'American Idol' final recap of season 7: Archuleta tipped to win
By April MacIntyre May 21, 2008, 2:07 GMT
David Cook and David Archuleta - © PRN / PR Photos
If you have been like me, you have watched the entire season 7 of "American Idol" wondering who would shake out at the end, and it was obvious by the final 12 that the two Davids were heavy contenders.
Honestly, my heart is with Cook; for me he is the more interesting performer and vocalist. Archuleta is hugely talented, but his overall package and age leave me cold.
He can't help that.
Producers for American Idol tap into the Michael Buffer trademarked "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" (he makes a killing every time that phrase it uttered) for David Cook and David Archuleta pitting them as boxing contenders: the thrilla of vanilla.
Three rounds of songs, ding-ding.
Record impresario and legendary producer Clive Davis helps by selecting a song for each, and he awards Archuleta with the more vocal powerhouse showcaser: "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me."
The U2 song he selects for Cook is ""I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" - a great song but is limited for showing off what his vocals can pull off. You know Archuleta is going to win this based on the vocal soaring his song naturally provides.
Cook performs his song well, and Randy Jackson says it was "a great way to start this duel of 2007, which confused me. Abdul was euphoric, "We have found David Cook. ... You are in great voice tonight." Cowell says at the top of the show he looked tense and emotional, and "that was phenomenal."
Archuleta knocks the teed-up song tailored for his big voice out of the park. Randy says it doesn't matter what happens, that this was one of the best performances of his, adding: "crazy hot molten vocals." Paula says "that was a beautiful, stunning performance." Simon says that last week he was "OK," but that this performance was the best he's sounded so far.
"Round one goes to Archuleta," says Simon.
Round two will be songs by the Top 10 finalists from the Idol songwriting competition.
David Cook is singing "Dream Big" by Emily and David Archuleta's is "In This Moment" by Brian. Not sure how to spell their last names, and the Idol site doesn't have them listed yet.
Cook performs "Dream Big," with his guitar in hand. Randy is the hyperbole man tonight, "the song was just OK," but he tells David, "You were singing your face off!"
Paula says it was mesmerizing and congratulates him. Simon says he made the most of what he had to work with, noting it was "a winning song, but it didn't feel like a winning moment."
Archuleta gets a better ballad to showcase his vocal range. Randy says again for him, he wasn't crazy for the song, but tells David, "you are so in the zone, you could sing the phone book." Paula says it's magic. Simon noted the self-centered lyric, and that he picked the better song for sure.
"Round two goes to Archuleta," says Simon.
The third and final round is contestant's choice. David Cook sings "The World I Know" by Collective Soul, and David Archuleta sings a PC version of "Imagine."
David Cook does an acoustic arrangement and does it well, and he tears up almost crying fully on stage immediately.
Randy likes his sensitive side and says one of the cool things about him is that he is showing a lot of different sides, "Very nice job, dude." Paula says he is "standing in your truth" and she stands and applauds him. Simon says he is one of the nicest and most sincere contestants they have ever had, that it was a beautiful song, but it was the wrong song choice for tonight.
Cook explains the whole night has been a progression, so he wanted to do something new, but he understood the critique.
Archuleta revisits "Imagine." He does a great turn, despite hacking the lyrics.
Randy says they are looking for the best singer, and that the best singer is... David Archuleta. Paula says, "It's the culmination, and you left me speechless. ... You were stunning tonight." Simon says this show is about finding a star and they have witnessed one of the best finals, and that David Archuleta came out to win, "and what we have witnessed here is a knockout."
The end of the show was the portly Ruben Studdard, and I was grateful for no reprisal of Fantasia Barrino.
Alright. Archuleta most likely will take the prize, but be honest, if you were to pony up money for a concert ticket, would you look forward to a night of Archuleta or Cook?