AI7 – Round of 2 – Finale, Part One

Well, it’s all over now but the voting, eh?American Idol logo

Going in to tonight, I really thought Cook was going to win it.  Then tonight happened.  Archuleta stole all the momentum, made Cook look small, and ran away with it.  I think Cook is toast, but will go on to be the biggest second place finisher in IDOL history, even above and beyond Clay Aiken.

Archuleta played the IDOL song book.  He knew the notes he had to hit, the types of songs he had to sing, and what his part was in the overall storyline. Clive picked “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” which has been sung countless times on the show, including by Clay Aiken.  And Randy has been so unflinchingly in Archuleta’s corner that Archie could have gone back in time, slit Ghandi’s throat, shot Mother Teresa between the eyes, and pushed Stephen Hawking down a flight of stairs and Randy would have congratulated Archie on his invention of time travel.

Cook either missed a memo or has never watched IDOL before.  He could have won the whole thing with a strong third song, but instead went for a relatively monotonous slow tempo song.  If he had picked something that swelled up or rocked out or brought the crowd to its feet voluntarily in the middle of the song, he could have won.  “Billy Jean” would have done that.  That Aerosmith song would have worked.  He took the risk that doing a new song over a previously-performed song would work better.  It didn’t.  And now he’ll pay the price for it.

I didn’t hate his “Idol Song,” if we’re still calling them that.  The problem is, that very concept favors heavily the kind of singer Archie is, not Cook.  I can’t imagine Cook singing a song like “A Moment Like This” without looking fake. Archie can pull it off. He’s just a kid. He’ll be a huge Disney Radio hit for the next year or two.  His father will get drunk on power and probably try to re-negotiate his IDOL contract before heading to sleep tonight.  Poor Archie.

Still, the thing that really made me laugh this week was word from FOX that they’ve decided to retune the show for next season to take advantage of the personalities of the singers.  Funny, they said the same thing last year.  Didn’t quite work out that way, did it?

On the other hand, the worst ratings for a season of Idol ever means that, well, that Idol will still be the #1 show of the season by a mile and a half.

Hopefully, they’ll drop the lame and protracted boxing metaphor tomorrow and just give us two and a half hours of stretched out musical entertainment. (Are they still doing the half hour red carpet thing at 7:30?)  Crap, we’re going to see Jason Castro perform again tomorrow, aren’t we?  What duet will the Davids sing?  What mentors will the Top Ten sing with? Which awful contestants from the early try-out rounds will return to remind us of how bad they were? And am I just getting too cynical for all of this now?

De Blieck Out!

P.S. Ruben still bores me to tears.

P.P.S. Ryan Seacrest’s watch got a credit in the closing credits.  I’m likely the only one to notice, but I was just ticked that HELL’S KITCHEN was getting a late start.

P.P.S. Thankfully, Danny Noriega was not invited to the finale tomorrow night.

6 thoughts on “AI7 – Round of 2 – Finale, Part One

  1. I would like to see Cook win. However, he may have gotten overconfident assuming that Archuleta was going to dance again. There are two things I find amusing about Archuleta, his dancing and his resemblence to Billy Batson.

    If FOX wants to change the show, they should let Kimberly Caldwell host for a week.

  2. I actually thought Cook did a better job if you look at his songs in isolation, but of course, we can’t do that. You’re right, Archie followed the playbook and thus had a “better” night than Cook, within the Idol context.

    But this still raises the question I have been asking all season – do you vote for who you like, or do you vote for who had the “better” night? If it’s the latter, Archie will win hands down. If it’s the former, it might actually be close.

    Totally agree that the very nature of the Idol song suits the type of singer Archie is better than Cook. Which is why I’m glad they at least let them have some selection in choosing their song. However, I’m surprised at Simon – he has midly griped all season about Archie continuously choosing treacly gooey ballad-type songs, but when Archie does that for his Idol song, Simon treats it as a better song choice.

    BTW, did anyone notice that when they did their short little montage of “one of these guys can join the bands of legends,” they showed Kelly, Carrie, and CHRIS DAUGHTRY? :)

  3. Need to add the most hysterical conspiracy theory I have seen ever – from the AI message boards on Entertainment Weekly:

    “I am still in shock that David A is still standing. He’s a good singer. NOT a great singer. I see right through it. It’s a Fox Political thing, and has to do with David A being mormon, to counteract FLDS and help Romney at the time he needs it most….THE NEW OSMOND. HOW PREDICTABLE.”

  4. Well, if you take stock in Dial Idol at all, they are showing a big margin between Cook and Archuleta with Cook as the predicted winner. I almost got from Simon last night that he was throwing Cook under the bus as a way to inspire his voters to vote even more. Possibly also some influence form the producers who probably want Archuleta to win.

  5. Regardless of who actually wins, Cook is the better musician and better performer. If you had to vote by listening to one or the other for an hour, Cook would win in a landslide.

    Archuleta is way outside my demographic, but I understand his appeal to the right demographic. He’ll be a big hit. But to the critical music listener, he’s singing the same song over and over again, both literally (“Imagine”) and figuratively. Bo Bice had a similar problem. He reprised his masterful a capella song with exactly the same arrangement a couple of weeks later. Fantasia didn’t suffer the same problem – her second rendition of “Summertime” had a subtly different interpretation that underscored her mastery of the song.

    On the other hand, Cook’s performances are a kaleidoscope of musical interpretation. He could tell you what songs he’s going to perform, and you wouldn’t be able to guess how he’s going to perform them. He could almost perform the same song ten times and give you a different version each time. Unfortunately, Archuleta could perform ten different songs that you’re going to remember as just one long song.

    Quick – how many different songs can you name that Archuleta performed? Now try the same exercise with Cook. You can probably name more songs that Cook performed, and you probably remember something different about them. You can likely recall how the tempo and style was different from some other version of the same song, can’t you?

    This was an excellent season of Idol. I hope they have the “Brothers Forever” guy on the finale – they’ve been teasing a number of images of him in various clips. It would be a laff riot if they’d bring out Il Divo to sing it with him.

    Props once again to Augie. Thank you for blogging yet another season.

    Quick anecdote: Sometimes I will pose a question about performers, “Would you go across the street to watch them perform?” That became a reality for me last summer, when Taylor Hicks gave a lunchtime show at my workplace, literally across the street. It was hot outside, and I was busy. I didn’t go.

  6. i really think Cook is the better of the 2.. I would not buy an album by Archie… that being said, I think i want Archie to win, because that frees Cook up to go do his own thing… Kinda like Daughtry! Ah. Idol politics at their best!

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