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20 May

American Idol - David vs. David in a fight to the finish

I wasn’t sure I was going to write anything about the American Idol show tonight. It’s been a long day, with a sick kitty. But after watching the show, I felt a slight stir of excitement stir within my breast for the competitiveness of it all. As usual, this isn’t a blow by blow style recap … it’s more of an opinion piece.

1st song round:
David Cook sang “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” He moved, he emoted, he danced off the main stage and behind the judges. It was a very good performance. But I still felt like there was something missing and I still wasn’t moved. But since his performance was great, I’d give him 8/10 on this one.

David Archuleta sang “Don’t Let the Sun go Down on Me.” My husband and I were wracking our brains trying to remember who made this a hit single, but failed to recall. D.A started just a tiny, tiny bit weak in the very beginning, but the rest of it was superb. I think he was singing in a slightly lower pitch than his “normal” one, because for this song his voice lost some of that nasal quality and sounded more mature. I prefer him singing in this range and wish he had done so a little more often. It made me wonder what he’s going to be like 5 years from now. I agree with Simon that D.A. won the first round. 10/10.

2nd song round:
David Cook sang “Dream Big”. - Ok, I know I’m not “with it” musically anymore, but as D.C. began, I couldn’t understand what he was saying. He was mumbling. It was an alt-rock kind of mumbling, but the point is, I couldn’t tell what he was mumbling. The arrangement was, to me and my middle-aged frame of reference, very late 80’s alt rock with a dash of late 80’s heavy metal. D.C. sounded like he was straining his vocal cords just a bit in places, which I think Andrew Lloyd Webber referred to when he said that D.C had to watch his voice, or protect his voice, or something like that. It’s late, I don’t remember word for word. Anyway, D.C. did fine, but it wasn’t a big winner for me. 7/10.

David Archuleta sang “In This Moment”. - Back to the boring ballad. Although, not quite as boring as some of his previous ballad choices. Well sung, however - better than his usual I think - and considering the sappy song, fairly well presented. 7/10

3rd round song:
David Cook sang “World I Know.” - He mumbled again at the start. Maybe my ears have wax in them. After that, however, it was the typical D.C. alt-rock performance and vocals, except with a somewhat more mellow arrangement. Again, not bad, and it’s nice that he chose to do a completely new song instead of re-hash a previous performance, but I’m not wild about it. Also, at this point, his wild “I just got out of bed” fluffed up hair that’s spiked higher on one side than the other was distracting me to no end. Someone give this man a comb. Please. 8/10

David Archuleta sang “Imagine.” - I’m probably one of the few who didn’t think his original performance of this song was uber-fantastic. It was all right, and cleanly sung, but nothing special. And tonight, D.A. did it pretty much the same - it was all right, and cleanly sung. If you thought it was great back when, you’d probably think it was great this time around too. But…in a singing competition, it’s never quite as awesome to your ears the second time around. It’s not original to the competitor anymore. Still, I don’t think D.A. lost many points for choosing the safe road. 9/10

So who will win this mighty battle of the singing Davids? Simon pretty much thought David A. won the night. Randy and Paula thought it was more of a toss-up. Myself…I think either stands a good chance of winning, but I personally think David A. is going to come up with the most votes to win. And I say this from a perspective of not finding either David “fantastic” - whether this means my opinion is unbiased by “fandom” and thus my prediction might be more accurate than those who think David C. will win … I highly doubt it. *wink*

It’s still anyone’s ball game…that’s the nature of American Idol. But the “rocker” typically doesn’t win on AI. My theory is that perhaps this is because it (rock) is not quite as universally appealing (from teens, young adults, middle-age, grandmas, rebels, conformists, religious, atheist, all walks of life, all walks of musical tastes) - it’s more of a niche. A large niche to be sure, but still a niche, if that makes sense. And when it comes down to the final two, with no one else to vote for, the ‘niche’ fans tend to get out-voted. Thus, with David A.’s strong and no-mistakes performances this evening, I think that will happen again and American Idol’s pattern of the rocker placing 2nd isn’t going to change.

But if David Cook does win, he certainly would deserve to do so as much as David Archuleta. I mean, c’mon, they’re both very good for what they are. It’s like comparing apples and oranges, really. Too bad they can’t both win.

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