Despite the optimistic headline, which I purloined from Yogi Berra, David Cook better be hoping that a veritable shitload of 9-13 year-old voters suddenly develop osteoarthritis of the dialing fingers. Otherwise, he’ll be subjected to yet another of my purloined vapid aphorisms: If you ain’t first, you’re last. (Attribution to Ricky Bobby for that one.)
Yea, verily, any glimmer of hope David Cook might have stubbornly clung to is fading rapidly to black. To remain consistent with the silly boxing metaphor that formed the framework for Tuesday night’s American Idol sing-off, Cook needed to score a knockout in the final round, but could not. Baby Archuleta was consistently good, albeit sappy, as usual. The audience ate him up. It was Archuleta, not Cook, who had the eye of the tiger, although you wouldn’t know that because his eyes were closed a lot.
The corny boxing theme was a stretch, even for American Idol. They couldn’t afford Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed, so they got Michael Buffer, the venerable boxing announcer whose signature line is “Lllllet’s get ready to rrrrrumbbblllllllle!” and they got Jim Lampley, longtime ringside TV announcer on HBO’s Saturday night boxing, who gave us taped boxing-style analyses but spared us the Tale of the Tape and Punchstat. Cute, but inane. I’m bored, so I’ll employ the metaphor here as well, no doubt confounding those of you who know nothing about the sweet science.
The night started out very much favoring Cook, who appeared confident and relaxed in the opening interview, whereas Archuleta seemed overwhelmed by it all. Once they got around to singing, however, the tables quickly turned. The conspiracy theorists might suggest that the fix was in, that songs were chosen for the pipsqueak that would shed a good light on him whereas Cook’s songs were duds.
Well, be that as it may, the final song of the evening was the performer’s choice, and Cook blew it with a number that would be better reserved for his forthcoming album. As Simon Cowell said, he needed to generate the kind of excitement that he had generated with “Billie Jean” earlier in the competition. He needed to sing the number that would leave the audience wanting more instead of singing the one reserved for the encore, the one designed to take the edge off the crowd and prevent accidents on the way home. Cook floated like a butterfly, but he did not sting like a bee.
“Â¡No mÃ¡s!” intoned Cook, seated on his stool in his corner as he failed to come out for the third round.
Cook needed to know that unless you’re already the champ, you have to claw your way to the top. You can’t sit on your laurels. You cannot back off for a second.
Alas, he wasn’t hungry enough. He bobbed and weaved his way through three rounds, leaving the bout to the scorecards. The judges were not favorably disposed. The scorecards declared Archuleta the winner and it was not a split decision.
I wonder how Harold Lederman scored it on his card.
Of course, we’ll have to await the voters’ verdict, but it appears to this Turkey that Wednesday’s two-hour extrava-hype-o-rama-ganza will culminate with Archuleta being awarded the flyweight title belt, much to my chagrin, and—who knows?—perhaps Larry Merchant will stuff a microphone in his face as his handlers hoist him on their shoulders, high above the ring.
Rumor has it that we’ll be seeing Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers sometime during the two hours to break the monotony of the commercials. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a lot of 15 year-olds who are hotter than Hanna Montana. She’s got a lot of gum exposure going on there. She seems to be a media product. Just thought I’d get my two cents in about that.
I ought to Tivo the damn thing and fast-forward it all the way through the hype to the final verdict, which in my less than humble opinion, is anticlimactic. Long live King David.