Recap Grand Finale Performance

First of all, let me apologise for not bringing you the recap for the Top 3 week. I was sent to a far away place and was not able to watch the show.

After many weeks of American Idol, we have finally arrived at the grand finale. It is down to David Cook vs. David Archuleta, which isn't really surprising. Not since the days of Clay Aiken have we had a finale with two males. Also not since then, have we had such a talented pair in the finals.

The final performance show opened with some guy introducing the two contestants in the manner of a boxing match.

Some clips from Clive Davis and Andrew Lloyd Webber are shown where they are coaching the 2 contestants.

There'll be 3 rounds, where each contestant will deliver their final set of competition performances.

For the 1st round, the songs have been chosen by Clive Davis

Up first is David Cook. As usual, I thought he was good, not bad at all. Randy exclaimed that it was a great way to start the show. He said it was a very nice song choice. He loved the scoop with the note at the end and thought it was "hot"! Paula said we have found David Cook. She commented that he was "in great voice tonight". Simon articulated his observation that at start of show, David looked very tense, very emotional, and taking all that together, said it was phenomenal.

David Archuleta sang Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, a song that now belongs to Clay Aiken. While it was good, it highlighted for me the difference between Clay and Archuleta. I don't think David was as good as Clay. Randy felt this was one the best performances of the season. He went on to say it was "flawless" and "unbelievably molten hot. Crazy vocals." Paula claimed it gave her chills up and down her arms. She thought it was a beautiful beautiful stunning performance. Simon remarked that last week he was ok, but tonight, arguably the best he's done so far, and taking everything into account, gave round 1 to Archuleta.

For Round 2, a new song is selected from the song writer's competition. The contestants get to choose from top 10 entries.

Cook's 2nd performance was quite decent. It could actually be a catchy song. Randy said the song was just ok, but what made it work was his voice. Paula believed it a great way to take a song and make us fall in love with it. Simon said, using the boxing analogy, it was a lightweight. He lamented that it is supposed to be a winning song, and that didn't feel like a winning moment. For that he gave 6.5/10.

Archuleta's follow up was ok. His song choice was different by the way, and I would think more suitable for the finale. Randy wasn't too crazy about the song, but felt he's so in the zone, he could sing the phonebook, it would still be good. Paula said it was another heart felt performance, like he's on fire tonight, and called it "pure magic". Simon loved the egotistical lyric (of course) and thought it was definitely a better song for the occasion than Cook's. He also gave round 2 to the younger David.

In Round 3 the contestants could choose any song they wanted. Cook chose a song he hasn't done yet. Archuleta, chose Imagine, one he did before since it's one of his favourites.

Cook - Listening to it, I felt it probably was not the best song choice. It was good singing, but too close to boring. Randy thought it was very nice sensitive side to David, and said it was a very nice job. Paula remarked that he was delivering unbelievable songs with integrity and originality and then proceeded to give him a standing ovation. Simon started by acknowledging in public that Cook is one of the nicest most sincere contestants we've had. He said it was a beautiful song, but completely and utterly the wrong song choice. He suggested Billy Jean or Hello as better alternates. I have to agree with him. Cook needed to do a number that America had heard and loved from him before.

Archuleta - Well pretty much everyone loved it when he had first done Imagine, and no doubt it still came across as good tonight. Randy exclaimed that this is what the show is about and declared David the best singer of season 7. Paula said it left her speechless, and thought he was stunning tonight. Simon said we witnessed one of the great finals. He believed David A came out to win tonight and what we witnessed was a knock-out!

So it is quite obvious who the judges think will and should win. Objectively speaking, Archuleta was the stronger contestant tonight. Cook just did some wrong songs. Anyway, I suppose it doesn't really matter who wins. They both are clearly very talented and should have great success post idol. But Archuleta is the new American Idol!

The show closed with a live performance by Ruben Studdard, doing the song they have been playing all season when a contestant goes home.

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