "Bo does not need to have the crown."

The Carrie and Bo battle reached from the Kodak Theater all the way to Ryan Seacrest's post-"Idol" radio show Thursday morning, where our Terri asked Ryan, "Apparently there were boos when you announced Carrie as the winner, and some people left the auditorium. Did you notice that?"

"Not at all," Ryan replied. "I heard cheers, and I saw raw emotion on that stage. Clearly the nation was divided. If people reacted that way in the theater then there's proof there was a split."

And while Bo didn't win, he did get the chance to sing with his idols in Lynyrd Skynyrd, and "Extra" commemorated the moment with a little present: a signed Skynyrd shirt.

"Oh man, this is awesome," Bo responded

And Bo had one last bit of love to share as he blew the lid off judge dread's dreadful persona. "Simon is such a great guy," he insisted. "I'm not even going to blow your cover dude. I'm not even going to tell people you're a nice guy."

Your secretís safe with us, Simon.

Congratulations Carrie, Bo and all of the "American Idol" finalists -- we canít wait to hear whatís next for each of you!


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