Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Raw and the Cooked (Idol 7 finale)

At the end of Tuesday night, Randy “phonebook” Jackson was telling America that the show was all about picking the best singer and how that was David Archuleta. By itself, that might make for an interesting debate. Instead of talking about the two Davids trapped inside that boxing metaphor from hell, my mind wandered briefly to Melinda Doolittle. Did someone not get Randy’s memo last season? I don’t think anyone seriously argued that Blake Lewis was a better singer than Melinda. Talk of Jordin Sparks vs. the former backup singer wasn’t about chest voices, head voices, breath support, articulation, etc. , mostly it was that the Arizona teenager was more the total package. Does anyone remember how hard Simon Cowell made his case for Melinda Doolittle as the real singer at the end of last year’s round of 3? Similarly two years ago, Katharine Mcphee had more of a voice (in a conventional sense) than Taylor Hicks. Honestly, I’m wondering what show Randy Jackson was watching the last couple seasons.

A few weeks ago, I came out for David Cook and compared David Archuleta to a singing blender. I then started hearing from rabid David Archuleta fans. Much to my surprise, they didn’t seem to be teenaged girls waving their arms in the front row of my blog. One guy claimed to be a former Deadhead. More surprisingly, I heard from two voice teachers (yeah, I know that one never knows who anyone really is on the net, but they seem real enough) both gushing about David Archuleta’s amazing voice and extraordinary musicality. Apparently, they call him “the voice”.

I have to say that was pretty clearly in evidence on his version of Imagine on Tuesday and in the way he threw down the gauntlet not to David Cook, but Clay Aiken, with Elton John’s Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me. At the same time, David Cook sang quite well on Tuesday fwiw I thought it was th best-performed final I've seen on the show. Still I don’t know that there was any diminished-chord conspiracy when the judges more or less prostrated themselves before Little David on Tuesday as he shook his head, said “Gee Thanks” “Wow”, then sighed in the general direction of the camera.

My own kids are very athletic. In fact, I missed part of the finale because we were attending an awards banquet last night for our youngest (long story about my daughter changing the channel when she came home that afternoon and winding up with two hours of Flavor of Love on our digital video recorder). While they were quite successful in their sport when it came time to be recruited by colleges the fact that they didn’t have the ideal body for their sport came up repeatedly. In essence, it didn’t matter what they did in the actual games. Recruiting is often about “potential” first. Coaches tend to think they can fix the other stuff. Personally, I don’t think that’s necessarily true.

I bring this up, because I see a bit of a parallel with the Davids. I suspect that music producers and the people who market pop music tend to think they can teach stagecraft, song choice, image management (compare the early photos of David C to the newer ones). They also know how rare a really good voice is. It’s about the equivalent of being seven feet tall and coordinated in basketball. Anyway, basketball coaches think constantly about upside and I would guess that music producers and teachers sometimes do the same. In other words, they weren’t necessarily noticing what was happening on the AI stage as much as they were simultaneously figuring what was possible with someone with David Archuleta’s voice, look, and youth.

All that said, I’d love to know the behind the scenes story for this year. While I think the voting is reasonably honest, I do think the producers and the judges (they may not have the same agenda btw) have been blatantly manipulative at times. For most of the beginning of the season, David Archuleta was clearly the judges and the producer’s favorite. He got the pimp spot twice in the early rounds and even when he forgot his lyrics and more or less stopped mid Beatles song, Paula and Randy were suspiciously forgiving.

After the show last night, I looked at some of the early clips of David Cook. It’s clear that Simon was concerned about the guy’s marketability. Btw, I never found any reference to the brother during the Omaha audition. In Hollywood he not only accused him of having to hide behind the guitar, but actually voted “no” on David Cook. Fwiw, Simon voted “no” on Taylor Hicks and Chris Daughtry as well. My favorite came after a semi-final performance of “All Right Now” where Simon played the “Charisma” card and David Cook said “That’s for voters to decide”. It showed a little rocker backbone, but the weirdest part was that Simon turned it into a “bitch” fest. So much for a couple longstanding Idol myths, Simon Cowell is often wrong in a big way and sometimes contestants do talk back to him and thrive. The very next week David Cook did “Hello” and essentially vaulted past Amanda Overmyer (an early judges’ favorite) to become this year’s real rocker and “artiste”.

