Hailed winner David Cook received critics while underdog David Archuletta was a 'knock out'.
The battle of the Davids on the seventh season of American Idol has been officially grinding since last night (May 20) when the two last-standing contestants showcased their final efforts in winning the love from American people. The finale of the show was aired on FOX at 8:00 P.M., presenting David Cook and David Archuleta on Nokia Theater's stage taking three rounds each and here is the report.
The first round was picked by Sony BMG producer and music mogul, Clive Davis, who opted U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" for Cook and Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" for Archuleta. Feedbacks from the judges were surprisingly different from expectation when the acid-tongue judge Simon Cowell who had predicted Cook's win, said "Round 1 goes to David Archuleta." Other judge Randy Jackson said that Archuleta's performance was one of the best in the season while Paula Abdul preferred to speak in metaphor by saying "the sun is never going to go down on you!" On the other side, Simon commented on Cook's performance as "tense" and "emotional".
Round two was about the top ten songs that entered the songwriting competition. The contestants were allowed to pick one that suited them and Cook took in "Dream Big" that accentuated his 'rocker' genre. Randy thought it was OK, Paula said she loved it although it wasn't a "winning song" while Simon said Cook made the most of it. Archuleta, known for his persona and appeal to young girls, picked the ballad "In This Moment" that got himself teary at the end of the performance. Taking cue from the judge's comments, the second round also went to Archuleta for Simon thought it was a better song choice.
The final round is contestants' choice. Cook who stepped up first in this show, came out with Collective Soul's "The World I Know" while Archuleta preferred to wow the audience once again with his memorable rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine". Cook received a praise from Randy, a standing ovation from Paula but a critic from Simon who thought it was a bad decision to pick the song when in fact it was his "Billie Jean" rendition that got him shining in the competition. Archuleta on the other hand swallowed praises from the three judges who thought that it was a winning performance.
Before the show was ended, former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard performed at the show, followed by the announcement from the show's host, Ryan Seacrest who said that viewers will have four hours starting 9 P.M. ET/PT to vote for their favorite. The ultimate winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 21 in a live broadcast.
David Cook on "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For":
David Archuleta on "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me":