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Why David Cook Will Win American Idol

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David Archuleta may have been the “one to beat” when season seven of American Idol premiered last January, but he’s facing some stiff competition in David Cook. Both contestants haven’t ever been in the bottom two or three, and while Archuleta is holding steady, Cook has been gaining momentum each week.

He certainly didn’t come out of the gate as a front runner. His rock performance of The Turtles' “Happy Together” showed a lot of potential, but it was good, not great. The next week he did a solid performance of Free’s “All Right Now,” but Simon criticized him for being boring because he said he liked word puzzles in the “getting to know the contestants” video shown right before the performance. Simon believed Cook showing his intellectual side would hurt his not yet established rock credibility. That was a misjudgment on Simon’s part. The word puzzles made him more endearing to viewers, especially those not already inclined to like his more modern rock sound.

The next week he proved he was anything but boring by doing a hard rock version of Lionel Richie’s pop ballad “Hello.” They song drew attention from Lionel Richie himself, who said he wanted to record the song with Cook. The arrangement was vaguely similar to a version the band Incubus had done a few years before, but the similarities were hardly enough to compare the two.

Even so, he seemed to be treading closely to Chris Daughtry’s tactic of doing a “cover of a cover” — that is, taking his song choice and finding a modern rock cover that would fit his style. This landed Daughtry in some hot water when the judges praised him for being “original,” when he was really just doing an already established arrangement. While the onus is more on the judges for making uninformed remarks, Daughtry was never able to fully recover from the controversy. Daughtry backed away from the rock covers and at times he found himself struggling to fit with some of the themes. This may have been one of the factors that ultimately led to his premature departure from American Idol at number four.

Cook took a somewhat different approach than Daughtry. While the arrangements Daughtry chose were fairly well known, especially to rock fans, Cook went for obscurities. For the Beatles-themed weeks he chose cover versions of "Eleanor Rigby" from an almost completely unknown band called Doxology and "Daytripper" based on a version done by Whitesnake in the '70s (who even knew Whitesnake was a band in the '70s?). There were a few grumblings of “stealing” amongst bloggers, but Cook’s popularity was on the rise amongst fans of the show. The next week Cook turned in an outstanding vocal performance of "Billie Jean" with an arrangement based on a less obscure cover, done a few years ago, by Chris Cornell. Despite show host Ryan Seacrest’s mention of Cornell before Cook’s performance, judge Randy Jackson proclaimed Cook to be the most original contestant the show had ever seen, and Simon Cowell said his performance was “brave.”

While Jackson may have been just referring to Cook’s method of choosing songs as original, the grumblings grew louder that he was ripping off other people’s work. Here is where Cook really got smart. He quickly addressed the situation in a pre-Idol interview, saying he knew very well that arrangements were based on existing versions, and that he was simply looking for songs that suited his style. He then abandoned the "cover of a cover" strategy and started doing his own thing.

Most notably he turned the Mariah Carey pop song “Always Be My Baby” into a contemporary sounding hard rocker. He also showed off his vocal capability and kept the viewing audience guessing by doing a straight version of “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera. Simon didn’t like that Cook strayed from his usual style, but it was probably the smartest move he could make. No one could accuse him of being a one-trick pony after that.

That brings us to Cook's ability as a performer and singer. Cook has a powerful voice with a lot of range, perfect for the kind of music he wants to perform, and he has the ability to be versatile if he wants to. This is, after all, a singing competition. Of course, the other front runner, David Archuleta, has a powerful voice too, but he seems more limited in his style. This is where Cook has the most advantage. Cook takes a lot more risks with his songs, and is simply a more exciting and dynamic performer than Archuleta.

David Archuleta spent his childhood becoming a skilled technical singer, and he is very good. However, he almost comes across as too polished, which makes each performance similar to the last. He is very rehearsed, hitting the big notes where he needs to. With his singing skills fairly well honed, Archuleta needs to spend some time becoming the engaging performer David Cook already is. Cook already commands the stage with all the presence of a real rock star. He looks and acts like he wants to be there more than anywhere else in the world. That kind of attitude makes his fans want to keep him there.