By the finals, it was clear that the two Davids were both judges and producer favorites. That’s the only explanation for the whole screaming girl thing that quietly disappeared during the final. My take is that the show was especially excited by the “tween” market, but something happened during Idol Cares and her name was Miley Cyrus. She not only sang two songs on the telethon, she also got an extended and painfully bad skit with Billy Crystal. I suspect that Miley Cyrus’s inclusion on the show basically bombed. Worse yet, she got a bunch of bad publicity for the Vanity Fair shoot with Annie Liebovitz all of two weeks later. Suddenly, having a male Miley who actually can sing doesn’t seem like such a sure thing. In the meantime, people start accusing Billy Ray Cyrus of being yet another bad stage parent.

With Miley suddenly looking more like Lyndsay, Britney, and the lost Olsen twin, the producers start noticing Jeff Archuleta a bit more. I don’t know that he did anything different in those last few weeks, but he became his son’s Jeremiah Wright and the producers ran with it at the critical moment by letting America know that they’d banned Jeff from being backstage in the name of fairness.

There is a point during the Idol season when the music matters less than the story. When you get to the final 6, the singers generally have some reasonable level of talent. In the last couple years, the finalists have worked in very different genres as well so it’s even more difficult to compare the music. This became the story for Season 8.

David Archuleta: really talented, but almost genetically-engineered to be a pop star. Overbearing stage father who manages every musical choice. Started so early with Junior Star Search that he nearly hurt his voice (oddly Jordin Sparks hurt her voice earlier this year) between Junior Star Search and Idol. Not terribly articulate though very pleasant personally. You know all that talk about thoroughbreds being forced to run too early? The whole bit of David Archuleta hugging fellow Junior Star Search alum, Alexandria Lushington, seemed like a long lost memory when they showed it during the finale. Btw, did you notice how many shots of Jeff they suddenly showed this week and then a whole bit with the Grandfather pointedly saying how proud he is of his son as well?

Yes, he didn’t seem to have a great sense of rhythm which I maintain is a big part of the “pop” in pop music. He also didn’t inject much personality into his performances. Every performer has strengths and weaknesses though. David’s storyline was still “Child Star”. Whether it’s horses or humans, this hasn’t been a good year to be a “child star”. Just as significant, there was this undercurrent of “even if he doesn’t win” he’ll get his chance.

David Cook: Hard working, unassuming, a little bit nerdy with the word thing, certainly talented. But also a great brother to one brother who maybe didn’t sing as well and another with cancer. Mom and Dad seem almost scary normal No-temparment issues. Very generous on stage. Smart enough and mature enough to deal with the quirks of the Idol judges. Crying at just the right moments as his time comes just before the dream of a national career fades out. The guy Simon said didn’t have the charisma to do it. The guy who let his music speak for itself and who didn’t frantically try for a charisma fix.
David A’s musical big brother, a guy old enough to have perspective on the whole Idol thing.

So tell me, which story’s going to make people vote? No shock that David Cook won by something like a 16% margin. Of course, if this were a Democratic primary that would mean that David Cook would have gotten 13 delegates and David Archuleta would get 11. I have heard that Idol 9’s getting super delegates.

The actual singing on Tuesday and the judges’ reactions didn’t really matter. I believe the America was voting on the two Davids very different storylines. This one was Taylor Hicks the hard working guy who almost quit the music business in frustration vs. Katharine Mcphee the tv producer’s daughter with the vocal teacher mother.

In the meantime, the show has both Davids to promote. I suspect that David Archuleta actually won a bit by losing, because it wasn’t handed to him after all.

One of the oddest things about the season was that this was the year of the ringer, yet it went strangely flat for several weeks. I have heard that the finale did very well in the ratings though, I suspect partly because whatever happened on Tuesday with Simon proclaiming the knockout had much of America yelling “low blow” and demanding the tko the other way really built some doubt about the winner on Wednesday. Anyway, I did start thinking about which finalists actually could have careers and I was a bit surprised to count half a dozen or so- the two Davids-Carly Smithson-Michael Johns-Syesha- Jason Castro- Brooke White. I’m not saying I’d pay to download their music, just that I could see that happening with any of them. So why was the season so boring?

