WOW! What a night! And that was some way to start it off….but I’m not sure I really enjoyed the whole boxing metaphore. Just me though.
This really was an amazing night; amazing performances. These two young men are extremely talented; all I can say is “Watch out, music industry! These two guys are taking you by storm!”
As Ryan said, “It’s a three round contest”; and Clive Davis, “the man with the golden ears”, picked the first round songs.
David Cook lost the coin toss, so he went first, singing “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (by U2). Clive Davis sure knows how to pick great songs for individuals! I thought, as always, that the vocals were good; his performance was nice. But I felt like he was holding back. He looked like he just wasn’t in it. Due to exhaustion? That could certainly be true, as the pace for these guys is frantic.
Randy thought it was “A great way to start off this duel”. He also complimented Clive Davis, saying it was “A very nice song choice”; but he thought DC “didn’t do everything you could have, but I love the scoop note at the end.”
Paula didn’t “Know if you’ve found what you’re looking for, but we have found what we’re looking for. David Cook has arrived!”
Simon thought DC looked “very tense, very emotional at the start of tonights performance. Taking all that together, it was phenomenal.”
David Archuleta sang Clive Davis’ pick “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”. I really loved this song! It sounded new and young, vs the ‘older ballads’ he usually sings. I absolutely loved the ‘textures & colors’, as Paula says, in his voice. This one put me immediately in mind of a Star Performance. This kid has beautiful, simple vocals. What you hear is what you get.
Randy declared it “One of the best performances of the season. That was flawless!”
Paula was full of ‘sunshine’, saying Archie “Bring[s] out so much sunshine. Beautiful, beautiful sunny performance. Tonight is unbelievable!”
Simon reminded everyone that “It’s very easy to get excited. Last week, David, you were only OK. Tonight is arguably your best ever.”
Simon then went on to declare Archuleta the winner of ROUND ONE.
David Cook started the second round (song contest; personal choice) singing “Dream Big”. I really love this song. I’ve been singing it ever since last nights show…it just sticks in your head…”If you don’t dream big, what’s the use in dreaming? If you don’t have faith, there’s nothing worth believing!”….yeah, I think this was/is a great song! I thought DC’s unique vocals really made it take off and soar. And I loved the suspension on that last note, way to hold it DC!
Randy said David was “singing your face off! Your voice really made it work”, despite the fact that he wasn’t a fan of the song. Oh well, we can’t expect every producer to know what makes a good hit every time. (Like I know what I’m talking about?!)
Paula had a lovely little speech to give; “A song in your heart, a guitar in your hand; and we millions all mesmerized by you. This is a great way to take a song we don’t know and make us fall in love with it.” ‘She said with a smile’.
Simon thought DC “made the most of what you had. The end was OK. But it didn’t feel like a winning moment”.
David Archuleta sang “In This Moment” as his song contest choice.
Archie’s vocals were in fine form the whole night, really. He was just great. The song melody was suited perfectly for his voice. It was like the writer of this song had David A. in mind the whole time.
Randy seemed pretty excited, crying out “You are so in the zone, you could sing the phonebook! Another hot performance!”
Paula was beaming; “It’s like you’re on fire tonight. It’s pure magic. Why you’re here in the finals.”
Simon thought Archie “Definitely chose the better song tonight. Much more in keeping with the night.”
Again, Simon declared Archuleta the winner of the ROUND, TWO.
David Cook chose “The World I Know” (by Collective Soul) as his third song and personal choice. I was awed and inspired. THAT was his song. This is what he does best. This is what he’s phenomenal at. The note at the end…! I have officially fallen in love with David Cooks’ voice (musically speaking). And the emotion he shared at the end…it was so special to be a part of that, even if only by TV with a million other viewers; this guy has ever been the gentleman, and while holding his emotions in check, you still know they’re there; he just doesn’t normally flaunt them for all to see. I admire that. I also have to admire that David C. chose a new song to sing, rather than pulling up a ‘formal glory’. Yes, I was hoping he’d pull out “Hello” again, but this was better.
Randy said DC did a “very nice job. Very nice; you showed us a lot of different sides to David Cook.”
Paula had some positive feedback too; “You’re delivering unbelievable songs with integrity and originality.” That seems to be who he is.
Simon complimented David, saying “You are one of the nicest, most sincere contestants we’ve had.” But then he got serious; “I thought it was a beautiful song. It was the wrong song choice on this night; you should have done Billie Jean or Hello”.
David Archuleta closed the night with his previously done “Imagine”. His vocals were still good on this one…but….it just wasn’t as good as the first time. I listened to it several times, and just couldn’t get over that. I do wish he’d picked one that hadn’t been quite so good the first time he sang it, then you could tell the difference in a positive way. I think this song choice was just safe.
Randy thought Archie was just “So good tonight. You are exactly what this show is all about. The best singer in Season Seven’s standing right there!” Isn’t that pulling it farther than you’re supposed to go, as a judge on A-I? Though, I do think, vocally, he’s correct.
Paula, “You’ve left my speechless tonight. You were stunning. What it’s all about.”
Simon closed the judging session with this; “This show is about finding a star. You came out here to win. What we have witnessed is a knockout”.
Such special words for Archie to hear. I think, personally, that Cook won the last round; but that still left two rounds in Archie’s court. After the vocal performances Archie put in last night, I think he should be the winner of this season. But it’s too close to call. Cook has been amazing since Hello, and pretty good before that.
Archie, as I said early, has beautiful, simplistic vocals. What you hear is what you get.
Cook, on the other hand, has intricate, beautifully crafted vocals. You hear one thing the first time; the second time you hear something totally new. His voice is like a new place to explore, you never know what may lie around the bend. That’s what I love so much about him. It never gets old.
So, Archie is a better vocalist. Cook, a better artist. Who will win?