Friday, May 23, 2008

David's Journey Through My Eyes...

Yesterday, sites all over the Internet were tracing Cook’s “Idol” journey…

I thought it would be fun to trace his journey through my eyes, by looking at how I judged him each week.

And after looking back, I’m a little surprised at how hard I was on him in the beginning…

January 29th…

I thought Omaha seemed like a possibly boring choice, but I didn’t want
to pre-judge.But after watching, I think I was right.There were some interesting
moments, and some strange moments, but nothing terribly entertaining…Anyone else
sensing a pattern here?Here are my thoughts…

I thought David (“Livin’ On a Prayer”) said he was a rocker. That was
really pretty and that sweater looked more like Blake than Chris

February 19th…

Are we ready?

Scoring sheet…check!

Red clipboard…check!

Blank tape in the VCR…check!

Computer on…check!

Hot guy I’m hoping can actually sing…okay, I’m still working on that

But other than that, we’re good to go!

I think I found my hot guy…

David Cook, “So Happy Together”: 17
I like David, but for me this was a bit of a bad Constantine Maroulis
impersonation. And what was up with that weird ending?

February 26th…

David Cook, “Alright Now”: 18
It’s clear that David uses his guitar as a little bit of a crutch because
he really has no charisma. But the vocal was solid, even if the guitar was a
little loud. But his swipe at Simon was completely uncalled for

No charisma? Now, I feel like I should apologize to David…

March 4th…

David Cook, “Hello”: 19
I really liked that arrangement (Could someone tell me whether he really
came up with that or if he was just copying someone else?). I took one point off
for that little bit of a scream that didn’t quite work. And apparently Simon has
no hard feelings about David’s attitude last week.

19? See what I mean about being harsh? In my defense, this was the first night we really got to see the real David…

But I wasn’t done being mean…

March 5th…

David Cook is getting a lot of praise this morning for his cover of Lionel
Richie's "Hello," but as I suspected, it was not an original
arrangement...Thanks to Wikipedia and YouTube, I have discovered that David was
actually doing the Incubus version of the song.That's not to say the performance
wasn't good or that he shouldn't make the top 12. He just shouldn't get credit
for being completely original...

March 11th…

David Cook, “Eleanor Rigby”: 18
I liked the arrangement, but his vocals weren’t completely on throughout.
And I hate his screaming. I liked how Simon said if the show remained a “talent”
contest and not a “popularity” one that David could win. Is Simon losing faith
in David Archuleta because of the slight backlash he’s been getting?…

UPDATE: A quick check of YouTube shows that David's arrangement comes from
Panic! at the Disco. That doesn't mean I like it any less, I just want to be

I've become such a skeptic, haven't I? I never checked YouTube for Blake's
arrangements last year...

March 18th…

David Cook, “Daytripper”: 19
First of all, let me thank David for telling me whose version he was doing
so I didn’t have to search it out (Whitesnake, if you missed it.). The only
thing I didn’t like about the song was the backup singers. I would’ve nixed
them. And notice that he didn’t take issue with Simon. He’s learned his lesson
there. And believe it or not, I liked the vocoder...

Now we’re getting somewhere…

March 25th…

David Cook, “Billie Jean”: 20+
I told you that David would rock out some obscure cover for us and boy, did
he ever (Chris Cornell, by the way. Thanks, Ryan, for telling me so I didn’t
have to look it up.). That was awesome. Since I already gave Michael a 20, I had
to add the plus since this performance was worlds better. However, I have to
disagree with Randy saying that David is the most original contestant ever. That
would still be Blake. Remember he came up with his own arrangements. David is
copying others—which is brave and creative, but not original.

You can see my opinion turning this particular week, when I defended Cook against Doxology who were upset that David didn’t credit their version of “Eleanor Rigby”…

April 1st…

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

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

Wow! Was that an about face or what?...

April 1st…

Yea! Yea! Yea! David Cook got to defend himself (I’d like to think I had
something to do with that.) and mention Doxology. Kudos to the show for that and
I hope Doxology is now happy…

David Cook, “Little Sparrow”: 19
How gorgeous is that guy’s voice? And kudos for doing his own arrangement
this time. It was gorgeous—but I would’ve ditched the backup singers a little.
And I’m with Paula. His hair looked great.

Remember this?

