In the opening minutes of last night’s American Idol singing finale, David Cook made a telling remark: “To me, the competition is over,” said Cook, providing the antithesis to numerous boxing videos suggesting that Season 7’s penultimate showdown — between a whitebread crooner and an early-peaking rocker, mind you — was some type of Ali vs. Foreman affair. (The Thrilla of Vanilla, perhaps?) . “We’re just out here having fun,” he continued. And he wasn’t kidding.
Over the next hour, David Cook turned in three worst performances of his Idol career. The odds were already stacked against him: we knew the night’s “inspirational” song was David Archuleta’s bread and butter, and we knew his sappy take on “Imagine” would be hard to top. But what was supposed to be a classic David versus David battle quickly turned into David versus Goliath, with the little and likeable kid slingshotting the rocking beast well past his prime.
That said, it’s not absolutely impossible for David Cook to walk away with tonight’s final vote. Crazier things have happened during the Idol finale — look no further than Taylor Hicks taking the crown from Katharine McPhee for proof of that. But really, the Cookster provided about as much of an argument for himself as R. Kelly will in his impending child pornography trial.
But if you still want to see how it all went down, click through for a song-by-song analysis on three levels: first, for the track hand-selection by ever-aging and less-relevant-each-year record exec Clive Davis; second, for the inspirational track handpicked by the contestants from ten choices; and third, for the contestant’s personal choices. I’ve forgone a final prediction this week because I think it’s clear where I stand: my heart is with Cook, my money’s on Archuleta.