The "American Idol" winner from Blue Springs has shown himself to be the kind of young man we see as the best of the Midwest.

“Rock stardom and all that stuff like that was never like my main M.O., my main M.O. is musical growth, and if I become a rock star in the process, great!” – Kip Winger.

Blue Springs musician David Cook commented on American Idol 7 that he, too, is interested in musical growth over rock stardom.

Personally, I think Cook said this more eloquently than Kip Winger. By the way, I confess I looked up Winger since I am not particularly into rock and learned that Winger is a member of a metal/hard rock band and a solo artist. I did not know this.

 But back to Cook, who topped the charts this week with three of the top 10 iTunes downloads.

More importantly, David Cook has almost single-handedly convinced the world that the Midwest, as some call flyover country, might be a tiny bit hip after all. And, he has done so in a professional and gentlemanly way.

His parents and teachers taught him well. Stellar job!

Yet, there is more to David Cook than humility and good manners.

When Cook and the other top idol finalists appeared on “Larry King Live” recently, Cook stood out as the leader of the group, the spokesperson, the go-to guy, the “head who-ha,” if you will.

In fact, when Larry King asked the group who is the smartest, it took the others less than two seconds to point to David Cook. No one hesitated or even thought about it. There was no indecision. There was no other choice. He is their man.

This leads me to the inescapable conclusion that this young star that once dreamed of winning an Emmy or Oscar may do just that, and his stardom will occur for two reasons – God-given talent and his environment, the rock-solid Midwest where he grew up.

We in the heartland are proud to call him one of us because he exemplifies all we hold dear – friendliness, common sense, respect, perseverance, tenacity, soul.

Last week as gazillions of Midwesterners speed-dialed our votes, we were voting for more than David Cook. We were voting for ourselves and to prove the Midwest rocks!

This particular grandma dialed for hours alternating between two cell phones scoring 25 votes for David Cook.

Granted, I did not attempt text messaging and was acutely aware that millions of 11-somethings were texting for Contestant No. 2, affectionately called Archie by David Cook.

But take note, we rockin-out Cook fans won!

Perhaps, John Wooden had it right when he said, “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”

David Cook could not have done it without all of us in the Midwest, but we in the Midwest would be incomplete without the inspiration he showers on us.

As his career blossoms, I wonder if we will see another Guitar Hero commercial.

We can only hope.