Yesterday, the always-quick-on-the-uptake Fox News writer Roger Friedman posted a story about David Cook having an album out prior to his American Idol appearance, a fact which Friedman presumably noticed because said album, Analog Heart, topped the Amazon MP3 store’s charts this past weekend. (It’s since been pulled.) Friedman even got a little outraged about Cook being a “ringer,” which is pretty funny given that every other singer left in the competition this year has either put out an album (Carly, Brooke) or been on some sort of TV show (Syesha was on The One, Jason was on Cheyenne, and David Archuleta was on Star Search). But the fact that Friedman is just now getting peevish about the sanctity of American Idol‘s contestant pool makes me wonder if one of the record-biz bigwigs he pals around with has put a bee in his bonnet about the possibility of the grunge revivalist Cook beating out the lip-licky Archuleta, who’s seemed to be this season’s chosen one from the start.
It’s no secret that Friedman is buddy-buddy with the recently shoved-aside Sony BMG executive Clive Davis; Friedman has devoted many a pixel to praising the aging exec and his Grammy-party-hosting old-biz ways. (A recent example: Friday’s news that Sony BMG had bumped Davis aside prompted Friedman to say “the record business is just about over… with Clive removed from the picture on a daily basis, the end is one step nearer.”) While it’s unclear whether or not Davis’ new position as “chief creative officer” will result in him being as involved with Idol winners’ albums as he’s been in previous years, it’s not too much of a stretch to think that Davis, whose most recent success has come with the blandly spooky Leona Lewis, would be unnerved by Cook’s not-all-that-edgy “edginess,” especially when a) he wasn’t so into Kelly Clarkson’s attempt to take a similar tack and b) the (perhaps delusional) promise of teenpop money from David Archuleta’s screaming fans seems so close.
My guess is that this will all come to a head on the Idol season finale, when Cook is forced to mug his way through the treacly coronation song while Archuleta smiles and wets his lips throughout his performance–you know, sort of like what happened last year, only this time I’m pretty sure that David Cook will actually sell albums once all is said and done.
‘Idol’ Singer a Ringer? David Cook’s Album Already Out [Fox 411]
David Cook — “Analog Heart” Pulled from Amazon.com! [rickey.org]
David Cook’s Analog Heart Pulled From Amazon [MJ's Big Blog]