Man, of all the high-quality TV shows I watch—Real Housewives of Orange County, Hell’s Kitchen, Make Me a Supermodel—I’m gonna write about American Idol. Oh, well. I have a feeling there are a few other people out there familiar with this show.
So I went to bed early Wednesday night, around 8:30. Normally not a big deal (other than the obvious question: why am I going to bed so early?) but I wanted to tape Top Chef after the American Idol finale. Because our bedroom TV (where I do most of my taping) uses a cable box, I had to manually—with my hands—change the channel at 9:00. Eh, I figured. Skip it. Bravo shows are rerun for years.
But I couldn’t fall asleep, and at 8:56, I turned on the TV to see if AI was over so I could turn the channel. Not surprisingly, considering all the filler, they had not yet announced the winner.
So: Archie or Cookie? I started out liking David Archuleta a lot, but he became kind of boring, too cute and smushy. No doubt, the kid has a great voice, seems sincerely humble and gracious, and is freaking adorable. David Cook, I hated right out the gate. I didn’t like his vocal affectations or his giant melon head. Or his hair or his habit of writing on his hand. Still, I liked his voice overall and thought he was a great performer AND chose good songs.
But Cookie won me over with his performance of “Music of the Night.” I figured he’d rock it out or do something grungy to it, but he did a straight and beautiful version. I was very reluctantly impressed.
Still, I predicted an Archie landslide, if only because those tween girls out there? They can be scary about the voting and the dialing and the texting. Like, obsessive. I figured there was no way they were not gonna vote 1,000 times for Archie and then go out and bludgeon to death any Cook supporters with their tiny, sparkly cell phone cases and Hello Kitty lunchboxes.
The announcement. Don’t you think Seacrest could’ve held out the drama a little longer. C’mon: “David . . .” you know, for like five minutes, while we all sqealed and died? The show was already running over (I’m still mad that I missed part of Top Chef because Michael Myers had to spend half the show pimping The Love Guru, which looks just like Austin Powers only Indian) Anyway, ” . . . Cook”!
Cookie held off on his reaction to give Archie his props and a big ol’ man-hug. Classy. Then he lost it a little bit, and so did I. Maybe it was the Vicodin, maybe it was my sorrow at missing a few minutes of Top Chef, but I lay on my stomach at the foot of my bed, remote in hand, and . . . I bawled a little. I cried for all the David Cooks of the world whose dreams might never come true. I cried for my pretty Dreadlock Boy, who didn’t stand a chance but who made it to FOURTH PLACE. I cried for Schmuckie and Schmuckie’s Daughter, who are big Archuleta fans. But mostly, I cried because, damn you, American Idol—you still know how to push my buttons with this schmaltz year after year. I’m powerless!
He’s no Kelly “Kelly Belly” Clarkson, but David Cook is YOUR (and my) American Idol. (bawls)
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