I believe that part of the magic of tv is the power of the unexpected. There were certainly surprises this year. Anyone who saw the Hollywood rounds and the semifinals then left the planet might be a little surprised that Carly Smithson or David Archuleta didn’t win. There were also a number of early exits for various contestants. Michael Johns might have been the most notable. Still, those aren’t the kinds of surprises that matter. The longest lasting shows on tv think Johnny Carson, Bonanza, MASH, ER have always found ways to reinvent themselves without violating the essential identity of the show.
Idol hasn’t exactly done that yet.

All the talk of greater talent and more professional experience this year and I think the most compelling story on the show might have been the opposite of that. The producers missed the opportunity to present the most provocative contrast of all. Think about the buzz of David Archuleta’s story line being compared to Josiah Leming. They should have let Josiah Leming get voted off on his own. I think Levi-Strauss called it The Raw and the Cooked:}

Other Chancelucky Idol Reviews

Sir Linksalot American Idol articles

Buddy TV AMerican Idol Page



At 5/22/2008 07:43:00 PM, Blogger BeckEye said...

As far as I'm concerned, Paul Rodgers is "the voice." Put him next to David Archuleta and Archie will disappear.

By the way, Archie's dad's name is Jeff. He'll kick your ass for calling him Henry, boy!

At 5/22/2008 08:41:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

thanks for the catch on the Dad's name. Should be fixed now... 2 installments of the Bachelor and Idol at the same time, just too many hames in the hopper. One week I was calling Jason "David Castro".

the other line from the David A fans is that his voice hasn't fully matured yet. I like his voice, but I did't find him all that interesting to listen to.

At 5/23/2008 12:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something extremely "fishy" about David Cook's story of going to the Idol audition only in support of his younger brother Andrew.

David, who had a long -time musical background including theater, choir, performing in a rock band, and recording a CD, had moved from his Missouri hometown to Tulsa, Oklahoma in pursuit of a musical career.
He supposedly traveled 350 miles from Tulsa to Omaha, Nebraska strictly to support his college-student non-musician brother Andrew's Idol tryout. According to David they stood in the rain at 5:30 AM for the chance (Andrew's) to audition. Then, somehow David got the oppotunity to audition for Randy, Paula, and Simon but not Andrew.

When Randy asked David if he thought he could be the next American Idol, David replied that he thought he could "because he brought something different to the table." That's a lot of attitude for a guy who only went there (travelling 350 miles in the process) to support his brother (who had no musical background that was ever mentioned).

Does this story sound strange to anyone but me? A brother with considerible musical talent and experience goes to extensive lengths only to support his non-musical brother's audition attempt but then proclaims that HE could be the next American Idol. If that's what he actually believed and if he was trying to make it in the music business does anyone really believe he wasn't interested in auditioning for the show? After driving six hours to get there? Come on folks!

Believe it or not, as I'm typing this at 12:29 ,Im watching Cook on Jay Leno and Jay just asked him after he told the story I just related.."Why wouldn't you want to audition; you're a good singer and you were there..?" Cook's answer was very evasive...basically that being on or winning the show didn't guarantee any success in the music business...

Well, maybe not. But it sure gives you a better chance than tending bar in Omaha. Sorry folks, I don't buy it. This guy wanted to be the American Idol way more than he's letting on.

At 5/23/2008 07:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank god it's over!

I watched the show past the auditions for the 1st time this year. I have questioned my inclination to enjoy the auditions, because I don't support torturing crazy people. A more enlightened individual would have realized that the auditions would pale in comparison to the competition itself! (I can be so slow sometimes...).

My take, is that once they decided Archuleta might not have the "whole package" at 17 yrs. old, but that the older David would be an easy sell, they began to slowly and relentlessly turn the screws. His father, the obvious behind the scenes shenanigans, and the press was having a heyday w/the poor kid! I had to stop reading web reviews of the show, because the sadistic nature of the comments directed at David A. were just too much.(There were plenty directed at other less popular contestants as well, but DA certainly bore the brunt of it all). Who were these nimrod reporters, what did they know about music anyway, and why did they find trashing somebody to be gleeful?

