The “American Idol” Poll You’ve Been Waiting For: Which David Delivered Tonight’s Knockout Punch?

May 21st, 2008 // 5 Comments

thefinaltwo.jpgThe first third of the American Idol finale is in the history books everywhere in the country! (Except maybe Hawaii, although maybe not–after all, since the weather there is so nice it would make sense to have “prime time” at 5 p.m. so as to maximize the enjoyment of their evenings.) The three songs have been sung, the songwriting contest has once again been exposed as a way to get America’s worst songwriters more screen time than they ever deserve, and the judges have seemingly abandoned David Cook–or decided to engage in major reverse psychology with his fans in hopes of really giving Jeff Archuleta a Montreal screwjob-type finish to his super-meddlesome “guardian” tenure. Who knows what sort of mind games the producers are trying to play! I’ve watched pretty much every second of American Idol since January and I still don’t. Anyway, after the jump we have the official Idolator “Who Will Win Idol?” poll, along with a few predictions from other corners of the Internet and clips from tonight’s show.

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Honestly, I have no idea who will win. On MJ’s Blog there are lots of reports of busy signals for David Cook, and reports that Dial Idol, which has been pretty slammed all evening, is firmly in the green for him–but these reports are all coming way before the West Coast strongholds have really gotten into the thick of voting. For those of you who were having some sort of life from 8-9 p.m. in your local time zone, here’s video of each contestant’s strongest performance:

David Cook’s Collective Soul song, which, upon further review, was a strong performance and pretty much thrown under the bus by the We Love Archie crew:

And David Archuleta’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” which showed off the George Michael-ish aspects of his vocal tone and wasn’t watered down for religious purposes:

David Cook – The World I Know [Redlasso]
David Archuleta – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me [Redlasso]
[Videos via MJ]
Earlier: Live-Blogging The Finale, Part I

  1. Mary

    Zaba is now calling it for Cook.

  2. Anonymous

    archuleta is gonna become a jesus singer if he wins… actually, he will regardless…

  3. Anonymous

    If David Cook would have sang “Hurt So Good” or “Cuts Like A Knife” last night and taken his title of Johnny Cougar/Bryan Adams 2k8 he would have this wrapped up. I heard a rumor that Adams might be there tonight so if nothing else… there is hope.

  4. Chris Molanphy

    Archie wins. Not happy about it, but there it is. And I will be fair: If we’re judging just based on last night, Archuleta really did smoke Cook in terms of in-it-to-win-it, song selection (not that he had much to do with that), etc.

    Archie’s first performance – not to sound like the Randy-robot – actually was one of his best all season. (I realize that isn’t saying much.) You’re right about the George Michael tones on the Elton cover, and it was better than that: the kid looked in command of himself, to me, for the first time all season. I actually remember saying, This isn’t blowing me away, but if he performed like this all season, I wouldn’t have turned against him. The cynical part: Clive had to know it’d be a showstopper; ever since Live Aid, “Don’t Let…” has been a guaranteed live crowd-pleaser.

    As for Cook, the whole night was marred by song choice, IMHO. The U2 song is one of my favorites by them, but it allows remarkably little Bono-esque vocal reaching, which is part of what makes it great, actually (for mid-’80s U2, it’s so wonderfully restrained). The only way to make “I Still…” special is to play up its gospel underpinnings, which U2 themselves already did on Rattle and Hum, and besides that wouldn’t have suited Cook anyway. So Clive threw him under the bus there.

    But Cook threw himself under the bus with the Collective Soul choice. What kills me is, I’m rooting for this guy (by default), and there are plenty of grunge and nü-grunge songs he could’ve picked that would’ve given him a chance to show some range, and instead he picks this reined-in song. He did do a fine job with it, but c’mon: the Archie/”Imagine” freight train is on its way, and you actually think this is gonna stop it?

    Hated Archuleta’s other two songs (despise what he’s doing to “Imagine”), but it doesn’t matter. Simon cold-blooded assessment was correct: Archuleta won the night. (And remember, Cowell was actually in the tank for Cook going in.) The whole thing depressed and deflated me, but it’s Archie in a walk, IMHO.

  5. Thierry

    By the way, the final DialIdol tally? Cook over Archuleta, 40.93 to 29.37.

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