Last night, David Cook was crowned this season’s new American Idol. This was despite the fact that the judges had all but given the title to David Archuleta the night before. In fact pretty much all the pundits really thought that the younger David would walk away with the title. I couldn’t be happier that David Cook won instead.
Now it’s not that I don’t think Archie is deserving, far from it. He has the beautiful voice of a young prodigy. But to me, he was more of a Josh Groban-type operatic singer rather than a pop/rock star. His vocals are impeccable, but he really had no stage presence and sometimes I didn’t believe the emotion in the songs. I think the main reason for this is his age (17). The world hasn’t “happened” to him yet. He’s been sheltered in his Dad’s little Stage Dad competition world where he couldn’t be a kid.
This is where I feel bad for young David. His Dad appears to be every bit as bad and pushy as the worst stage parents. He was bad enough that the Idol folks banned him from going backstage and to rehearsals for the last couple weeks. I think his Dad is damaging him, and we’ll see problems with young David in the future. Stage parents suck. Despite all of this, I think losing might actually do little David some good. He finally has some pain to tuck away and grow upon. It’s not a young-love heartbreak-type of pain that shapes the rest of us, but at least it’s something.
Anyway, I’m thrilled that Cook won for the simple fact that he can already walk on stage as a rockstar. When he sings in a controlled manner, his vocals can be every bit as tender and melodic as the best of them. When he straps on the guitar and rocks out you rock along. When he puts emotion into the music, you believe every damn world. You can tell he has the pain to grow upon. He was a musician and an entertainer rather than just a singer. He didn’t do any R&B tinged sappy ballads, in fact he even made a Mariah Carey song one of his own. He deserves this, much to the chagrin of all the 12 year olds that melt every time Archie says “gosh.”
So to me, I think this was a win for those of us in the older demographic that wanted a really good rocker type rather than a doe-eyed balladeer. And it wasn’t just a minor win, Cook won by 12 million votes. There were a total of 97 million cast. Now I could go into a whole diatribe about how I wish people would vote in our general election as fervently as they do for Idol, but I’ll save that for another time. The point is, us old folks won damnit. Now all you whippersnappers can get the hell off my lawn.