There has already been a lot of interest in Cook musically. Prior to Idol, Cook made four independent albums with his band, Axium, and one solo independent album, Analog Heart. All three albums go for a pretty penny on eBay. Analog Heart was self released in 2006 and that same year it won Urban Tulsa Weekly's URBY award for Best Independent Album. The album was also recently available on Amazon, where it quickly became Amazon’s top MP3 album. The album was pulled, after some media speculation as to whether Cook was a “ringer” in the competition. American Idol rules only state that contestants cannot have a current recording contract. Since Cook’s album was independently released, he is eligible.

Despite the unfair controversy and at times being called “pompous,” “smug” and “arrogant” by Simon Cowell, the press, and even fans, Cook seems to approach each week and new challenge with a positive attitude that says he wants to win. In the end I think David Cook’s steadily rising momentum will carry him all the way to the top.

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About Sherry Lipp

Sherry Lipp is an entertainment and food writer who specializes in film and television reviews. She has published the gluten and grain-free cookbook Don't Skip Dessert.
  • If American Idol was about talent and not “voting for your favourite,” I’d agree with you. I actually think Syesha should win.

  • Sam

    Let’s wait and see, anything can happen, never underestimate massive votes!!!!

  • anne

    I don’t know what show you’re watching, but Cook has no chance.

  • Sophie

    Anne, I don’t know what show you’re watching, but Cook has every chance in the world.
    He is the complete package, the most talented of the bunch. He built his momentum on his own accord. That, to me, spells winner – whether he actually gets crowned or not.

  • Toni

    Jordan is right. Teenage girls (arguably the largest voting constituent) don’t vote for the best singer; they vote for the cutest, the one with the dreamy eyes and adorable smile.

    I have a sinking feeling that Cook will get Tamyra’d/Daughtry’d, if not tonight then next week.

  • Rebecca

    I think that I officially LOVE you and I have to THANK YOU for printing the truth about David Cook!

    This is the best article I have read about him and it’s nice to know that there are others out there that see that HE IS THE ONE TO BEAT, no matter how much Randy and Co. try to shove little david down our throats.. I’m just sayin’…




  • ariadne

    A nice assessment of David Cook. As much as Paula annoys me at times, she also assesses him correctly as being the whole package. Smart, charming (good to his mama and respectful of others) and oh yes, dropdead dishy and talented. Archuleta may be a nice kid and technically good, but there has been no growth; every performance sounds the same, and he has no stage personality other than being terrified of his father. I’m with you–David Cook FTW!

  • Sam Lim

    I beg to disagree I don’t think David Cook will win. I will just leave it like that. The best way is to just wait and see on the FINALE.

  • hmm

    paula abdul is the only total package superstar involved with american idol.. thats why she always gets all of the attention.

  • Jan Simpson

    As a Brit watching your show I am hoping David Cook wins. I was changing TV channels a few weeks ago and he was singing Billie Jean, I thought he was fantastic. I watch each week and all of them are very talented but David Cook is outstanding because he is in a league of his own in that he has a contemporary innovative style and each week I just want to hear more from him. Come on America don’t let this talent get away make him your American Idol 2008 winner and let the best person winxx

  • sfbb

    Yes, if the most talented singer AND performer wins..it WILL be David Cook. Great analysis of his journey so far. I think this season might be the year the most deserved contestant wins.

  • David Archuleta will win he has talent good looks and high votes

  • Sharon

    Becca – I think David Cook also has all of those things. Look at the homecoming footage. David Cook has tons of fan support.

  • clarisse

    The assesment is pretty good. May I say that David Cook is my favorite since day 1. I like DA before, but right now I don’t really get excited hearing him sing. I don’t think he have done anything different. He haven’t took any risk. Unlike David Cook who manage to rock it, to give his take doing musicals, arranging ABMB, doing Neil Diamond. David Archuleta has a good voice I won’t deny that as I liked him before. Though he needs to really perform well. He needs to own the stage, to own the song. For who deserves to win, I’ll choose David Cook.

  • mary simoneau

    i think that nobody can beat david cook ,i mean who would you really want to see in concert?a rocker that has great talent? or a little boy who sings boring, one dimensional songs,maybe you would like david a. if you went to a piano bar. i would rather rock

  • Shirley (Paiton)

    David Cook will win. He has broader fan base than David A. But why worries. Both will make record deals and be superstars anyway …

  • Pricilla

    David Cook is the Whole package..very talented and when he sings, you want more..he can sing anything and he is very affectionate to his mom and to his brother who has cancer; you can tell he is a very caring person and he gets better every time he sings…He is a Super American Idol and deserves to win.

  • Julia

    What are you thinking!!!!

