"American Idol” viewers made it official Wednesday: the seventh-season finale next week will be an all-David competition. Tulsa's David Cook will face off against 17-year-old David Archuleta for the grand prize. The previous night, judge Simon Cowell said "David Cook wins the night,” but the Wednesday votes at least proved that he did not lose. That distinction belonged to Syesha Mercado, who fell flat this week with Peggy Lee's "Fever.” Mercado drew barbs from Cowell, who called the Lee cover "a quite lame cabaret performance.” Over 56 million votes were registered, according to host Ryan Seacrest, and the majority voted to send Mercado home.
What did the judges say?Cook and Archuleta go into the final week with both praise and scorn from the judges. Cowell described Archuleta's version of Chris Brown's "With You” as "a little bit like a Chihuahua trying to be a tiger.” However, judge Paula Abdul called his performance of Billy Joel's "And So It Goes” "pure and stunning.” Cook, who grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and has performed in Tulsa for several years, won Cowell's approval for his power-ballad rendition of Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” telling him that "I thought it was one of your best performances to date.” Cook pulled negatives for his performance of Switchfoot's "Dare You To Move,” but came back with Aerosmith's "Don't Want to Miss a Thing.” Judge Paula Abdul told Cook after the Aerosmith song, "See you in the finals.” And contrary to "American Idol” myth, it was not a curse this time.
He grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and has performed in Tulsa for years.