The whole thing is just too much for me. It is obvious that the producers and judges do all they can to sway public opinion. They are in it for the $ ultimately, and have no conscience re. how they treat others. Who knows if the votes count.

I was ultimately thankful that DA didn't win. He is lucky to be free of those associated w/the show. I felt bad for him too, as I'm sure he would have loved to win. I think years from now, he will look back and realize he dodged a bullet.

David C. should be more able to hold his own w/the lot. He will be an easy product to push, and he will be happy being promoted, I'd bet. He certainly is very 'definable' and predictable which are core ingredients if one is to sell something successfully.

That's it for me. I won't be watching anymore. AI is truly a reflection of our cultures' obsession w/fame, greed, ego and at times, heartlessness. It's enough to live w/these things on a daily basis. I certainly don't need to support these qualities by tuning in for another dose at the end of the day.

At 5/23/2008 09:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When asked that by Leno, he replied that he was already working on a CD and felt that he was already heading in the right direction, although at a slower pace than what Idol would afford.

I just viewed Cook's audition and it was a unanimous THREE yes'. Simon did NOT say no.

At 5/23/2008 09:47:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Simon said no during one of the Hollywood rounds. I think in Omaha he said yes, but expressed some reservations. It's the clip where he tells David Cook he's too dependent on the guitar.

At 5/23/2008 09:59:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Steve in Cali,
I thought the odd thing was the way the show mentions that the brother also auditioned seemingly well into the finals. There's probably an open question about David Cook having been one of the "ringers" this year or if he just happened to go to an audition.
Brooke, Carly, Michael, David A, Kristie Lee and Syesha all appear to have been slipped into the show by agents. I don't know about Jason Castro since he had limited singing experience but had been on tv a fair amount. Interestingly all of them made the final. My guess is that they more or less automatically got an audience with the judges (not all that common), but I don't know that it went a lot beyond that.
I thought the most suspicious thing was the way the judges kept defending Kristie Lee Cook into the finals after she did poorly in Hollywood and in the semis.

I certainly wouldn't want to be 17 and having all of America insisting that I'm the puppet of some monstrous stage parent. I do think the impression was left that Jeff Archuleta was screaming at the producer's every day and that he was stunting his son's growth, etc. I suspect that wasn't the case at all.
If you remember Diana Degarmo...who also finished second...there were probably signs that her mother was extremely involved in her career, but the show itself didn't turn it into an issue.

I do think that David Cook is a deserving winner, whatever that means. It was two very different talents, but I think there was simply a lot of sentiment for something other than a ballad singer this year.

One of the oddest things to me though is the way they've hoochified Carrie Underwood's material and image. It's like she's singing the material Kellie Pickler should be singing and doing.

At 5/23/2008 11:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that the press has been really awful. The snarkiest of them couldn't even admit that DA is a good singer. I mean, I might not be a fan of ballads, etc., but my gosh! That kid can really sing! I have to say I was impressed to hear him say he didn't care what the press had to say about his dad. He said something to the effect that he would know, better than anyone else, what the truth is. I am also impressed that he just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and did so well in spite of it all. I think that behind the 'aw shucks' demeanor, is a really good person with a strong will and determination. I thought his Finale performances were really powerful. I agree w/Randy, he is the best singer of the season. David Cook probably deserved the win- he is more seasoned and "cooked" all the way around! De interesting to see what they end up doing.

At 5/23/2008 12:16:00 PM, Blogger Gifted Typist said...

Here here, BeckEye. Paul Rodgers is the voice. And before him Freddie was.

Chance, Loved your elegant analysis of Narrative Idol - they voted on the stories. You must be an English prof outside your idol blogging life.

I was thoroughly convinced DA had it handed to him on a silver platter. It felt wrong. I hated the judges that night, esp, Simon.

When Cook won, i actually hooted. Out loud. Justice! In your face, 'tweens! We won this time.

Simon's Mea Culpa to Cook: do you think he knew the who the winner was when he said that.

