Should David Cook win American Idol?
First, the good news: each of the final three American Idol contestants are guaranteed record deals and a music career. The bad news? I have this awful feeling in my stomach, the way I sometimes feel after eating too many potato chips, that David Cook is going to win the whole thing. That would be a shame.
I know that there are a lot of Cook fans out there, but I'm wondering: have you noticed that he sings just like 88% of the bands you hear on the radio right now? I don't want to call him a poseur, but I'm curious if he has that voice and style because that's how other successful, current singers sing. Don't we already have a Chris Daughtry?*
Take a listen again to Cook's performances last night. The Switchfoot song was a safe song for him, yet he still butchered it. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" was just, um, weird. And it really makes me uncomfortable when we get to that point where the song becomes "Cook-ed," where he changes it to sound like it was being sung by Lifehouse/Creed. People can say that David Archuleta is boring, but at least he's actually singing well. With Cook I feel like a lot of the performances are really, really forced. (According to this poll, however, I'm very much in the minority.) On a side note, Cowell is probably the most honest and astute of the three judges (at least his criticisms go beyond "dawg check it out" and "you look amazing tonight," though I think that people sometimes confuse "honesty" with "truth" - when you get right down to it, honesty is just an opinion), but sometimes he just baffles me with his lack of taste. In the same night that he insulted Dan Fogelberg's "Longer" (I wonder if he even knows the song), he called that damn song from Armageddon one of the great songs in history. Gah!
I've never understood this "theme week" stuff anyway. Who cares if Syesha can sing a Dolly Parton song or a Neil Diamond song or something by Eminem or Debby Boone? Is this about finding someone with a good voice who can sing their songs or some novelty act show?
Back to Archuleta: why do people find him boring? He sings certain songs really well and has a niche? Yeah, most do. That's why you never saw Dean Martin singing Foghat. But last night's performance of the Chris Brown song I thought was handled rather well, and definitely showed he could do contemporary pop with a groove.
I'd like to see it come down to Syesha and David Archuleta. Hey, third is a pretty good place for Cook. He can be the third place winner out of a gazillion contestantss who tried out for Idol yet still be far enough from the top spot to keep that edgy rocker cred that fans think he has.
But he probably won't be going home tonight. We're down to a popularity contest now (they really need to change the voting structure). I would guess that Syesha is going home tonight, even though her three songs last night were pretty steady. If anything, we probably need a David Cook and David Archuleta head to head, just so Ryan Seacrest can announce in the finals, "And the winner of American Idol is David...and we'll find out his last name right after this commercial break!"
* Daughtry's album is quite good, by the way.