Yeah, David Cook! The seventh American Idol winter is from Blue Springs, Missouri, a suburb of my Kansas City, so I've been cheering the hometown boy since the tryouts.
Cook's choice for his last song on the night of the finals was really interesting. Instead of reprising one of his best moments from the season as ALL the other idol finalists have done (think Fantasia and her spectacular "Summertime,") he chose to play something new - but old - Collective Soul's "The World I Know" from way back in 1995. Not only was this a variation from the Idol script, he did not sing the song like the typical arrangement for a finalist's last moment in competition. There were no dramatic key changes, so glory notes held for five minutes. He only sang the chorus once and instead of building it, trailed the last phrases off without a dramatic resolution. Simon said it was a beautiful song, but understandably, also expressed disappointment and even doubt that Cook could win.
Poor sweet David Archuleta. After he sang, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," I thought he would break into nervous sobs, vomit or spontaneously combust. Jordin Sparks won at just-turned 18, but she has always had poise to burn - perhaps because her dad was a pro ball player and she was used to the spotlight. David A. has always seemed on the child side of seventeen.
I found this footage of Cook in a high school play on Youtube - if that intro isn't warning enough, I must emphasize viewing is recommended for SERIOUS FANS only - the footage is blurry and contrasty and shot so far from the stage and on such crappy equipment, it looks like an impressionist painting. But you can hear Cook's unmistakable voice and if you have the patience, you'll see him dancing in a not terrible imitation of Donald O'Connor's "Make 'Em Laugh" number from Singing in the Rain, complete with pratfalls, cartwheels and singing handstands.
I haven't been this hyped since I saw pictures of Dave Grohl in his high school marching band (before he dropped out to become The Coolest Rock Star In The Known World.) A glimpse of these guys when they were real kids (boatloads of charisma notwithstanding) is reassuring after you realize Chris Brown, seemingly sprung from his father's head fully formed and clothed in armor, is only a teenager.
A funny watercooler conversation.