I'm sick already, they've got a totally disinterested Michael Buffer giving boxing introductions while the war theme from Rocky plays, and ugh, both Davids are in robes with boxing gloves. Buffer doesn't even get to do let's get ready to rumble, he does at least get a "100 lbs soaking wet" joke in, which is always good. And we are off with the ff button! There's Kristi Lee dressed like a hooker!. They're doing some kind of profile on each of them, I'm still FFing. Clive Davis and ALW are now on screen, they are starring in George Romero's "Producers that are Living Dead" movie, I'm sure it'll be a big hit. Speaking of Zombies, we have our first shot of Paula. Cook and Archuleta have a douche-off with who can give the more empty compliment (even though I'm sure they both actually do mean what they're saying). Ahh, commercial break, back to the ol' FF.
Clive Davis, bah,get off my screen Jim Lampley!! Clive has chosen I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For-U2 for David Cook and Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me-Elton John for Schmaltzy Archuleta. Do we really need ALW's commentary on Clive's song choices?
David Cook is up first, and he apparently styled his hair by either sticking his finger in a socket or standing behind a jet engine. This is U2 in the style of Rob Thomas/ Johnny Reznik, and it's actually not terrible. There's a cougar who is making a spectacle of herself out in the audience, she definitely wants David (I hope that's not his mom). Nice long last note, that was decent. Let's go to the judges (even though whatever they say tonight will have absolutely no bearing on anything).
Judges-Randy calls him DC because they're boys at this point. Great way to start off this duel of 2007 (really? we went back in time, or is Randy trying to forget the Jordin-Blake finale). Paula says we have found what we're looking for, and it's David Cook (in addition to her percocet prescription, flask of rum, and hello kitty band aids). Simon thought it was phenomenal.
David Archuleta-I'm going to resist all the simple going down jokes. Disappoing news on the gay shirt front, they have put an ill fitting olive drab blazer on archuleta, so all that we can see of his tshirt is a few stars. If you didn't think this song was ripe for archuletalization, you don't know Clive Davis. This is a good fit for him, even if the blazer isn't. David is trying for earnest and heartfelt, and is getting "bounce up and down and make weird faces". Clive liked it, David's dad liked it, all the girls in the audience liked it!
Judges-Randy says it doesn't matter what happens, right now this is one of the best performances of the season, flawless and unbelievably molten hot, crazy vocals!
Paula still has chills and her heart is pounding (she's going through withdrawal, get her a shot and some valium stat!). Simon says its very easy to get overexcited, and while last week was ok, tonight's performance was arguably the best he's done so far. Taking everything into account, round 1 goes to Archuleta (crowd goes ballistic, where did all the David Cook fans go?) Archuleta is speechless and on the verge of tears, which delights Seacrest to no end. Commercials!
ALW is back for another pick. DC sings Dream Day by Emily Shackleton, and DA is singing In This Moment by Ryan Gillmore, and I have no idea what either of those songs sounds like. ALW is rambling about who wrote the songs, Jim Lampley is on again (gah!), this boxing metaphor sucks.
David Cook-He's got his trusty guitar out again. He's in his lower register and is pitchy all over the place, he straightens out when he gets into his belting upper register. If I was Cook, I would be throwing this competition like nobody's business, I think I would sing Please wait a minute Mr. Postman, the hokey-pokey, and Disco Duck, just to make sure I didn't win. This is one of those soulless, uptempo, message songs, "don't settle, reach for the stars, anything is possible, blahblahblah" songs, it's just ok.
Judges-Randy says the song was just ok, but DC was singing his face off, nice. Paula-sats a song in your heart, a guitar in your hand, and millions watching and being enthralled. Simon says, using a boxing analogy, it was a bit of a lightweight, you made the most of what you had, but it didn't feel like a winning moment. Just an opinion. The good news is we have a third song, 6 1/2 out of ten. Paula says it wasn't the winning song, then immediately follows that up with "was it?" to no one in particular (she doesn't get an answer).