At 5/23/2008 01:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When David Cook was on the Jay Leno show he made it sound like the was "recruited" for the audition by the production assistant even after he deferred, telling them he was only there to support his brother. With ten to fifteen thousand people waiting there who really did want to audition, why would the AI staff bother trying to get someone to audition who said they weren't really interested?

Nobody who would stand in front of Paula, Randy, and Simon and tell them he (Cook) thought he could be the next American Idol drove 350 miles with no intention of auditioning.

David Cook's music "career" was not happening. How well are you doing if you are bartending in Tulsa , Oklahoma? How many gigs culd his band hane been doing if he wasn't devoting all his time to it?

At 5/23/2008 04:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree w/Steve in Cali. I think Cook is the one who had it handed to him. They did everything they could to set him up for the win, and everything they could to unseat Archuleta once they had given up on him. Dan Fogleberg? I read that he had come up w/a soulful arrangement for that hideous song, and the producers told him he couldn't do it. Might have let the chihuaua out of it's cage if they had! I guess Cookie is the only one who was cleared for borrowing and rearranging. No matter. Archie let himself out of the cage at the Finale and blew Cookie off the stage!! That's what the judges were commenting on- reality.
By the way, a breakdown of Archies fans reveals that 33% are women over 30, 20% men over 30, 15% men and women over 60, and the rest tweens. Cook actually had more of the tween vote. Think about it! Archie is a pretty geeky kid. His favorite expletive is "Gosh"! Not exactly a chick magnet. He even admitted that he was not ever popular at his school.

I always questioned Cook's sincerity. A lot of his tears appeared pretty fake to me. He's an ok performer, but I doubt he'll make much of an impact in the long run. He sounds the same as every other alt/emo rocker I have heard.

I agree w/Elise- Archie got everything from AI that Cook has. Only better. He will have a variety of contracts to choose from, which is a huge plus, he got a Hybrid too, exposure, experience...but he won't be burdened w/the crown and title. I say good for Archie!! He definitely came out on top in a lot of ways.

At 5/23/2008 04:42:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

For me, it was a satisfying end to a fairly boring season. If only you got Canadian Idol there (it starts shortly), I might watch it for your insights!

At 5/24/2008 10:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chance! Brett C. here- (vocal prof.)and yes, I am real.

Thrilled Archuleta didn't get saddled w/the AI brand!! Hope he wasn/t too disappointed- appeared he wasn't at all. He got everything he needed from the show, and now can get on w/a career.

Whispers around my circles are that he may have more than recording contracts to consider. Some top notch schools,(I have heard the name Julliard included), may have offers for him as well!!
I couldn't be more delighted if he would choose to forego the career route for several years. He is such a rare talent, and with the right nurturance could truly become great.

Everthing he lacks as a performer are things that can be taught and learned. He possesses in spades everything that cannot be taught. A beautiful voice, and the incredibly rare ability to touch his audience deeply.

My best wishes for him! I can't wait to see what he blossoms into.

At 5/24/2008 06:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TFLT. Time for Lucky Tang.

At 5/26/2008 11:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recommend you all read a book called Chart Throb by Ben Elton. Basically its a spoof of the UK X-Factor (also with Simon Cowell) but you could see how it applies to AI as well.

At 5/26/2008 06:00:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I wish David A well. Looking back to Star Search, there were a number of folk who appeared on the adult version of that show who did very well. Almost none of them won.

Simon claims that he had no idea. My question is how they do the rehearsals prior to the finale. Obviously, the winner has to sing that awful song they choose for him or her. I suppose both could rehearse...
I still go with the judges and the producers may not always have the same agenda. I do think it's good for the show that David Cook won.

Steve in Cali,
I doubt that we'll ever find out how truly random David Cook's audition was. Certainly, some aspects of it are a bit odd.

that fan breakdown is pretty interesting. Thanks for letting me know about it. I thought David Cook's tears looked pretty real to me, but I'm easy. At the same time, I never quite believed Syesha's tears.

I'd like to see Canadian Idol some time, but yeah for whatever reason the season went very flat right up until the end, then I think it got a bit of a bump from the fact that both singers did well in the final and the judges went so one-sided with their comments.

