Should David Cook win American Idol?

by Bob Sassone, posted May 14th 2008 11:27AM

David CookFirst, 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.

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May 21 2008 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are you stupid or did someone drop you on your head. Either way your still wrong. David Cook has a good voice and personality. David Archuleta just depends on his looks and age. COOOK SHOULD WIN!

May 21 2008 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you MUST be kidding about the Chris Brown performance. it was so awkward and painful to watch i just had to switch channels. my ears almost bled for chrissake. David A. is a good singer, but if AI wants to continue as a show it needs a winner that can actually sell records, and only two have really done that (Kelly and Carrie) while the others are duds. David C. can do that because let's face it, ballads aren't really the genre of AI's generation (who will most likely buy their albums) and even if it is, David A. is too young to be singing stuff about love or life, because he hasn't experienced real love (he's 17!!) and the fullness of life. if he starts belting out 'My Way' someone needs to smack him for a reality check.

May 20 2008 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have liked most of Cook's songs he might have the same edge that Chris did, but the two voices are really quite different. I would more compare Cook to Creed then anyone else. Guess what...I love Creed too!

May 16 2008 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cathy Mathews

I'm probably one of the few people in the US who has NOT purchased Daughtry's CD, but I plan to buy David Cook's (I already have his self-produced CD, Analog Heart). He has both talent and charisma, and isn't afraid to take risks with the material. Knowing how little prep time the final three had for their performances, coupled with exhaustion, my expectations weren't terribly high. And while Cook wasn't perfect, I thought he was the best of the night. Cook has dealt with material in a season with very narrow themes and consistently NON-current music and has found ways to keep his performances fresh and interesting. I'm behind him all the way.

May 16 2008 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thank you, thank you, for sticking up for our recently departed Dan Fogelberg. Dan was a gifted musician and a class act. I have always loved his music, including Longer, and I thought it was a great choice for David Archuleta. I got tears in my eyes reading what other people had to say about this song. it's beautiful - not "gooey" at all!

May 16 2008 at 3:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that any of the last 3 finalists have a great chance of being successful, but I have to admit that my heart would be broken if David Cook didn't win. David A. is talented no doubt, but I get the feeling that he should be performing for the Mickey Mouse club rather than a big record company. Maybe he needs to mature, but his singing sounds too teeny-bopperish to give him the title of winner on American Idol. I don't know anyone that would actually buy an album and become a lifelong fan with the way he sounds now.

May 16 2008 at 1:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
evie stefenson

I am sorry, but the critic is the polar opposite of me ... Cook has a soul of a sensitive poet and Archuleta is all rehearsed performances. Different strokes for different folks.

Best of luck to both Davids.

May 16 2008 at 12:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

David Cook does not sound like most artist I hear on the radio these days..You could tell its him on the air when his songs play..and that's a good sign..every artist hopes to be as definitive as know its Mariah when you hear her song play even if its new..right? So to have that individuality in context proves that his ability to sing, perform and entertain is no hoax..He can be compred to Daughtry because he was a former Idol aspirant but Daughtry never did have that creativity in him to transform such ballads like a lionel ritchie original and make it into a movie theme song inspired cover with a rock twist in it..Daughtry is Daughtry..Cook can very well be Cook..People are dismayed by the fact that he has been doing so well in this competition and won people's hearts not by popularity but by dedication and consistency..and that should be what every aspiring idol hopeful should do..Stand out not because you're cute or adorable..but because you have actual talent and you use it in such a way that you can connect to the millions of viewers watching you every single week. Those viewers who patiently await for a perfomance that would make their viewing worthwile. And beyond all the contestant this season, so far Cook has been consistent in doing so. The kid on the other hand can sing, that is no lie. But you see, its not just the ballads, the smiles, the aww moments that make you a winner. Its what you actually can do as an artist and how well you present yourself to the millions of patrons wanting to idolize someone new..someone hip..someone everyone can relate to.. The kid has a promising future..indeed..but Cook deserves to get the title because he met most of the judges and viewers expectations..not just once..but almost everytime he gets on that stage..I for one look forward to his performance knowing it would be something beyond the usual..I know for a fact other have felt the same way..and that's why we opted to vote for him..because he has made us crave for something different..being left in awe..and taking a few seconds blanking out..thinking that.."damn he's good" was worth it..not sighing because "aww..he's sooo cute"..we applauded for the fact that he was good..not because he looked cute..and Cook from the very beginning stuck to his rocker roots..proving that any song from any genre can be expressed in a variety of ways, one of which is ROCK..he made me believe that ROCK isn't just a whole emo-genre of angsty, mad, troubled, derailed artists wanting to point something out..he made ROCK into loving the postive..the innocent..a genuine role model for those clinically depressed..he could be an actual cure for a positive pop culture...

May 15 2008 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bob, just, ugh. It's stuff like this that makes everybody hate you.

May 15 2008 at 4:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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