DA-This sounds like a rip-off of Could've Been by Tiffany. Oh my, we're in uncharted territory here, attire-wise. He has a gray blazer with an anchor on it, wtf is that? The formal sailor look? The Gentleman Angler? LOL, it gets better, there's a big anchor on his back as well. Hey David, that anchor is forever being tied to this show, you may be able to take the jacket off, but that anchor remains! Ahh, he's sporting dual ear monitors, let's hope we don't have any lightning strikes, or we could have a Scanners moment on live television, and an entire generation of tween girls will be forever scarred. I can't say anything about the performance, it's Archuleta through and through, and I am pretty sure I'll never hear that song again.
Judges-Randy wasn't crazy about the song, but David is so in the zone he could sing the phone book and it would sound good. Paula says it doesn't matter what he's singing, he's on fire, that's why he's in the finals, congratulations. Simon calls the lyrics fantastically self-centered and says he definitely chose the better song, much more in keeping with the night, round 2 to David Archuleta.
One round to go. Contestant's choice. Boo Jim Lampley!
DC-World I Know-Collective Soul (that's where that song went).
DA-Imagine-Jon Lennon (rehashing his best performance from way back).
They should just replay Archuleta's first performance, it'll get exactly the same reaction.
David Cook-Playing an acoustic guitar, he's taken the edge out of the song, which is saying something, as Collective Soul isn't exactly "hardcore", but there's a little grit/soul in the original, and this is like a sterilized, elevator-ready version. Maybe he's just subtly throwing the competion, by giving, good, but not great performances to let Archuleta shine. Yep, we get to the chorus, which is supposed to be driving and full of power, and he's really pulled it back and is almost crooning, it's a different take, but he's really castrated the song, falsetto last note, in tune, but boring. Didn't really like that performance. David is crying, I don't know if that's for his brother, or because he knows he's done singing, or what.
Judges-Randy says he shows a nice, sensitive side, and this is the kind of record he could get by with, very nice dude. Paula (who honestly looks together this week) says he's delivering unbelievable songs with honesty and integrity and stands and applauds for him. Simon says publicly that he is one of the nicest and most sincere contestants they've ever had, and while it was a nice song, but it was completely and utterly the wrong song choice for tonight, he should have done Billie Jean or Hello (again). David says the whole thing has been a progression, and he didn't want to do anything he had already done, but he completely understands what Simon is saying.
David Archuleta-Our friend the guitarist gets a last moment of solo screen time. No maritime-themed blazers this go round a pleather/leather/some random material white jacket over a blue shirt, that's the sanest outfit he's had on in weeks, which is saying next to nothing. Very nice orchestral arrangement, though this is an almost exact copy of his first rendition, which is a good idea for him, as that was arguably the best performance of the season.
Judges-Randy says yo a few times, and then gets out, he is really happy and proud that there are the two Davids on the stage, and he is so good tonight, he's exactly what this show is about, finding the best singer, and he is it, right there. Paula says its the culmination, he's left her speechless (which is obviously, and unfortunately untrue), stunning. Simon says we've taking a little bit of stick this year, the competition, but tonight we have found a star and witnessed one of the great finals. In his opinion, David A. came out here to win, and we have witnessed a knockout, and David is feeling the vapors. Get him a parasol, a fan, and a lapdog, he is a debutante! Hmm, he's only sporting a single ear monitor for this last one.
Recaps of the performance, and they show Cook badly missing a note on U2, which I didn' even notice the first time through. His second song still sucks, and the third song still lacks any and all testicular fortitude. Archuleta sounds exactly the same in all three songs, I think his eyebrows have the mange though.
All right, let's call it a season, tune in tomorrow for performances by all the idols who's albums are tanking as Fox vainly tries to prop them up as relevant to squeeze a few more pennies out of them before their careers fade into Celebrity Fit Club/Surreal House levels. Speak of the Devil, here's Ruben Studdard live!
I will not be watching, I'll tune in at 9:59 to see Archuleta's coronation, and we'll call it a season.
All in all, it was a pretty good year, KLC would have been top 5 or better on several other seasons, and she was universally panned this year, so that says something for the overall talent. It's a shame we didn't get to hear more of David Hernandez or any of the girls who left before the top 12, they could've been pretty good as well.
Thanks everyone, for coming along for the ride this year, who knows what kind of trainwreck Season 8 will be, I want an accordion-playing obsessive compulsive dog-hairstylist at the auditions!