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David Cook Opens Up About Girlfriend Kimberly Caldwell

David Cook Opens Up About Girlfriend Kimberly Caldwell
Cook (left) and Caldwell
Carlos Diaz/INF; Howard Wise/JPI

11/16/2008 AT 11:55 AM EST

Amid all the American Idol craziness, last year's champ David Cook finds peace and perspective with the help of girlfriend Kimberly Caldwell.

"I think she just gets that this is all nuts," Cook told PEOPLE at the Do the Wright Thing Gala at the Hard Rock Café in New York last week. "She's a nice break from the chaos."

Caldwell can relate to what he's going through: She finished in seventh place on season two of Idol and also has a budding singing career of her own, having released two singles earlier this year. Just don't ask if they like to do duets. "No, we don't," says Cook.

With the release of his self-titled debut album on Tuesday, Cook has performance plans for the big day, but keeps his mind open about the future.

"I'm going to celebrate by playing here at Hard Rock," he says. "So I'll be busy getting ready to play. ... But hopefully this is just the beginning of a very busy year for me, so I'm just ready to move on."

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