By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 05, 2004 01:00 PM

Though she was the favorite, “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson (as the world now knows) did not take the “World Idol” title on New Year’s night. Nor did she take the news very well, say reports.

Rather than congratulate Kurt Nilsen, Norway’s gap-toothed, doughy-faced victor, Clarkson abruptly left the “World Idol” set without saying “boo,” says the New York Post. Nilsen might have expected some sort of congratulations — Clay Aiken even embraced Ruben Studdard when the beanpole lost on “American Idol” last season.

“We didn’t get to talk. I think she went back to her hotel I guess,” Nilsen, 24, tells the Post, which reports that Clarkson appeared increasingly disgruntled on the show as the votes were coming in for Nilsen and not for her.

Nilsen, who is a plumber and the father of two, says he is a fan of Clarkson’s and had traveled from Norway to New York last year — his first trip to the U.S. — just to catch her performance at Giants Stadium.

Nilsen expressed surprise at Clarkson’s apparent reaction. “Everybody wanted to talk to me and take pictures,” he said. “I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.”

The Norwegian sang the U2 hit “Beautiful Day” for a “World Idol” special that aired on Christmas Day, and that’s what sold the judges and the fans on his potential. He’s now looking for an American label, but, as he tells the Post, no matter how much money he makes, he has no intention of having orthodontia.

The gap between his two front teeth will remain.

“I’m really happy the way I am,” says Nilsen, “because if I changed my look I think people would think that I had (sold out).”