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Is “Idol” shaping up as David vs David?

March 26, 2008

dcook.jpgNever is “American Idol” better than when seemingly second-rate contestants emerge from the shadows to blow the annointed frontrunners out of the water.

Rocker David Cook has managed to pull that off a few times this season already, most memorably with his rock take on Lionel Richie’s “Hello” before he even made it into the Top 12. Still, the 25-year-old hasn’t garnered anywhere near the attention seen by babyfaced teen David Archuleta or Irish diva Carly Smithson.

But on Tuesday night, Cook may have shed the “dark horse” mantle once and for all. His gutsy transformation of “Billie Jean” into a rock ballad prompted judge Randy Jackson to call him “the most original, the most bold contestant we’ve ever had… dude, you might be the one to win the whole lot.”

archuleta1.jpgArchuleta, on the other hand, got mixed reviews for his performance of “You’re the Voice,” with Simon Cowell telling him it reminded him of a theme park performance.

Still, on the “Idol” forums, Cook lags Archuleta in the number of posts viewers have written about him. After Tuesday’s show, hoever, at least one die-hard “Archie” came out to give Cook a hand:

“He’s showing that my second favorite (him) isn’t too far behind my first (David Archuleta, obviously)”

Keep going, David (Cook). One more week and you just might take over that other David once and for all.


David Cook’s win would bring credibility back to American Idol. He is the most seasoned professional of all the contestants. He looks like a guest on the show opposed to being a contestant. I don’t know anyone who can hit those notes week afer week. All the contestants have to do covers each week, but David knows how to sing the heck out of a song. His version of Billy Jean was better than the original from Chris Cornell. This guy is remarkable.

Posted by Mare | Report as abusive

David Cook original? I don’t think so. He does have a good rock voice. However, how would originality even be a factor when he’s just taking already remade versions of songs and copying those? It might look original to the untrained eye/ear but he’s just copying copies (Chris Cornell last night and Whitesnake last week) . He has talent and there’s no doubt about that. He had a good week but he’s going to need a lot more to win this thing and he’s going to have to do something other than copying copies to keep people interested. David Archuleta will probably still win because he has a proven talent and track record. Plus, being 17, he “hits closer to home” with the mainstream demographic of Idol viewers and VOTERS – IE teenagers.

Also, I’ve observed that the last one to sing for the night usually gets more praise if they do well because it’s the last thing people remember. If he had sang that 2nd, for example, I don’t think there would be so much fuss about it. Lastly, the last few Idol seasons have shown that sometimes a frontrunner who doesn’t win can do MUCH better than the actual winner and have more musical freedom after the exposure on Idol. Just look at Taylor Hicks vs. Chris Daughtry or even Jordin Sparks vs. Blake Lewis. Also, American Idol came from a show called Pop Idol and has never really been about rock music. It’s about pop and maybe R&B and David Archuleta also fits that mold better.

Good luck to both Davids!

Posted by PR | Report as abusive

David Archuleta will sell nothing more than christmas albums. There is something about Brooke White that makes her so watchable. Wouldn’t you love to see her sing Betty Davis Eyes. But David Cook is by far the best. Chris Daughtry could only dream to have the talent Cook has.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

I am so tired of hearing about David Cook and his supposed originality. I liked his performance, but he is not unique, original or bold. Ever since “Hello” was a hit, he does the same thing week after week. He takes a pure pop song and looks for a rock arrangement of that song (sometimes giving credit to the arranger and sometimes not). The arrangements he picks are less well known so it makes him look as if he is original and interesting. But he is doing the same as all of the other contestants – covering an arrangement put together by another person or group. His version of “Hello” was Incubus’ version, “Day Tripper” was a Whitesnake arrangement, “Eleanor Rigby” was the Doxology version, and “Billie Jean” was the Chris Cornell arrangement. The judges should know this and it is ridiculous that they continue to portray him as original and innovative. He is a good performer, but far from original.

