Tuesday, April 1, 2008

In Defense of David Cook

So, obviously, I didn’t get my computer problems fixed because I didn’t post all of the things that I promised you I would Sunday.

And I do still owe you all of that stuff and I will get to it, I promise.

But since the performance show is tonight, I thought for now we should focus on that and the storm cloud that is threatening to overtake one of the frontrunners…

If you haven’t heard, David Cook is in the middle of a firestorm.

It all started last week when Chris Cornell fans lit up the Internet with complaints about Randy Jackson calling David the most original contestant in the show’s history. Even though Ryan made it clear that David was doing Cornell’s version of “Billie Jean,” the fans felt that David should have taken the opportunity to remind everyone again after his performance. The outcry was so huge that Chris Cornell himself actually stood up for David to EW.com.

Now, Doxology, a rock-soul group from Seattle (who happen to be friends with Blake Lewis), issued a press release Friday claiming that David performed their version of “Eleanor Rigby” during the first Beatles week without crediting them.

The press release says the band’s main issue is “that when given the opportunity to speak up and reveal where the arrangement came from, David Cook did not. His silence on the issue implies that the arrangement is his own. It is not. We were even more surprised when the studio recording, released Thursday morning, was even more of a note-for-note instrumental copy of Doxology’s recording.” The band says it is not seeking royalties—which it would be entitled to if their name had been mentioned on air. They just want David and “Idol” to “do the right thing and acknowledge these facts.”

And I’m sure a little publicity from America’s number one show wouldn’t hurt…

So since I like David Cook and I voted for him multiple times last week, I hope you will allow me this opportunity to defend him…

As I said last week, David is not the most original “Idol” contestant of all time, but David never claimed to be. That was Randy’s doing and if Randy isn’t smart enough to figure out that David is not coming up with the arrangements himself—even with Ryan telling him—that’s his problem, not David’s.

As for the argument that David should have credited Chris Cornell again after Randy’s little speech, what was he supposed to do? Interrupt Randy and tell him he was wrong? The kid’s trying to win this thing!

Which also explains why he didn’t credit Doxology after his performance. Admitting it then, in front of the judges, would have been a disaster (A quick listen on YouTube will tell you that David was definitely doing their version and not Panic! At the Disco’s as I originally thought.). Remember that David was chastised in the beginning for his go-around with Simon so he knows that keeping his mouth shut is the best move. And in his defense, with all of that screaming going on, he probably only hears half of what the judges are saying anyway.

In all honesty, it shouldn’t be David’s responsibility to set up the songs. That should be the responsibility of the show. And yes, the show should have done so for Doxology either through David’s video package or through Ryan’s introduction.

I am not bothered that David is doing other people’s arrangements and I actually applaud his knack for finding the right ones. Though he may not be original, he is still brave for attempting little known versions of well-known songs.

What I am bothered by is that Randy and his big mouth could end up hurting David’s chances of being the next “American Idol.” To combat Randy, the show needs to continue on its current path and give credit where credit is due—even if it means doing it after the fact. I believe that Ryan needs to forgo the umpteenth “Idol Gives Back” promo (even though Kiefer is participating) and give David time to defend himself tonight.

So what do you guys think? Be sure to post a comment and offer your own defense…