It's finally here! After a long and unremarkable season, buoyed only by the impossibly fantastic, stage-fathered wonderfulness of David Archuleta, American Idol viewers will, at last, select their champion tonight. Can Archuleta recover from last week's (totally minor) setbacks? Or will David Cook's alt-rock cheesery (and probable producer skulduggery) rule the evening? Our biased, wildly speculative predictions, after the jump!
On tonight's episode, the two Davids will compete head-to-comb-overed-head with three songs each — one chosen by the contestants, another by music-business legend Clive Davis, and the third, a winner of American Idol's international songwriting competition. Here's how we think it'll go down:
Bucktoothed blowhard (and Idol producer) Nigel Lythgoe has already blabbed on the radio that Archuleta will sing John Lennon's "Imagine," a song he performed to perfection in an earlier round. We expect it to be flawless, but, nevertheless, the judges will dock him points for raiding his back catalogue.
Cook is rumored to be doing U2's "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," a terrific song he'll likely transform into post-grunge sludge with his husky caterwauling and mitten-handed guitar-playing. The crowd will go wild, no doubt, but will Simon and Randy criticize him for his failure to be Bono, like they did when Syesha covered Whitney Houston?
Clive Davis's Choice
Sure, Alicia Keys's great-grandfather may seem old and out of touch, but if there's one thing he knows, it's spotting star potential in reality-show competitors (Bo Bice's album was not his fault); he's pretty much responsible for Leona Lewis's awesome "Bleeding Love," so we've got no doubt he'll make good picks tonight. Rumor has it that for David Archuleta, he's selected Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," which should be a great fit. No word yet on what Cook will sing, but if Clive has his wits about him, it'll be something he can't rearrange into an Our Lady Peace song.
Usually, the "pimp spot" (i.e., being the last performer) is an advantage, but considering the sappy, always-atrocious, producer-selected tracks that typically serve as the winning Idol's coronation song (think "This Is My Now" or "Do I Make You Proud?"), tonight's edge goes to the first singer — the victor will be the contestant whose fans have finished vomiting by the time the voting opens.