“American Idol” – David vs. David

20 May

We had a great “American Idol” finale tonight, with David Cook and David Archuleta facing off for the prize.

Although the show started off with a cheesy boxing theme (and someone other than Ryan Seacrest saying “This is American Idol”), the competition was great.

The always-amazing Clive Davis and Andrew Lloyd Webber were the two David’s mentors.

The first round of songs were chosen for the two Davids by Clive Davis.

Clive chose U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” for David Cook. It was a great choice and Cook was wonderful.
Randy said: It was a great way to start off. He didn’t do all he could with it, but it was hot.
Paula said: “You may not have found what you’re looking for, but we’ve found what we’re looking for.”
Simon said: He looked tense and emotional going into it, so taking it all into consideration, it was phenomenal.

Clive chose Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” for Little David Archuleta. Again — perfect choice (can Clive just choose everyone’s songs from here on out?). David put everything into it.
Randy said: It was one of the best performances of the season and flawless.
Paula said: He gave her the chills and “the sun is never going to go down on you.”
Simon said: Last week was OK, but tonight was arguably the best he’s done so far. Round one to Archuleta.

At the end of every season, the “Idol” producers choose an inspirational song for the “Idol”s to sing. For the last two years they’ve had songwriting competitions. Cook and Archuleta were given the top 10 best entries, and they chose the ones to sing.

David Cook chose a song called “Dream Big” with lyrics like, “What’s the use of dreaming if you don’t have faith?” and “Reach out for something more.” He turned it into a big rock song. Sure, it was cheesy, but he actually sold it really well.
Randy said: He didn’t like the song but his performance made it worth the while.
Paula said: He took a song we didn’t know and made us fall in love with it.
Simon said: To continue the boxing analogy it was a lightweight; he made the most of what he was given but it didn’t sound like a winning song. Six and a half out of 10.

David Archuleta sang one called “In this Moment” that basically sounded like a mash-up of “This is My Now” and “A Moment Like This.” Some of the lyrics were something like, “I wanna be in this moment, no one can take it from me.” Very David Archuleta-ish.
Randy said: The song was bad but he was in the zone and it was another hot performance.
Paula said: Another heartfelt performance.
Simon said: He definitely chose the better song. Round 2 to Archuleta.

The third song was contestants’ choice.

David Cook sang Collective Soul’s “The World I Know.” This song choice baffled me – it’s a perfectly fine song, but perfectly forgettable, too. I mean he’s singing to win one of the biggest competitions – and he chooses that? It just felt random.
Randy said: He showed different sides of David Cook; very nice job.
Paula said: “I truly applaud you.”
Simon said: He’s one of the most nice and sincere contestants that’s ever been on the show, but it was completely the wrong song choice.

David Archuleta chose – big surprise – “Imagine.” It’s just as pretty as the first time he sang it.
Randy said: David A is exactly what “Idol” is about and he’s the best singer of Season 7.
Paula said: “Stunning.”
Simon said: “You came out here to win, and what we’ve witnessed here is a knockout.”

So, who do you think will win?

I think David Cook has more personality – and will probably sell more records, at least at the beginning – but it feels like it should go to Archuleta.

If David Cook wants to be a real rock ‘n’ roll guy, he can’t exactly do that with “Idol” attached to him. I have a feeling the “Idol” producers wouldn’t let him make anything harder than very very mainstream rock for a while. Of course, plenty of folks are making a killing off that style, so maybe that’s all he needs to do. I hope he’s reaching for more than that.

I can see Archuleta have a successful long career, much like a Donny Osmond type of guy. Start out a teen star, then consistently release solid material and keep a strong, faithful fanbase for years to come.

Of course, both have their advantages. I’m definitely not a Daughtry fan, but the man has a ton of fans, and he’s laughing all the way to the bank – so Cook could easily follow in his footsteps. I’m also not an Osmond fan, but again, he has more fans and money than he can count – and I can see Archuleta doing the same.

I like both David’s equally, and I think both could be successful, so I’m not going to fret tonight over who wins.

Who do you want to win?

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