Posted by Jane | Report as abusive

Right on Lisa. Chris Cornell, former frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave, recorded the version David sang last night on his recent solo album. You can check out the performance on Yahoo music, Nissan live sets. I believe Ryan introduced David by saying “Welcome David Cook with HIS version of ‘Billie Jean’”. Hope he’s not trying to pawn it off as an “original” adaptation.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

i love david archuleta.and he better win. i think he has way better vocals than cook

Posted by anjelica | Report as abusive

david achuleta is a breath of fresh air, but he has to step up next week. i know he has the ability to win this whole thing. i get the feeling that he is somewhat nervous hopefully not because of his dad. i think that he will prevail if he lets go and just sings his little heart out. he is the cutest thing ive ever saw.

Posted by donna | Report as abusive

i posted a comment earlier. i want to correct myself and say “the cutest thing ive ever seen”. sorry just the hick in me. i also wanted to add that i do think david cook is a good singer but we have heard that kind of voice before. david archuleta is something fresh and we could use that in this competition.

Posted by donna | Report as abusive

No david cook will never be better then archuleta!!
David archuleta has wayyy more fans and lo of ppl dont like rockk. I have never really enjoyed david cooks performances but enjoyed many of david archuletas. WE love u archie =]

Posted by archuleta loverr | Report as abusive

david cook better not win ewww i hate him he better NOT win, david archuleta is my favorite and his the best of all, his such an amazing kid and he sing really GOOD we don’t need a rocker to win ewww i just hate him, david archuleta is the best and there is not though to that i’m pretty sure that david archuleta will win, of course that david cook thinks that’s his good blablabla such a show off he better get off soon, we don’t need a old guy to win we need a young star. and david archuleta will be the one sorry fans of david cook it’s just mine opinion but david archuleta will be the one and david cook can be in second place i really don’t care about him his good watever.. gooo david archuleta


Archie can sing any kind of music, song, style he’s really talented and humble and a really nice young man, he’s so polite. i love his voice and I don’t care if i don’t know the he sang last night, I still like it the way he sang and performed the song. BTW the girl on the show last night was his buddy from high school (Murray) you can check it out on MTV video on youtube. Love you tons Archie. VOTE!!! Vote!!! VoTe!!!!

Posted by Nemya Mega | Report as abusive

Archuleta is simply FABULOUS. Loved every single one of his performances. His style is honest, refreshing and timeless. He is not another carbon copy like D Cook.

Posted by Lynn | Report as abusive

Archuleta is for prepubescent girls. David Cook on the other hand is for women. I read one woman’s comments that she needed to smoke a cigarette after watching him sing “hello” and she said she didn’t even smoke. The guy has mad talent and is very sexy. Sorry girls.

Posted by Sally | Report as abusive

david cook is the Real McCoy, comparing him to the teen david is a disgrace…wake up and smell the coffee!!

Posted by avid idol follower | Report as abusive

David Cook really is good, but his style of music isn’t what I would pay for tickets to see. David Archuleta has such great vocals, I’m not a teeny-bopper and I would definetly pay money to go to see his concert. I see the David’s as the two in the finals.

Posted by IdahoViewer | Report as abusive

I love both of them and never have a regret about it. David Cook is a rocker type, duh, but David Archuleta is SOOOOOOOO good with SAD songs. I love both of them and this way if one gets voted out the other one MIGHT win!!!

Posted by Danielle | Report as abusive

Give me a break. David Cook is a hack and a rip-off artist. His “Eleanor Rigby” version is a note-for-note copy of Doxology’s 2006 release…and they are filing a complaint for lack of recognition from David Cook AND AI. His “Billie Jean” rendition is a copy of Chris Cornell’s version. He is passing his song selections as if he is redoing them when he is using other people’s work for his own credit…he’s a farse!

Posted by Bobby | Report as abusive

Comparing the two Davids is a disgrace to BOTH of them. They’re in different leagues! Whoever wins this competition (and yet we don’t know whether they will even make it to the grand finale) will have to address the same issue which is also faced by those who don’t, i.e. how to manage their career in the music industry, should they pursue it. AI is only a vehicle, it’s how you drive that will take you places.

