Once upon a messy journal

Friday, May 23, 2008

And the winner is...

DAVID COOK! yep, the David from Blue Springs, MO won. I was updating my friendster account when my grandma tuned in to StarWorld to watch American Idol. Unfortunately, we were unable to watch the whole show. We were only able to watch the part when David C. was already singing his winning song, TIME OF MY LIFE, after being proclaimed as American Idol Season 7. I also want to share this article which I stumbled upon on Yahoo! News, written by Derrik J. Lang, AP Entertainment Writer.

"And yet when Cook was crowned 'Idol' on Wednesday night, it was a landslide: Host Ryan Seacrest said he'd won by a margin of 12 million votes out of the record 97.5 million cast by viewers.

"I actually walked into this with no expectations, and I'm walking out of it with no expectations," Cook told reporters backstage after his win. "This show is a springboard, but it's still a crapshoot."

From the outset, the ex-bartender provided soaring vocals and just enough outside-the-box behavior _ see his rendition of Chris Cornell's version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" _ to keep viewers cooking up votes for Cook every week. Neither Cook nor Archuleta was ever a low vote-getter.

But it was Archuleta who always received the most praise _ by both judges and loud fans _ right up until Tuesday's final performance, in which judge Simon Cowell declared that Archuleta had scored a "knockout" over Cook, who sang Collective Soul's "The World I Know," U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "Dream Big."

Or maybe being rebellious turned out to be worth the gamble for Cook; it's been suggested that a poor showing with the judges can drum up support from indignant or sympathetic voters.

Criticism may have made Cook's win sweeter for some, but don't call it an upset. Several online outfits predicted he would take home the top prize: a record contract and an SUV. DialIdol.com, which tracks busy signals on the separate phone lines dedicated to each contestant, correctly projected him the winner Wednesday morning.

So why did the older David best the younger one _ the one who couldn't take a step on the "Idol" stage without a collective shriek coming up from every under-13-year-old girl in the audience?

One reason for Cook's winning appeal may be found in a rustling in the show's recent ratings: Viewership for teenagers 12-to-17 for "Idol" was down this season, and the median age of an "Idol" viewer, once in the mid-30s, is now up to 42, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Cook was, after all, the first "rocker" of many to take the crown from a steady stream of pop- and R&B-type singers. Perhaps an older contingent helped push Cook over _ way over _ the edge. The upper age limit was raised from 24 to 28 in season four; could another increase be on the way?

Another reason could be that Cook was so genuinely humble _ and not as quiet or obsequious as Archuleta _ throughout the competition, even until the very end. On Wednesday, he told reporters it was an honor to share the stage with the teenage singer from Murray, Utah. Cook said Archuleta had more talent at 17 "than I know what to do with at 25."

Cook was overcome with emotion when he won, bending down toward the stage, his eyes filled with tears when he stood back up. It was the second time in as many nights that the scruffy, grainy-voiced belter had broken down. And a few weeks earlier, when he seemed edgy and distracted, he acknowledged that he had "things going on," perhaps a vague reference to the struggles of his older brother, Adam, who is battling advanced brain cancer.

On Wednesday night, Cowell saw fit to apologize to Cook for casting him as an also-ran to Archuleta. Just before the winner was announced, Cowell uncharacteristically backtracked on his words of the night before, telling him he was one of the nicest and most genuine contestants the show has seen, and allowing that the competition 'wasn't quite so clear cut as we called it.'"

More on Yahoo! News

Here's a look at his performance of TIME OF MY LIFE after being proclaimed American Idol Season 7


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