    David Cook sucks!!

    Davis Archuleta should so win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alejandra

    I admit that I was an Archuleta fan before. But week after week his performance become more vanilla. He has the singing chops, I’m not gonna lie but David Cook has it all: charm, ability, and just something that seems very human. David Archuleta needs to get a grip and stop forgetting the words if he wants a real, honest-to-goodness chance.



  • Mehhhhh

    I want David Archuleta to win because the winner of american idol usually makes a pop album…Imagine David Cooke Making A Pop Album :S


    This is a serious question: wouldn’t you consider “copy and paste antics” to be better than no personality or “antics” at all? Archuleta’s stand-and-squint style is incredibly bland.

  • rachel

    anyone who thinks that david a is going to win,is seriously tone death.the only way he will win is if american idol is fixed. i mean what kind of modern music would he be able to sing? he has never sang anything with a beat,well maybe all the grandmas out there will like it hopefully they know how to vote…………….

  • traci

    theres only been a very few winners of american idol that has ever even made it big!if david cook wins ;HE WILL BE ANOTHER TO ADD TO THAT SHORT LIST.HE IS SOOOOO AWESOME…if david archuleta wins he’ll be another ruben or taylor hicks and sell no records

  • ashley

    come on david archuleta fans,its alright i understand,i know you really want david cook to win so join the rocker side and be cool,vote for david cook i wont tell promise…

  • Judy

    I’m a David Cook fan but in reading other opinions at various sites, someone said that a rocker has never won and I think it could happen again.

  • Comm’n . .David Archuleta will definitely sell records even if he loses to Cook. That’s how AI works! Premiere marketing machine. Give them what they want.

  • CastleRocks

    David Cook exudes so much of what a real artist is than Archuleta. Both can sing. But performance wise, Cook has the edge. I hate the cuteness factor. We shouldn’t vote based on puppy dog eyes, rainbow colored tunes and some “aww” moments. It’ll be a killer to see that kid win as he is just a good singer. He bores me at times. Awkward and he gasps alot. Cook definitely is distinctive and cordial. I hope America will get this right this time.
    ….named Archuleta

    Let that be our calling to all David Cook supporters.. He can “COOK” his way to winning this years Idol.. Ü


    Whoever is taking the title will be wearing a crown of thorns. If David Cook should win, the AI producers will be accused to manipulating AI for Cook to win. If David Archuleta wins, AI will no longer have credibility among the true artists and mature audience. Archuleta received a free ride with the popularity votes from teens and I feel he should not even be in the top 2. There are other contestants that have better voices than Archuleta. Archuleta was only outstanding up to Week 2 with Imagine. After that, his voice was bland and the songs were boring. Serious and award-winning musicians are vying for Cook. AI will be the biggest laughing stock among serious music artists and the mature population if Archuleta wins. AI has become Teen American Idol.

  • NotAFan

    I don’t know why Archuleta even stayed after Week 4. His Dad and vocal coaches make this AI show look like a freaking Star Search show for teens with obsessive parents breathing down their backs. The REAL idol contestants who can stand on their own two feet are being eliminated. The real idol contestants should be independent singing/musical artists that can arrange their music. Archuleta grew up with extensive vocal training and he is still being coached in Idol and his Dad is deciding his musical arrangement. I feel like watching a singing contest for teens. AI will continue to have low ratings if 17 year olds like Sanjaya, Archuleta and teenage looking/acting contestants continue to dominate the votes. It is not the same old American Idol anymore where we search for true artists.

  • Ohno

    Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey and Chris Cornell expressed positive remarks when they heard Cook cover their songs in American Idol. Lionel Ritchie and Mariah Carey, two award-winning music artists stated that Cook should cut a single with his versions of their songs because they could be a HIT today. Cook’s version of Always Be My Baby is already a hit in other countries today. Paula Adbul, a top music artist of her time thought she was looking at the American Idol. Simon Cowell, an acid-tongue critic stated that Cook deserves to win the American Idol. The AI producers who know the music industry are vying for Cook to win. What can go wrong with David Cook at the finale? If Archuleta wins, AI is nothing but a teeny bopper Star Search show.

