Last Wednesday, Sayesha was sent packing and The Show rubbed its maniacal hands together with glee. Ever since The Show kicked Carly to the curb, it's been angling for a David v David finale. Also, Wednesday, Fantasia had a ghetto fit live on stage.. stomping and braying and sweating, all at the same time. I think she called it singing. Look up "hot mess" in the dictionary, and there should be a picture of pink-haired sweat-tarded Fantasia. Simon had the same reaction I did. Sometimes I [heart] live television.
So, tonight, the evening starts with an embarrassing faux-fight intro with Cook and Archuletta as 'contenders'. They both look wildly embarrassed. Anyone with sense would. This kind of shit would be deemed too corny for "The Donny and Marie Show."
So who is "guiding" these contenders? Every one's favorite mummified music mogul, Clive Davis, and every one's favorite British glamourpuss, Andrew Lloyd Weber.
David Cook "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
Mumm-Ra and Glamourpuss chose this one for David, and he avails himself quite nicely. It's wisely not a Bono-copycat performance, as Cook plays to his vocal strengths. He even parts the sea or sorority girls like a modern-day musical Moses. Thumbs up from the judges.
David Archuletta "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"
David starts this one just sitting on the stairs, cuz he's soulful and thinks of homeless people. It's vocally good stuff, but it's another Arculett-a-bot performance. As the judges praise, David looks like he's going to faint like a Silent Movie Heroine any second. Simon declares round 1: Archuletta. Hey, no hot iron burns from PapArchuletta tonight!
Round 2 is the songwriter's choice round. Last year, the best song they found was the platitude-stuffed trifle, "This Is My Now." It makes a Hanna Montana song look like Zed Zeppelin by comparison.
David Cook "Dream Big" by Emily Shakleton
I'm glad David is slurring some of the words, because the ones I am hearing should carry a saccharine warning. This would totally rock if it was sung by "Jem in The Holograms" circa 1986. Jem would totally sing this to one of those her orphan girls. (Isn't it about time for Jem's glam-tastic return?) Cook does a good job with the song, in a radio-friendly lite-rock sorta way. If there's every a "Wedding Singer 2", this track should be on it!
David Archuletta "In This Moment" by Roger Gilmore
"In This Moment" is like the long-lost twin to "This Is My Now." 'nuff said. It's an Archuletta ballad. His arm is appropriately pleading, his eyes strategically closed. And sometimes, it looks like his food is disagreeing with him. It's vocally good, but visually, there's that auto-pilot Archulett-a-bot. Judges love (rinse and repeat). Simon declares round 2: Archuletta.
David Cook "The World I Know"
Originally by Collective Soul, David sings this one with his altera-rock growl. This could totally be one of those songs in the last scene on an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" when a lot of character shit is going down in slow motion. David does a good job with the song, owning it just enough yet keeping it recognizable. As the song ends, Cook is overcome with some emotion as some tears well up in his eyes. "Member that smug David Cook in the top 24? What a character arc!
David Archuletta "Imagine"
David reprises his winning "think of the homeless" rendition of "Imagine" from his top 24 performance. It's exactly what you'd imagine it to be. 'Lil Archie has somehow managed to musically channel a myriad of emotions he's never actually felt. The judges all but crown Archuletta right there. Simon declares it a knock-out.
Simon nicely hates on Cook, in comparison to Archuletta anyway, all night. I'm not sure why Simon is pushing for Archuletta, cuz Cook would make more radio-friendly songs. iTunes certainly agrees. Not sure what's up there. I guess maybe because Simon was bored most of the season, maybe he hasn't been paying attention. Listen, Cowell, only Paula is allowed blackouts.
So who's going home? The all great and powerful Show would say Cook, making 'Lil Archie the Idol Puppet. I'd rather see Cook win, but that looks doubtful.
Now, someone slap some formaldehyde on Clive Davis, or he won't keep for 2009.