April 2nd…

Before we get into tonight’s show, let’s talk about the drama that happened
behind the scenes last night…

David Cook was rushed to the hospital following his performance last night,
after experiencing heart palpitations. Paramedics were called to check his blood
pressure during the commercial break prior to his performance, but David would
only get proper treatment after his song.At the hospital, a doctor gave him
medication to bring his blood pressure down and discharged him. He is expected
to be on tonight’s show.

The palpitations were most likely created by the stress of the show. But
David has also been dealing with family issues as his brother is battling

Speaking of the stress of the show, Doxology told today that they
feel totally vindicated by David’s shout-out last night. They admitted that it
had been in the works with the producers for a few weeks (Interestingly, they
also said they could not confirm the rumor that David did mention them in his
taped interview before his performance but the producers cut it out.).

April 8th

David Cook, “Innocent”: 19
The song had a weird beginning, but once David hit the chorus it was
awesome. I thought it was gutsy for him to move right in front of the judges and
I loved his move with “give back” written on his hand. That was genius and it
looked great on camera.

Finally, the night I fell in love…

April 15th…

David Cook, “Always Be My Baby”: 20+++MAN, DO I LOVE THIS GUY!!! That was
awesome I can’t even say. I almost jumped off the couch. And tomorrow, I
will be downloading that bad boy from iTunes. And the tears in David’s eyes as
the director cut to his brother in the audience just spoke volumes, didn’t it?
I’m actually glad they didn’t have time to tell us what was going on.

I’m still mad that the studio track on iTunes doesn’t include the string arrangement…

April 22nd…

David Cook, “Music of the Night” (from "Phantom of the Opera"): 20
Just when I thought David couldn’t surprise me any more, he does by singing
this song straight without any rearrangement. Yes, there were some lower
register problems in that first verse, but it was so beautiful overall, I’m
willing to look over it (as usual). Here is what I just texted my hero Denise:
“I am so in love with him.” I said I thought he could nail this one, and boy,
did he ever.

April 29th…

David Cook: “I’m Alive”: 18
Again, it was good; but there was just something missing.

David Cook, “All I Really Need Is You”: 20
Now there’s the man I love! He could release that now. And that, Brooke, is
how you use a guitar.

May 6th…

David Cook, “Hungry Like the Wolf”: 18
So what exactly are the rules of this thing? Duran Duran is not in the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame! I thought it was a good performance, but it just lacked
something for me. Maybe it was because I was too busy trying to figure out how
he could pick this one.

David Cook, “Baba O’Riley”: 20
That was more like it. However, I think that David psyched himself out a
little this week since everyone was saying this should be his big week.

May 13th…

David Cook, “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”: 15+
I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!! Could we just send the confetti down now? That,
Randy, is how to pick a song. Did you see Simon clap in the middle of

David Cook, “Dare You to Move”: 18
So this isn’t the song that all the sites were reporting he had chosen, but
when I heard he was doing this, I got excited--until I heard it. Was it just me
or did it seem really short? He should’ve got off the verse quicker because his
lower register was wavering all over the place. I think he might’ve killed his
voice with the first one.

David Cook, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”: 15
How is it that David always makes me love songs I’ve always hated? When
Ryan said what the song was, I actually said, “Oh, come on!” But as usual he
made it work. I don’t know what Randy was listening to because that was awesome.
How was that predictable? He totally changed the song around! And Diane Warren
(who wrote the song) loved it, so who cares what Randy thinks anyway?

May 20th…

David Cook, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”: 15
Let’s see Archuleta march through the audience and take that mini-stage
like that. I LOVE HIM! I just hope he can hold it together for the entire

David Cook, “Dream Big”: 18
David did manage to change this one from a country song to a rock song, but
still, it just didn’t quite work and man, do I hope they don’t release this as a
single. Plus, the band was so loud that we couldn’t hear the words.

I was SO wrong about that one…

David Cook, “The World I Know”: 19
And he just barely made it. I almost gave that point back after his
breakdown, but if I’m being honest I have to take away a point for song choice,
because as beautiful as it was, it just wasn’t the dramatic ending he needed.
I’m with Simon. I really wanted to hear “Billie Jean” or “Hello”--which I told
you last night.

I was wrong about that one too. I think it was better that David did a new song. And if Archie had been able to clear what he wanted to do, this point would have been moot anyway…

And there you have it. Cook’s “Idol” journey through my eyes. Cook told reporters that his “Idol” experience was a progression.

It looks like mine was too. I guess we progressed together...