  • Daughtry-fan

    Chris Daughtry came in 4th place in American Idol. He had a few AI performances that were riddled with what appeared to be voice pitch problems. However, he was very serious about his work and displayed his musical artistry and finesse. Daughtry today is a very successful music artist and has won many music awards. In the finale, if David Cook’s performances has a few voice pitch problems while Archuleta’s performance has zero pitch problems, this should not ruin Cook’s chances of winning the title. The voter must look at the entire package and determine as to who will be the true idol, sell the most records and bring home the most music awards.

  • GUYS

    One needs to compare the STUDIO versions of David Cook’s AI performances like INNOCENT, Always Be My Baby, Billie Jean, etc. and compare to the studio versions of Archuleta’s AI performances (try Youtube). David Cook’s talent is way way up there and 10 million times better than Archuleta’s talent. Archuleta can only sing one range and does vocal rift tricks with that range to make it look like he has a unique singing style. It is the same old range that he uses from week to week that’s why all his performances sound the same and boring. And this is why people call him Archu-D2 or a robo-contestant because he sounds the same every week no matter what he sings. He is over-rehearsed so that none of his voice has pitch problems. If you listened to some of the group songs with the other AI contestants, when it is Archuleta’s turn to sing, his voice does not blend well with the song and the rest of the group because he can only do one range. Anyhow, you have to listen to the STUDIO version of Innocent by David Cook. Listen to the entire song and you will see the different ranges that Cook can accomplish. This is the most awesome song by David Cook that I have heard by the way- you have to listen to the “studio” version of Innocent not the live AI version.

  • It will be an AI suicide if Cook does not win AI. Just listen to the STUDIO version of Innocent. This will tell you what David Cook is capable of delivering to the public. It is the most awesome song ever among the many awesome studio version songs of David Cook.

  • pat

    Archuleta sounds so pubescent and breathy. He should have waited a couple more years before joining Idol. He needed to enjoy life, go to his prom, attend high school with kids of his own age. American Idol could have waited, he is talented, but he needed some more time to mature. He has a beautiful childlike voice. Hearing him sing mature songs sounds so creepy.

  • Prodigy

    Voters talk of Archuleta being a prodigy. What was Cook like when he was 17 years old?

    David Cook is also a prodigy. He sang in elementary school

    He was in a High School play

    When Cook was 17 yrs old….
    “David Cook formed Axium in his junior year of high school alongside drummer Bobby Kerr. Despite their young age, Axium played with the best in the business. They shared the stage with notable acts like 8 Stops 7, Caroline’s Spine, Maroon 5, Fountains of Wayne, and Smash Mouth.[4] One of the band’s songs, “Hold,” was picked up by AMC Theatres Movie Tunes and was played before previews on over 20,000 screens nationwide.”

    David Cook was matured enough to form a band in his junior year of HS without the help of his Daddy and a vocal coach. He did his musical arrangements on his own without his Daddy’s help.

    While David Archuleta is heavily trained by his Dad aka music consultant and a voice coach at the age of 17 and the Dad does his music arrangement for him or DA consults with Dad for the music arrangement.

    So who is the REAL prodigy here?


    David Cook is a GOLDMINE. AI producers want Cook to win. They want this goldmine. He is the only idol that produced many hits while being a contestant at AI. The public are buying these AI hits. He brought in the most money while being an AI contestant. Ryan Seacrest called Cook a FANTASTIC contestant. David Cook is oil under the ground that is waiting to explode. AI wants this OIL. And likewise David wants AI – he wants to win AI.

  • wws

    David Cook in his HS musical West Side Story. Click URL above or copy the link below.

    He was VERY VERY handsome in this video.

    Warning: You need to put the volume high up. You may also need to wear earphones and press those earphones against your ears so you can hear David Cook sing.

    West Side Story HS Musical.

  • Innocent

    David Cook was HOT-LOOKING in the West Side Story video. He looked like Tom Cruise!

    Everyone, don’t leave this page without listening to the STUDIO version of INNOCENT. Listen to it ENTIRELY. From beginning to END. Innocent – Studio Version.

    I swear this studio version will make all Arch fans convert to COOK! Cook can do all kinds of vocal ranges. Cook is HOT!

  • Leona

    I really like his studio versions of Hungry Like The Wolf and Day Tripper.

    I like the classic rock style vocals. I like what he does, but I would also like to hear more of that.

