updated 06/09/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/09/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Cook, who was tending bar in Oklahoma less than a year ago, is now getting used to paparazzi, who recently caught him stepping out with season 2 Idol alum Kimberly Caldwell, 26, to Ruth's Chris steak house in L.A., after he asked her out live on the TV Guide Channel's Idol Tonight preshow. Cook, who says he's "single-ish," finds all of the female attention "very, very new." And odd. "I'm thinking, where was that before the show?" he jokes. "I'm just a nerd. I'm a goofball. You guys might want to get to know me a little bit more."