Friday, May 23, 2008

He had me at Hello

David Cook may not have started off as a crowd favorite for American Idol’s seventh season, especially after his encounter with Simon Cowell where the harsh, truth-telling judge told Cook, “you’re problem is you don’t have a lot of charisma.”

Much to Cowell’s dismay (and may be even some of the viewers'), Cook tried defending himself by saying, “Fortunately I don’t have to win you over with my charisma. I have to win this people [points to the crowd] over. ”

Cowell couldn’t help but be ticked off by Cook’s quip which ultimately, rebutted his supposed “constructive criticism.” But the week ended and David Cook was safe. Actually, it’s a foreshadowing of the weeks to come.

Cook may not have the charisma but he sure has the voice and the knack for choosing the right songs. A non-American Idol follower officemate could hardly believe how possible it is for someone to have a scarcity of charisma. I helped her picture Cook’s predicament by saying, “Imagine Gabby Eigenman with talent.”

He’s got talent, alright. David Cook, I mean. And his performance of Lionel Richie’s Hello proudly punctuates his gift. That’s how he had me at "hello." After witnessing such strong performance, I had to say, “He’s gonna win!” [I said it the way Ms. Rhode Islands told Gracielou Freebush the same thing. Think Ms. Congeniality. My comment was annoyingly sincere.]

But Cook’s lack of charisma seems to always get in the way. During the top 12 week where he rendered an impressive Eleonor Rigby version, Simon Cowell told him something like, “if this were a talent show rather than a popularity contest, you can actually with this.” Cook deserved the compliment about winning the show for his talent. Week after week, he showed up on stage with “molten-hot” numbers!

About his looks, the department where he seems weak, let’s just say come the top 9 week, the Dolly Parton week, the haircut he had did him wonders. No more of that emo white boy (Baduy!) singing on stage. He was magically transformed into a man who doesn’t look bad at all. Thank heavens for makeovers!

By the time the contenders were reduced to the top two, there’s no doubt Cook deserved the throne more than the young David, David Archuleta. Of course the main thing that stopped Cook supporters from rejoicing prematurely over his probable win is if the young voting demographics and, maybe even the moms and grandmas, who’re more likely to vote for Archie, outnumber them.

After weeks of watching one vocal exhibition after another, America has voted. David Cook emerges as the American Idol.

It’s pretty much comforting. There may be hope for American voters, afterall.

As for David Cook, congratulations to him, I guess. And if it is worth anything, I wish him a stellar future with his singing career.

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A Jason Castro Quickie (no pun can possibly be intended)

OK, so I didn’t foresee the chances that Jason Castro will forget his lyrics when I wrote my American Idol: Fearful Forecast right after the top 4 were announced. Hence, he had to say goodbye earlier than Sayesha.

Yes, Sayesha deserved to stay longer as she seemed to have wanted to win more badly than Jason. But I would have LOVED, “love” being the operative term, seeing more of Jason.

Oh well, at least he had a solo number during the finals night. Halleluiah for that!

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Cook's Hello

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