Brett C.,
Oddly the other voice teacher who was commenting here does teach at Juilliard... I'd say if she's a fan of David A, it's likely that they would be more than happy to have him there.
I actually think a year of school wouldn't be the worst idea in the world for him. I think he'd do very well recording this year, but he might do even better with some time away to more or less develop without thinking about "sales" constantly.

I'm still working on Lucky Tang...just not posting for a while.

thanks for the recommendation, I'll have to check it out between seasons, though this might be it for me with Idol.

At 5/27/2008 02:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also don't buy the whole "I-was-simply-tagging-along-with-my-brother storyline". I couldn't figure out how that certain producer decided on the spot that DC has what it takes to audition by just looking at him... Unless they already have background info on him... I just don't buy the whole story.

In any case, aside from the obvious manipulations that were ever so professionally done(timing, content, nuance), what I am particularly miffed at is Simon's apology and the other developments leading to the results show.

1st, they know - HE knows that what he says influence the voters - either agree with him by voting along the lines of his critique, repel them thus creating a backlash or mislead them to complacency. Which do you think happened?

And then to virtually "campaign" for DC on 2 popular shows after the finale show? Amidst all the DA bashing?

Then he backtrack on his TKO-declaration during the result show. Why? It was ok for him to do so cos he verged on disrespecting DC the previous night, so it was OK to disrespect DA that night? The older David does not have monopoly of pride.

And his issue with DA's verbal skills (which Seacrest also pointed out to LarryKing)? He surely didn't make an issue out of it when it came to Leona Lewis (Bleeding Heart).

I just find everything was perfectly orchestrated in the name of ratings - the ultimate bottom line.

Lastly, I just feel bad that the title went to somebody who was not even interested enough to audition for the show and who didn't even fight during the finale.

And they have the gall to call the result as justice?

But am glad to see, in fact amazed at the composure and grace that DA took everything in. Perhaps it is good that he is young and innocent. But make no mistake about it -- this was a learning experience for him. (Hope the Julliard thing pushes though).

At 5/27/2008 02:31:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I do think the time to figure out how well a show like Idol served someone is about five years later. I also think the way it worked out (at least in terms of who won) was probably best for all involved. Had David Arhchuleta won, there would have been a very real backlash about the way the judges "fixed" the vote that would have reinforced the sense that the kid was a managed product as opposed to an adult artist.

At 5/29/2008 09:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chance- I heard DA say that when he went to audition in San Diego, he almost got turned away! Evidently they herd groups in a circle and they each get about 10 secs. to impress somebody enough to get to the next round. Well, his entire group was told they didn't make it, but as he was walking away, somebody grabbed him and told him he was through. In light of this, it really is hard to believe DC's story re. being asked to audition. As if there aren't enough people to worry about as it is...

So, a week later, and I think the world is a little suprised by how well spoken little Archie really is! Who would have guessed? He has handled everything w/such class and ease...If you get a chance to watch EW's 3 part interview w/him on you tube, It's got some priceless moments! That sleazy, snarky Michael Slezak spent the entire season just dissing and saying horrible things about DA. He had a video w/teletubbies floating around that he would play while he talked about Archie..So in the interview, Archie makes a comment about how Cook could get away w/singing the words 'magic rainbow'(in the coronation song), because he's all grunge like and tough! But if he'd had to sing them, they would have had images of rainbows floating around him, cause that's how he was portrayed at times!! Has the big grin going and everything, and ol' Sleazy just looks stricken!! Priceless!!

I just have to love that kid. Hope he has a great career!

At 5/29/2008 10:43:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I look forward to seeing what kind of music David A releases in the next year or two. I saw a couple clips of him where he was quite articulate. I don't think that was always the case on the show, but most people aren't, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson for instance.

At 5/30/2008 09:10:00 AM, Blogger Sunny said...

Cook's story does seem odd, the whole randomness of it all doesn't fit. Regarding the winner, it was going to be a David all season. No brainer there.

Calling Archie "The Voice" just seems silly.

At 5/30/2008 01:56:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I don't think it would be the first or last time a contestant on the show gets a funny or strange nickname.