Posted by lenje | Report as abusive

I think you mean Carly Smithson; Carly Simon was a famous singer several decades ago.

The performers this season all seem to be contributing something on stage; whether it be originality, vocals, or just plain old stage presense.

Posted by Yulia | Report as abusive


Posted by bj | Report as abusive

Comparison between the Davids is rediculous. Archuleta has pure talent. Sure, Cook has great stage presence, but Idol is a ‘vocal’ competition. In most performances, Cook has used his screaming ability rather than vocal chords. Based on those pretenses, Archuleta should win. Plus, I’m 17 and he’s absolutely adorable.

Posted by Kim | Report as abusive

8 years different!!! That’s a big difference in experience. David Archuleta is a junior in high school and don’t mention star search. It’s just a kiddie show. David Cook is a professional perormer who makes a living by doing music.

Now, I can just picture David Cook you_tubing and trying to decide which version he will cover next week . HAHAHA

Posted by jennie | Report as abusive

Everybody knows that David Archuleta is going to win, good vocals or not.I’m pretty sure he has the vote of most girls in America. He always sings me to tears and is so touching. David Cook is some old, not authentic or original greasy haired guy. He thinks he can rock and people make a big deal when he does a good performance every once in a blue moon, and don’t appreciate the constantly good performances of David Archuleta. The reasons the judges give him bad reviews sometimes, like last week, is because they know he has higher potential than the rest. If another contestant, such as David Cook or Michael Johns sang it the same way as David they would get amazing reviews. But David A. has higher standards. HE IS SO CUTE TOO!! ILY DAVID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Elmo Abdul | Report as abusive

David A. is obviously going to win, good
vocals or not, because he just has a cute
face, glow, amazing talent, and he is so
humble and has a GREAT personality.
The reason that sometimes he gets bad
reviews for the judges is because
he set himself higher standards than
all other contestants. Let’s take last
week, for example. David A. got bad reviews.
But imagine if ANY i mean ANY other contestant
on the show(including David Cook) sang that
the same exact way that David A. did he/she
would get AMAZING reviews.
Nevermind that, he is obnoxiously cute and it’s
impossible to love him.
ILY DAVID!!! <33333

Posted by Elmo Abdul | Report as abusive

The only problem I have with David Cook’s covers are that the judges act as if they are his own. As far as the artists who originally did the covers, they should be glad to be getting this exposure. I had never even heard of Doxology, but I am going to check them out.

Posted by LENCHO | Report as abusive

Btw, you guys who said that
David Archuleta isn’t experienced
is obnoxiously ignorant. When he
was young(er)-lol-, he won star search.
He’s been practicing all his life,
and he even sang for kelly clarkson.
Even if he’s younger, he’s probably been
singing for more focused, dedicated years
than David C. And also, how old do you think
Jordin Sparks was when she won idol????

Posted by Simon Jackson(lol) | Report as abusive

I have checked out the cover inspirations for David Cook’s versions and I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I can see where he used those versions to put his spin on what he did, but he added enough of his own style that they do not sound identical.

Posted by LENCHO | Report as abusive

I still think that the original cover artists should be grateful for the exposure. Doxology is great, and I am probably going to track down Cornell’s solo CD. Apparently, Doxology is unsigned. Maybe they will get a deal out of this.

Posted by LENCHO | Report as abusive

american idol is just trying to knock David A. down a few notches because they know the others don’t have a chance. They want a tight race a la reuben and clay. If it’s so obvious who the winner is, why would anybody watch. I, for one, tune in every tuesday because of David A. I know that millions more will stop watching if they can’t have their David fix every week. This 33 year-old mother of 2 is an Archie For life!!!!

Posted by oystar | Report as abusive

I guess I should offer thanks to David A. for introducing me to You’re The Voice. As much as I keep up with music, I don’t know how that one slipped by me. And if I have given the impression that I am against David A. I am not. I was in his corner from the beginning, but he has opened the door for David C., and the others, to sneak in with strong performances. I like it competitive.

