Michael Buffer stretches out the intro this time around; still didn't quite get out as long as Ryan, but he held the note better. I like that they used the actual fanfare from the Creed/Balboa fight, and not just "Gonna Fly Now."
It's 180-pound David Cook against the flyweight David Archuleta. (I said 92 pounds, but Buffer said "About a hundred." Heh. He wore the heavy socks tonight.) Simon says that they have to hate each other, and Archuleta spoils that instantly by saying that DC is awesome. Cook wryly notes that he can't say anything now without sounding trite.
Clive Davis and Andrew Lloyd Weber are the cornermen for this. Clive picks "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2. He does pretty well, albeit not quite as dynamic as the original. Randy is going to call him DC (just like I did, yo, but I typed it first, dawg), and is happy about the performance. Paula says there's no need to keep looking (show's over! Drive safe!). Simon calls in phenomenal.
Now we all get to worry, because the Crown Prince gets to sing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," and it's a great pick for him. He gets to be emo and offer us all as much gum as his fellow Oompa-Loompas can deliver. He's even doing it while he's sitting down! Randy is shrieking that the whole stage is lava; Paula says that everything is bright and sunshiny. Simon says it's very easy to be overexcited, but that tonight's performance was possibly his best so far, calls round one to the Crown Prince. He doesn't look happy that he's said it, either. Tweeners are holding up signs asking for his sweet gum-bearing hand in wedlock. Crrrreeeeeeepy.
ALW says that DC may have a little doubt in his voice. We'll see now; the song is "Dream Big," one of the songs from the Putrid First Single Competition they held this year. DC is done with this waltzing the stage. He's got his guitar and leather jacket, and is rocking the tune, as best it can be rocked. The chorus is eh, lyrically, but a bit better than the usual AI standard. The judges are basically saying the same thing: the song didn't live up to the performer. Agreed.
Archuleta is coming up. "In This Moment," probably another Putrid Contest entry. "Reflection/perfection," heh, ALW is right - who wrote this? Holy crap, the Crown Prince is using Kristy Lee's step/crouch move! He has anchors all over his ugly jacket. And they show a long shot of the whole crowd, confirming my suspicions: it's only the front couple of rows doing the slow arm wave; it's all designed to get themselves camera attention. Nobody else cares. Thank goodness. Why is his face such a dull mask when he's hitting the big notes at the end? It's horrible. It sounded very good, but it looked weird. And again, the song was blecch. "Fantastically self-centered lyric," Simon says, but says it was a better choice and he takes round two. DC is going to have to knock him out - or Archie's gonna have to huck up a hairball on Ryan's lapel.
Finally, the contestant choice. ALW says to pick something with a cry of passion, so DC goes with "The World I Know" by Collective Soul - a song he's never performed before. Hope this pays off. Archuleta will sing "Imagine." AGAIN. $$#^%$! That miserable Marxist dirge. Little snot. "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the Angry Dome."
I don't even want to listen. DC is singing far the better song, but the "hug the puppies" kumbaya crowd is going to fall for the Crown Prince of the Politburo. DC absolutely nailed the final song, though, and is actually tearing up here. It's a terrific job, and brilliant choice: he sang an Archuleta song, only it had balls. Magnificent. Randy thinks he should put it on the album and sell it now, Paula applauds him, but Simon thinks he should have gone with Billie Jean or Hello. "Why do something I've already done?" he replies. Hot damn! Twist that knife.
OK, the Commie bunk. "Imagine no possessions." Imagine no record contract, kiddo. He is doing a different arrangement of it, acoustic with strings, but he only sang the one verse and chorus, and that's it. ...the hell? He's showing some actual emotion this time, but "the world will live as one" is, strictly speaking, CRAP. If we all took this song's advice, the world would die as one.
I can't believe what I'm hearing. The judges fell for this! He wasn't even that good this third time. He barely sang any of the song. I am so irked right now. DC showed range, emotion, and wasn't a repetitive tool. He will sell so many more records than the Crown Prince.
Hey, Ruben's here! They're recapping the season's big moments. "No Sex Allowed!" There's the glee club kid, and the Asian Liberace! Good times. Jason Castro! Danny Noriega! I will try to forget the horror of this final hour and think of David Cook owning the Billboard.