Jordin Sparks: 'I Love the Love!'

05/24/2007 at 09:00 AM EDT

Jordin Sparks: 'I Love the Love!'
Lester Cohen/WireImage
Although Jordin Sparks was overcome with emotion when Ryan Seacrest announced that she was the sixth American Idol, she still managed to talk to reporters when the show ended. After sharing her win with her family, getting her makeup touched up – and meeting Bette Midler! – she spoke backstage at the Kodak Theatre about winning, paparazzi and what's next.

What was going through your mind right before Ryan announced that you won?
I was standing up there and Blake was holding my hand and he was like, "I love you, sweetheart." I was like, "I love you too." He squeezed my hand and I knew whatever happened I'd be okay and everything would be fine. He's such a great supporter and so encouraging of me. I'm one of his biggest fans and he's one of mine. It turned out pretty cool, I guess!

You became very emotional during your last song, 'This Is My Now.' What were you feeling then?
It was a mix of a lot of things. I can't believe that it's over. It seems like years ago that I auditioned in Seattle, but at the same time it's gone by so fast. It was a mix of everything was ending and I don't know – the song is just so amazing. I looked up at all the people and I saw my parents sitting there and I realized that what I said I wanted to do a long time ago, I was doing it. And it just totally overcame me.

Did you know you had such fan support going into the finals?
I've been in a bubble, so I didn't. When I went home I got so much support there, but that was my home state. I had no idea what everybody else was thinking. I love the love, what can I say?

Are you ready to record your first album?
I might be getting some material during the [Idols Live] tour and then I guess right after I'll start working on that.

Will you write your own songs?
I would love to write. I've written a couple of songs but I don't know if they'll go on the album. But I've written and I hope I can write a little bit on my album.

Now that you've won and have a singing career ahead of you, how does college factor in?
I haven't graduated [high school] yet. I'm only a junior. I'm still working on it. During this whole process I've been doing at least three hours a day because that's what I'm required to do and it's been really cool. It's kept everything pretty normal. I'll do my school and then I'll go sing; I'll do my school and then I'll go get fitted in amazing dresses. It's so crazy. I would love to go to college one day, but I'm kind of just thinking about the now. But education is important and I'm still getting it. I actually get out of school tomorrow!

Do you have a favorite performance?
I have no idea. I loved each and every performance that I did. There were some that I liked more than others. I think that I tried to top myself every performance. I liked them all. I don't regret anything.

Did you speak with Simon after tonight's show?
He was like, "Congratulations, Jordin. You deserved it." And I was like, "Thank you." And he gave me a hug and it was like, "Oh my God! Simon Cowell is hugging me!"

You had so many costume changes. Describe your personal style and what complements you best.
I think corset-y tops fit. Baby doll tees like this are better because it's very flattering on the side. It was so crazy doing all the costume changes. I've never done that in all my life. I'm learning more and more about myself as this goes on because now I have to look good! So now I'm like, "Okay, so the stylists are helping me out." Badgley Mischka designed those gorgeous dresses that you saw. They designed the reveal gown. It's so beautiful. It was one of a kind. I think I get to keep them all!

What part of this process has prepared you most for your career?
You know when you see celebrites and the paparazzi follow them? That actually happened to us a couple of weeks ago. We had three cars following us and it was so crazy. And I was like, "What have I gotten myself into?" But I think it's prepared me because I think I've become a better person and a better performer throughout all this – like interacting with fans and being able to convey my emotions better. Thank you to everybody who kept me around!

How do your parents feel?
I've been watching the show since I was 12 and I've always wanted to do it and I've always told my mom every year at the finale or during the show, "I want to do that, Mom. That's what I want to do. I want to be able to sing on that stage and whether I win or not, I want to be there." And now I'm actually doing it. I know she's proud of me and I know my dad is and my brother. And we're just going to take it one step at a time.

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