American Idol – Then There Were 2

American Idol Logo After sixteen weeks, 24 finalists, and 2 Davids, this is what it comes down to. Last night’s American Idol final performance show was a good one, but the boxing analogies got old, fast. Both performers stayed true to themselves and their own styles and if either of them gave us any surprises, it was that Young David really pulled out all the stops and sang way over his head, while Rocker David seemed more subdued and ready to rest on his laurels.

Here is the way it laid out, as I saw it:

Super Producer Clive Davis picked the songs for this round. Rocker David was given U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. Bono would be proud. Rocker David’s raspiness was just what the song needed to give it that edge he gives most songs to make them that much better. Young David’s song was Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me by Elton John. He picked the right time to have what was probably his best performance of the entire competition. Every note was spot-on and his voice never sounded better. He needed to be that good to go up against Rocker David and he knew it. Great job by Clive Davis picking these two songs. I think this guy might know what he’s doing.

This round the contestants chose from the top 10 most popular coronation song nominees from a contest that was held several months ago (more on this later). Rocker David chose a song called Dream Big that let him use his guitar and show a softer side of him. In one of the very few times this season, I agreed with Crazy Paula when she said that one of the great things about him is he can take a song that no one is familiar with and make us enjoy it. Young David chose a song called In This Moment. It was just his style, a sappy, boring ballad. The judges seemed to like it a lot. I did not, Judge #1 (Lynn) did not. Judge #1 is tired of Young David’s “I am not worthy of your praise” face and his nearly passing out every time the judges compliment him.

Round three, unlike seasons past, was contestant’s choice. Last season, this round was the demise of beat-boxer Blake Lewis, who had to sing a sappy pop song that was completely out of his comfort zone, but perfect for eventual Idol winner Jordon Sparks. While she probably would have won anyway, the song choice by the show’s producers didn’t hurt her any. But back to last night, Rocker David chose Collective Soul’s The World I Know. Not a great song choice for his finale when he probably should have gone out with something far more memorable, like his tremendous version of Billie Jean (as Simon pointed out). If he insisted on doing something new, he still could have chosen something far better to end with. I wouldn’t have minded hearing him do something by The Killers, or go retro and pull out some Nirvana. That would have been interesting. Young David, by contrast, knew exactly what he was doing and went with his Tour de Force, Imagine by John Lennon. The boy might be young, be he ain’t no dummy. I don’t think he sang it quite as well as he did the first time he sang it, but without a doubt, it was very, very good.

While I think that Rocker David is a far better singer and performer, I think that Young David is going to win American Idol 7 tonight. He won over the judges and the voting public last night with his song choices, and moreover, Rocker David lost them with his. All of that being said, it doesn’t matter because Rocker David will still be selling records and selling out concerts long after all of the 12 year old girls turn 13 and stop listening to Young David and he disappears off of our radar.

As I mentioned earlier, 19 Entertainment, who produces American Idol, held their 2nd American Idol Songwriter contest. The winner this year was Regie Hamm of Nashville and the song is Time of My Life. Whichever of the Davids wins tonight will be singing it during the show’s final four minutes.

According to an article in USA Today, the song was chosen from tens of thousands submitted, said Jeff King, 19 Entertainment’s US Head of Digital Entertainment. 60 staffers then narrowed the choices down to 20. Those 20 were then posted to a website for on-line voting. More than 500,000 people voted Time of My Life as the number one choice. Dream Big and In This Moment, the two songs that Rocker David and Young David sang in Round 2 last night, also finished in the top 10 in on-line voting.