Archive for May, 2008

Channel Flippin’ – Something’s Cooking

May 24, 2008

Yet another incredible ‘American Idol’ season has concluded and was bid a final farewell with surprises, laughs, and, of course, a new instant superstar. Oh, and guess who’s going to Disney World?

By Blake

Originally posted May 24, 2008.

Well, it’s all over. What began in January as a seventh annual search for America’s most talented singer has fulfilled its intention and has soared to record-breaking heights, with its final voting night raking in a whopping 96 MILLION votes worldwide. By now, the folks over at Fox have definitely proven that they know how to put on a show, and this year’s finale was certainly no exception.

This year’s two contestants that battled it out for the ultimate prize were David Archuleta, 17, from Salt Lake City, and David Cook, 25, from Kansas City. I was extremely pleased with the fact that these two were the ones to make it to the end. They both seem to be very appreciative and grateful of everything the show has done for them and every opportunity that they are benefitted with because of the show. They both appear to have star-quality stage presence and good chemistry while working together. Additionally, both being deserving contestants (Archuleta formerly suffered from vocal paralysis and Cook’s brother currently has cancer), I was slightly on the Archuleta side when it came to picking who I wanted to win, but was ultimately fine with either of them being crowned the champion. I had picked David A. to go all the way since his first audition (I know that sounds conceited, but it’s true!) and have been a David C. fan since the top 24, as well.

The two-part season finale, which aired last Tuesday and Wednesday on Fox, was a star-studded extravaganza that dazzled its viewers beyond belief. On Tuesday, both David’s each sang three songs: one of which was Clive Davis’ choice, one the contestants’ choice out of one of the top ten songs in Idol’s songwriting competition, and the last being the contestants’ choice of any song. Both performed extremely well, but Archuleta was definitely the judge’s favorite and exceeded Cook’s performances in quality and ‘wow’ factor. Tuesday’s show concluded with a special appearance by season two winner Ruben Studdard, performing this season’s exit song, “Celebrate Me Home,” complete with a montage of this season’s most memorable moments playing onscreen. It certainly was something special and an excellent way to signal the end of an amazing year of Idol fun.

But there was just one piece of business left to attend to: the results! Wednesday, like all Idol finales, was a two-hour spectacular. It kicked off with a medley by the top twelve. Following that, David and David sang a duet of “Hero.”

Next was a real treat. As part of a promotion for the new Paramount film The Love Guru, a tape was shown of footage that was filmed earlier this week of both David’s viewing a private showing of the movie, followed by getting to visit an in-character Mike Myers as Guru Pitka (who was playing “Sitar Hero” when the David’s walked in on him). He also gave advice to both contestants, informing Cook that it was no longer the 90’s and he needed to shave. In an interview with the David’s afterwards, Guru abruptly came over and splashed Cook’s face with shaving cream and began to shave him, much to the delight of Cook, who started busting out a belly-laugh as the shaving cream fell off his face (and into Archuleta’s hands, who quickly caught it)! This segment I think really showed some personality of both contestants that we hadn’t seen before, but I’m glad we saw now.

Next up came consecutive performances of several of this year’s contestants. Syesha sang with Seal, Jason Castro reprised his previous performance of “Hallelujah”, Brooke White sang with Graham Nash, and Michael Johns and Carly Smithson sang with each other. Later, David Cook sang with ZZ Top and David Archuleta sang with One Republic. Next, the top six girls performed a Donna Summer medley with – you guessed it – Donna Summer, and then the top six guys performed a Bryan Adams medley with – surprise! – Bryan Adams.

Somewhere in between all of that, a special message was made by last year’s American Idol winner Jordin Sparks direct from Cinderella Castle (yep, at WDW!) announcing that the upcoming American Idol attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios would be called “The American Idol Experience” and is opening this January! However, even though my two favorite things are finally coming together, I can’t help but think that this attraction is destined for disaster. I mean, who really wants to spend part of their WDW vacation watching regular day guests sing karaoke? Not me. ANYWAY, that’s not the only Disney/Idol news I scooped up. In an interview on the official Idol website with David Archuleta, when asked what he would do if he had 24 hours left to live, he said he’d head to WDW! 🙂

Getting back to the finale, of course there were plenty of commercial breaks, which usually aren’t worth a hoot, but this time actually held some very . . . interesting . . . promotions, including two separate advertisements for the highly popular video game Guitar Hero, one featuring David Cook and the other featuring David Archuleta. In both commercials, they each jammed out on the game, channeling a scene in Risky Business with Tom Cruise (yes, each of them in their undies).

After that particular commercial break came a completely random appearance by the Jonas Brothers performing their hit song “S.O.S.”, much to the squealing delight of I’m sure millions of kid fans around the globe. It was ultimately just pointless to have them perform. It’s not that their performance was but, it’s just that they have nothing to do with American Idol whatsoever. Oh, well.

After that was over, the definite highlight of the show (for me, at least) had arrived! It was time for the best of the worst! This year’s finale had a significantly lessened amount of best-of-the-worst coverage than previous seasons, but I was just happy that they at least had something. First was a montage of clips from some of the most memorable auditions this season (including Alexis Cohen! . . . too bad she wasn’t actually there, though) followed by – are you ready? – a live performance by Renaldo Lapuz of “We’re Brothers Forever”!!! He was even backed up by the University of Southern California marching band and cheerleaders! Ryan, Paula, and Randy also joined him onstage. It was HYSTERICAL!!!

After that, two previous American Idol winners, 2005’s Carrie Underwood and 2007’s Jordin Sparks, performed.

Next were a few aforementioned performances, followed by a final top twelve George Michaels medley, complete with a “surprise” appearance by none other than George Michaels, whose performance I’m sorry to say was boring. With just moments away from crowning the winner of the entire show, his performance just seemed too “blah” for the occasion.

Finally, the moment had arrived. It was time to crown the next American Idol! As Ryan opens the envelope, suspense builds as he reads, “Ladies and gentlemen, David and David: the winner, by 12 million votes, of American Idol 2008 . . . is . . . David . . . COOK!” I was very, very, VERY happy with either of them winning. Overall I think Cook will do better in record sales and ultimate superstardom. During Cook’s post-results performance of the winning song in the Idol songwriting competition (“The Time of My Life”), showing his supreme good sportsmanship, he even invited Archuleta and the other contestants back on stage with him.

The moment to crown the newest American Idol winner had arrived, with contestants David Archuleta and David Cook and host Ryan Seacrest on stage.

Well, that about wraps up this year’s truly amazing American Idol journey. It’s definitely been the best season yet, filled with plenty of promising new artists. I possibly might be going to the concert when it hits town and if not, I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for January to get here so we can start the pandemonium all over again.

David Cook celebrates his American Idol win.

David Cook celebrates his American Idol win.

And, finally, guess where David Cook is headed next? 🙂 And yes, that’s him singing.

By Blake; originally posted May 24, 2008. All images (C) Fox except: “The American Idol Experience” image, which is (C) Disney. Disney Parks commercials (C) Disney and uploaded to YouTube by user DavidCookCentral.