Tried “live blogging” last nights epic showdown between the two Davids on “American Idol”, but honestly, I couldn’t stop watching the show long enough to write. Yes, it was that good! And no matter how strongly you support one over the other, I think America is gonna have a hell of a time picking between these two enormously talented, but radically different singers.
As you know, like Wendy and my Aunt Debbie, Chistine and I are big time David Cook supporters, but I have to admit that I really dug the first two songs David Archuleta sang last night as well.
Christine will say it’s the old man in me talking — she delights in saying that Archuleta is “Seventeen going on seventy” — but I gotta tell ya, man, I was digging me some smooth Archuleta grooves last night.
Starting with Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s classic “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, that creepy little kid was kind of amazing. And though he didn’t “sing his face off” as Randy later described David Cook doing, Archuleta worked magic with his second song, the awesomely cheesy “In This Moment”. Seriously, if this kid ever puts out a Christmas song with this much over-produced melodrama…well, move over “Christmas Shoes”, cuz I’m gonna be all over that shit. I Loved it!
That’s not to say that David Cook didn’t rock the Nokia Theatre himself, because he totally did. Opening with a super cool, crowd-pleasing cover of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, Cook had the rock star thing going for him in spades. And the thing I dig most about him is that, unlike previous “Idol” rockers like the humorless Chris Daughtry and kind of snoozy Bo Bice, Cook has heart to spare.
Seriously, just thinking about the songs Cook could write on his own after he breaks free from the “Idol” shackles on his second album kind of gives me goosebumps. Christine, who loooves him, says Cook is the most heartfelt, real “Idol” since Kelly Clarkson, and seeing as Kelly remains our favorite past “Idol”, that’s some mighty praise indeed!
Cook’s second song, “Dream Big”, was even cooler. Pop rock at it’s best, the song had a jaunty Avril Lavigne meets the All-American Rejects vibe — yes, that’s a compliment as, aside from sappy Christmas songs, I also loves me some cheesy pop — that was kind of infectious! And man, did he rock that stage, totally showing the world what kind of fun, radio-friendly tunes he’ll churn out in the years to come!
Round three was more difficult for both singers with Archuleta dredging up his tired, crusty rehash of “Imagine” and Cook working what magic he could with a fairly decent cover of Collective Soul’s “The World I Know”. As expected, Christine loved Cook’s version of the song, but I really think both him and Archuleta peaked on their second songs, which, I might add, were written especially for them.
And even though we both found the Michael Buffer opening totally groan-worthy — if I never him say “Let’s get ready to rumble” again, I’ll die a happy man — I gotta say our inner Olympic nerds kind of loved the Olympic backstory montages with narration by Olympic legend, Jim Lampley. And who could resist the site of lechy old Andrew Lloyd Webber drooling all over the Davids at the piano. Yikes…Sir Andrew could give his “Phantom” a serious run for the money in the creepy old man department.
At the end of the night, stunt guest stars and lame boxing analogies aside, it was a pretty decent penultimate show for the aging “Idol” franchise. And no matter who wins tonight, you can be damn sure they’re both gonna sell more records than the show’s bizarre, “ghost of Christmas future” closing act, Season Two winner, Ruben Studdard.
I’m sorry, but trotting the second weakest winner in “Idol” history onto the stage to sing us out was just weird. It’s like the producers were issuing a warning to the two Davids…watch out, guys, or you might end up like Ruben, or God forbid, Taylor Hicks. Scary…