  • Vichlota

    Ok, all of you are really FUCKING stupid! If you dont like David Cook maybe you should be shot in the face David A is a pussy whipped little bitch afraid that his daddy is going to finger him once again… so dont be dumb and vote for a pussy vote for the real men…

  • Malinda

    Sorry for my daughter ill make sure she doesnt come back if shes going to use that kind of language…

  • OhNo

    Archuleta should never even be in the top 2. He was just a result of a hype from the tweens/teens votes. Archuleta’s voice is too one-dimensional and nasally (muffled). Carly’s voice is better than his. Even Kristy Lee’s voice is better than his. Based on the large number of 10 year old girls that are vying for Archuleta, Archuleta should not even be competing in this league. He should be competing in a younger league where girls adore singers like Miley Cyrus and Zac Afron. In addition, Archuleta is not an independent artist. He relies too much on his Dad and the vocal coach like a kid competing in a juniors singing contest.

    I feel that the hype around Archuleta from the tween votes skewed this AI competition greatly. Deserving artists were being bump early where they should not be.

    It is no contest that Cook should win the American Idol crown. Otherwise, AI is a total sham and an extremely flawed contest that needs severe overhauling.

  • KATE

    you obvioiusly don’t know what you’re talking about Cook is medeokre and has been called that on several occasion… Archuleta has been called Master Class, prodigy, the one 2 beat.. when has Cook ever been called masterclass???? thats right he hasn’t… I am a trained singer i know what im talking about Archuleta deserves this far more then Cook does… Also… Mtv is pulling for Archuleta… and to name a star who loves archuleta… NATASHA BEDINGFIELD

  • KATE

    also u are all be biased about his age… you guys are all saying he doesn’t deserve it cause hes young… if anything he deserves it because he is extremely talented for his age..

  • klr

    Kate, you need to lay off on the caffeine or whatever it is you’re high from and get some sleep.n or jump head first off a building and knock some senses into yourself. HELLO??? i didn’t even watch until the top 4 and I KNOW that David Cook has been called THE American Idol by the judges. Simon even said to him that is the show’s voters vote based on talent he would win. who the fuck cares if you’re a trained singer? Mariah and Lionel Richie are far more successful than you are and they all love David Cook. not to mention they’re much bigger stars than Natasha Bedingfield. David Cook was 17 once too you know, and he was just as talented of not more so, AI just didn’t exist back then for us to see. i’m going to bet that you won’t buy David A’s album, and i’ll bet you’ll cringe when you hear him do RnB, or fall asleep with his ballads.

  • Sharon

    I don’t like to use the word “deserve” when it comes to who should win, but what about someone who has put time and effort into creating his performances?

    David Cook is a far superior performer to David Archuleta, who is just a good singer. Cook’s voice is better than Archuleta’s anyway. Did you listen to Music of The Night?

  • tiana

    Archuleta should win. He can sin and not shout. He is the best

  • Nothing quite like subdued sinning.

  • lotty

    omg! i love david archuleta, did you see what simon said about hiM? that round one in the finale, goes to him! and he IS going to win american idol! I mean, who is david coook? he’s so… full of himself, did you guys see when paula commented on him? he was like, yeah, okay, whatever, i know! he totally sucks… i hope he doesn’t get ANYTHING!

  • Lotty is nuts

    David Cook will win. He is not “full of himself”, you just think Archuleta’s cute so you bash the other contestants. When will this show be about talent.
    I would rather buy Cook’s CD then Archuleta. But No matter what, Cook is going to get a record deal, if not on Idol it’ll be an even better record deal.

  • mary

    if you guys want david cook to win ;start voting all the teenage girls are going to vote for david a ,so all the mature people we need to vote for david cook [Edited]

  • mary simoneau

    [Edited] we need to vote you guys ,vote over and over let the real talent win

  • mary simoneau

    i have voted so many times for david cook im going to be in so much trouble when my phone bill comes in .but its worth it if he wins………….

  • Vichlota

    Alright, Kate you are stupid you maybe a trained singer but you probably sound like a bottle breaking… You have no brain cells if you think that David A is going to win. If you think that, well you might consider committing suicide with taste that bad. There is no reason to act like an idiot when it comes to talent in singing.

  • vichlota

    what now kate guess you dont know what your talking about do you



    The Battle of the Davids may be the tightest finale in American Idol history, but USA TODAY readers know whom they would pick: David Cook. The rocker was the choice of 71% of more than 12,000 readers who voted in our unscientific Web survey. How likely is it that Idol voting will follow that pattern? Not very: About 45% of the respondents said they have never voted for an Idol, and 73% of those who responded are ages 30 to 59 — the groups that favor Cook the most.

