I have to admit I was much more heavily invested in David Cook last year than I am with either Adam Lambert or Kris Allen, but I think both of the dudes are terrific. Adam is an off the scales talent, but it looks like America views Kris as accessible. For me, for you (tm Randy Jackson), I connect emotionally with Kris' performances more than I do with Adam's. For pure entertainment, Adam is one of the best that Idol's ever had. Here's the thing. Last year David Cook combined the power and to some extent, the theatrics of Adam with the emotionally filled, sometimes understated qualities of Kris. For me, David was the total package. With Kris and Adam, I tend to get either/or. The out and proud gay part of me rooted for Adam. The ipod-listening part of me was rooting for Kris.
The real winners? We really have three of them.
Kris is the "official" winner and will get the perks that go along with that. I think he has a shot at success. A lot of elements must come together for him: the right producer, the right management, the right singles, the right album. He demonstrated some sophistication and maturity during a barrage of interviews in the past 24 hours, and he seems to know who he is as a musician. He must fight for his integrity with 19 alphabet, the way Cook did. It pays off in spades.
Adam may turn out to be the bigger winner because he already has the media attention and from the looks of it on itunes, the sales. He's got tangible stage experience and there's actually talk of him joining Queen as their new lead singer! He didn't deny it this morning... he took the fifth! We'll see about that. The point is that he can do theater, he can do movies, he can do music. Will rock embrace him (without Queen backing him up LOL!)? No. Not rock radio. But if he can tone it down and come up with some good pop rock he will do fine on Adult Top 40 (aka Hot AC, where Cook and Daughtry live).
The third winner? David Cook. Ok, stay with me. His stunning live rendition of "Permanent," in honor of his brother who passed away three weeks ago, is now rising at a meteoric rate on itunes. The album track of "Permanent" just hit #6 and is beating both Kris' and Adam's coronation songs (ok, "No Boundaries" is dreadful. No threat of dethroning Cook's "The Time of My Life" as the most successful coronation song ever). His 6 month old self titled album just reentered the top 10 on itunes thanks to this performance. To make this more than just a David Cook fanboy post, I encourage you to download the charity version of "Permanent" from iTunes because 100% of the proceeds go to ABC Squared, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for brain cancer. David was a class act last season, and remains a class act one year later as a platinum-selling artist with 3 big hits on the radio.
If you missed last night's finale, or just want to experience David's performance again, here it is. I believe itunes will be releasing the music video version soon. Again, please spend a buck and download this from itunes... 100% of the proceeds go towards finding a cure for brain cancer.