It's a bit odd, but I don't think the plot way back then was to make David Cook The American Idol. It's clear that they put the word out that the show was looking for more experienced talent. So yes, it might have been a cover story, but I doubt that it was a plot to take him to the crown from beginning to end.

At 5/30/2008 07:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read that Cook's single is outselling all the other Idols by like, lots and lots. Well, since his single is the ONLY download, by any Idol, currently available on ITunes, this is hardly news. Do they honestly think we are all just plain stupid? Now that they have firmly seated their man on the throne, you'd think they would ease up on the pimping of Cook just a bit!! I guess now that the real dollar signs are dancing in their immediate future, it will only continue to vile.
I would download Archie's duet w/One Republic, that is , if I only could...That song has been made available to record by many other artists, so getting this duet approved would be a no brainer. I smell another festering AI plot... I guess it would look bad if any other Idol sold anything well in comparison to their boy. Can't have that now, can we?
I can only hope Archie signs w/some recording company from the alternate reality AI universe you recently described. It may be his only hope of getting a fair shot at this whole thing.

At 5/31/2008 06:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dean Kaelin, DA's vocal coach, has published his journal kept during the AI competition. I found it very interesting, not just to see how David's journey on the show went, but also for the absolute clarity it gives to the show being fixed. It is really pretty disgusting what goes on w/those producers and such.

David rarely got to sing the first song he chose. In fact, he would be ok'd for a song, rehearse it, and 1 or 2 days before the show be told he had to sing a different one. ( David Cook said in an interview that he was really lucky, because he got to sing all the first choice songs he had picked.). Somehow, I doubt luck had anything to do w/it. DA was going to play the piano and do a modern, soulful version of 'Longer', but the producers wouldn't let him. He had chosen 'The Times They Are A' Changing', Bob Dylan of course, and 'Let's Give Them Something to Talk About', Bonnie Raitt, and they wouldn't let him sing them. Not because they couldn't get them released, but for their own reasons. What they gave him to choose from instead, were ballads. Meanwhile, all the press about his dad, Simon going on Ellen during Finale week to stress over and over why DC should win the title, (he appeared on another show doing the same thing, but I can't remember which show...). It is obvious that once they decided DC was their boy, they put into motion every trick they had to unseat DA.

Why? DC is more mature, does better in interviews(until now, anyway). They missed the gravy train w/Daughtry, and weren't going to let that happen again! Simon said at the beginning of the season that he would "make sure the right person wins". I didn't get what he meant til about half way through the debacle. The ratings keep slipping, so inject a rocker as AI for the 1st time to give the show a new face. And now, you can't download anything: ringtones, ITunes videos or songs, nothing!! Except for DC items. And then they publish articles saying how DC sales are whipping on all the other Idols. WHAT?
Could their motives be any more obscene or obvious?

This show is such a reflection of a culture that is completely identified w/ego, greed, desire for power and money; and lacking so much in spirituality and ethics it's just beyond comprehension. It doesn't bother me that Cook won. It's the way that he won. He seems like an intelligent person. He should be ashamed to win in this way...It's a hollow victory to say the least.

As for vote fixing? There are many many many DA fans saying that their votes went for Cook instead. They dialed in Archies #, the voice confirmed his #. They hit redial, and the voice confirmed that they had just voted for Cook's #. Most people don't bother listening to the message after the first time. Hitting redial should get the vote to the same #, right? I have friends who voted for Syesha on top 3 night, and just got ringing. They tried the 2 David's lines to see what was up, and guess what? No problems!!

They should just let the judges and producers pick the winner and stop the fricking charade. But that would probably have an ill effect on the bottom line. Can't have that now can we?

At 6/01/2008 03:00:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

My guess is that David A will do perfectly fine in this universe. Jason Castro was the one who needed the alternate universe. Waiting a year or two could be the best thing for him in the long run. He gets away from Idol some though people will still remember him and he has a little time to be seen as an independent adult.

Some interesting things definitely happened over the last couple weeks of the show. Manipulated or not, I do think the way it worked out is the best for everyone involved.

The weirdest thing for me in the last week or so was the story about David Cook dating Kimberley Caldwell. That one definitely felt manufactured.


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