The long-term effect of “The Rocker” beating “The Really Sweet Kid Who Is Nevertheless Possibly Controlled Via Wires by His Incredibly Creepy Father” on American Idol last May is probably minute to negligible; at this point, no one’s going to confuse Idol for a “star maker” of any real sort. (Never mind Taylor Hicks’ travails; third-place finisher Syesha did a single with Boney James, for Pete’s sake.) As for the show itself, the whispers wondering how long it can last have been getting louder and louder. (Maybe we’ve just tapped all the singing talent in America already—has anyone considered that?) At this point, though, David Cook’s victory may be most memorable for inspiring this clip:
If there was a bright spot to the season (and the use of “bright” here is a stretch), it’s that Cook’s slightly more palatable choice in songs (Switchfoot, Chris Cornell’s interpretation of “Billie Jean”) might erase the deep stink of deep-catalog easy-listening choices from the show’s musical selections. (“Andrew Lloyd Webber Week”?) The question that remains this year: Can the judges (even with former Platinum Weird participant Kara DioGuardi on the dais) appreciate pop music of a more recent vintage, instead of the big Whitney Houston sounds they seem to prefer? In the end, Cook’s win over Archuleta seems like a mild victory for current popular music, despite (or because of?) Cook’s Hinderesque leanings. Maybe by the time the new season rolls around, the girls above will have forgiven the cruelty of the process.