Posted by LENCHO | Report as abusive

I would also like to point out that last year I was strong for Melinda, but a certain sameness crept in to her performances as Jordin came on strong and I was happy to see her win. I am 53, but age has nothing to do with it. I just love good performers who are consistant and can relay what they are saying.

Posted by LENCHO | Report as abusive

The very nature of the show is that the contestants MUST sing covers of original songs. (Cook is a songwriter, and has songs to his credit, so he does have the ability to write/arrange songs…he could be a complete original on the show if they would let him…but the rules are that the contestants must sing COVERS!) So if they stick to the original or use another version of the original song, I don’t see the issue. Syesha did Whitney Houston’s cover of an original by another artist….David A.’s Imagine was a cover of a cover…Katharine McPhee’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow was a cover of a cover…and the list could go on. Why is it a big deal when Cook uses a cover of a cover and not so much of a big deal when the other contestants do it…? As has been stated, Ryan did indeed announce that Billie Jean was Chris C’s cover of Billie Jean. Credit was duly given. Does it have to be announced more than once? I think not. To demand that the contestants choose, arrange, practice, and record their own “original” cover of a song for itunes (among all the other things they must do, like make a music video commercial and learn a group number) in the space of a week is in my opinion unreasonable. A contestant who decides to change up a song, or do something different than just sing the original as it was originally sung must find something already out there for inspiration or rearrange it themselves. Kudos to David Cook for doing research and/or having previous knowledge about great singers/artists out there in the music world. He knew of a great singer who did a great COVER of an original song, one that suited his own voice/style. Would you rather Cook be ignorant of what is out there, or would you want him to know a bit about what’s going on in the music world???? I myself have not heard the Chris Cormell COVER of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, nor have I heard Incubus’ COVER of Lionel Richie’s Hello, but from what others have said who have, it seems that D. Cook did indeed put his own spin on the songs (i.e. singing the “I love you” part in Hello as a rock yell). Does saying “original” have to mean that he did all of the arrangement himself? No, for it was stated he was doing a cover of a cover. David is original in that it cannot be denied that he gave an incredible performance. He knew exactly how to pick the right song and exactly how to perform it. There are not many singers that could have quite pulled it off like him…his voice is powerful and his stage presence is unbelievable sexy… (ahem fanning self …) I’m glad he sung the songs the way he did, he introduced me to some great versions of the songs. Thanks David. You rock.

Posted by Melissa | Report as abusive

Very well put, Melissa.

Posted by LENCHO | Report as abusive

I am with Melissa. No one is trying to dupe anyone. If contestants are forced to sing cover songs from the 80s in order to participate in the show, can you blame them for trying to find versions with modern spins? And when the name of the artist who’s version they are covering is announced on t.v. in front of millions of viewers, everyone wins. Entertainment Weekly stays on top of this stuff too. David is drawing attention to these artists who are not known by the mainstream by doing their versions of old cover songs. No one is saying David is better than these artists. And from what I have read, David isn’t saying that either.

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

Whether or not the two Davids can be compared by style it is more than likely they will ultimately battle one-on-one. David A. is powerful and he may be young but he has incredible room and time for developing diverse styles and range. I believe his overall “voter appeal” is greater, while David C. maintains a narrower voter population. May I slip from the main subject for a moment and ask if you think Americans are more interested in American Idol candidates than presidential candidates? I confess I am. I think that’s funny and I wonder how many others share my feelings. Go Davids!

Posted by veronica | Report as abusive

In my opinion, luv the both Davids! Each of them have their own strength. Cook is more entertaining n hes a great rocker! David archuleta is hot!! He is also great at singing slow songs and, in my opinion, people would vote for David Archuleta!!!!And So will I!!!!! Luv u davi archuleta!!!


david cook will win it all!!

Posted by lorrie | Report as abusive

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