It came down to the country girl vs. the rock star and the country girl won.
Wednesday night, in a special two-hour finale live from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest announced who had won America's hearts: Underwood, the fresh-faced 22-year-old crooner from Checotah, Okla., who beat runner-up Bo Bice, the long-haired 29-year-old rocker from Helena, Ala.
Upon hearing she'd won the competition, Underwood burst into tears, but got herself together to sing what's become one of her signature songs: "Inside Your Heaven." "Thank you America!" Carrie shouted at the end of the song.
Wednesday night also had other treats in store. Bo sang with southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Carrie with country trio Rascal Flatts.
Many former "idols" also made appearances. On Tuesday, Underwood and Bice gave their final performances in the high-stakes sing-off, coming to the finish line of what all the judges described as a tight race.