They’re going with a boxing motif, with Jim Lampley adding boxing-themed comments and the two competitors touching gloves while wearing ring robes.
Archuleta wins the toss and elects to receive… er… go second in each round. Does ANYONE believe there was a coin toss? 🙂
Round 1 – Clive Davis selects the songs
Cook – “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (U2)
He avoided getting too close to a Bono ripoff, played well to the crowd, and gave the song some energy. I enjoyed it. He’s off to a solid start.
Archuleta – “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (Elton John)
Well, now this is a little different… not as breathy as he has been, solid vocals, energetic. He fired back well. Cowell was right, this may well have been Archuleta’s best performance so far.
Since they’re going with the whole boxing thing, I’ll go ahead and score it… 10-10 in Round 1. Cowell seems to disagree. 🙂
Round 2 – Songwriting Competition (oh noes)
Cook – “Dream Big”
Wow, he got a song he could rock with… I’m pleasantly surprised. A good pop/rock anthem, and Cook made it sound like a hit. I’d like to see this one, full-length, on Cook’s first album.
Archuleta – “In This Moment”
This apparently was supposed to be the soaring Idol Big Moment song. While the vocals were good, he didn’t capture that sense of triumph.
Slight advantage to the rocker, as Cook seemed to get behind his song a bit more… Cook 10-9 in Round 2. Cowell still seems to disagree. 🙂
Round 3 – Contestant open choice
Cook – “The World I Know” (Collective Soul)
While it was a very good rendition of the song, I don’t know that it’s the last memory that Cook wanted to leave… I’d have gone with something more up-tempo, although his emotional reaction after the song makes me think he has a personal reason for it.
Archuleta – “Imagine” (John Lennon)
…but Archuleta gives the advantage back. Maybe it’s because it’s a reprise from Beatles weeks… maybe it’s because he seems a little detached from “his favorite song”… but this wasn’t the show-winner. Good, but…
Neither contestant really took it home, so it’s 10-10 on the round and 30-29 Cook on my scorecard. Cowell still seems to disagree.
THE BIG FINISH: Cook won the night, but it won’t be enough to offset Archuleta’s huge fanbase. In the end, that’s a win for both of them – Archuleta goes into the one-year Idol contract (and, one hopes, a year away from his grasping stage father), and Cook gets to find his own voice, and they both sell a ton of records… CDs… digital downloads… whatever. 🙂
FEARLESS PREDICTION: At about 9:55 PM Eastern time tomorrow night, Ryan Seacrest will congratulate David Archuleta and introduce him as the seventh American Idol.
TRYING TO BE THE FIRST TO MAKE THE JOKE: And the 7th season of American Idol isn’t over until the fat man sings… Sorry, Ruben, but anyone bigger than me is ripe to be called “fat”. 🙂