    Which of the two finalists do you want to win?

    Age 13-19
    Archuleta: 58%
    Cook: 42%

    Ages 20 to 29
    Archuleta: 31%
    Cook: 69%

    Ages 30 to 39
    Archuleta: 22%
    Cook: 78%

    Ages 40 to 49
    Archuleta: 25%
    Cook: 75%

    Ages 50 to 59
    Archuleta: 29%
    Cook: 71%

    Ages 60 to 69
    Archuleta: 36%
    Cook: 64%

    Ages 70
    Archuleta: 48%
    Cook: 52%

    All ages
    Archuleta: 29%
    Cook: 71%

    Source: USA TODAY survey; analysis by Anthony DeBarros (Week before the final show)

    The judges crucified Cook in the finals and declared Archuleta as the winner of the night. Do you think the loyal Cook fans (in the statistics above) will switch their votes to Archuleta? NO????? Even if COOK butchered his performance, only a few of those 70% will transfer over to Archuleta because they know Cook deliver hits each week that sell in iTunes. One bad night for Cook out of many outstanding nights will not sway the votes of loyal COOK fans to vote for Archuleta. Therefore, from the statistics above, it is virtually impossible for Archuleta to be the American Idol winner.

  • FANS

    Archuleta was the clear favorite from the beginning but he stayed with ballads and became boring while Cook was delivering hits week after week. The natural tendency then is if the people want variety, they would join the Cook camp or other camp. Therefore, there is no manipulation whatsoever of which contestant the fans want to support.

  • I firmly believe that American Idol is not rigged.

    Simon apologized to Cook because he wanted to. Things are different live than they are on TV. Not to mention that it’s possible to change an opinion after seeing things again.

    Simon felt he was disrepectful, that is why he apologized.

  • Turns out you were right! And he deserved to win. Is it my style of music, no. But I can’t picture blasting Archuleta either. Of the two he was the least boring and therefore he earned the title.

    Still, after seeing Carly and Michael Johns last night, I couldn’t help but wondering how different the finale would have been if those two would have stayed in longer.

  • Mourning

    The Archie fans are still mourning for Archie’s loss. I don’t see it as a loss. I see it as him being crowned as number 2 which is not bad at all!


    Archie is not even worried about being #2. He accepted it and is moving on because this is REALLY the beginning of his music career and it is very exciting. You should be excited about that!

    He won $100,000 from his last singing contest and he owns a FLORIDA home! And he is only 17 years old. Just move on because Archie is just beginning his exciting life with his recording contract!

    Who can’t be so excited about that? It is the beginning, folks and it is VERY VERY exciting!

    A guy may have the most wonderful voice in the world but he only sings ballads well. And another guy may risk with all kinds of voice ranges which may result to not quite reaching the right pitch everytime but he can sing rock, sing pop, sing classic, anything nicely and the studio versions are flawless. As stated earlier, before the FINALS, 70% voted favorably for Cook to win the idol crown according to USAToday. What is this telling us???? People want to hear rock, pop, current music, new hits from a music artist. And only 30% can live with hearing ballads all day. I would be surprised if 70% would want to hear ballads but Archie stuck to ballads throughout the competition and when he wandered off the ballads, they flopped. Therefore, not all of the people are into ballads. Yes, Archie’s voice was wonderful, perfect, hair-raising, makes you cry but 70% of the people do not feel like crying over a ballad song. They want to rock and feel happy, be current, fall in love with a new rendition, with a new tune and apparently Cook had accomplished that for them.

    So, get over it Archie fans! Move on!

  • Brilliant

    Cook is a brilliant artist! He made his fans fall in love with his new renditions, new tunes, songs from bands that an ordinary person has never heard of before. This would explain why people would await his performance each week because they were eager to hear which song he was going to perform and if the performance will be a hit for them. Cook covered two songs at the finals that most people have never heard of before. Of course, with the short amount of time to practice new renditions, his performances were not perfect. The judges crucified Cook. But his fans were forgiving because when they played the song again and again in YouTube, they have grown to love Dream Big and declared it as the best of the night performance. The song from Collective Soul, “The World I Know” was a new-found discovery for most of the fans and turned out to be a great song for the fans.

    Therefore, in the end… in the minds of the 56% of the voters, Cook emerges as their BRILLIANT American Idol.