EDITOR’S “EDITOR’S NOTE”:  Despite the hokey boxing motif weaving throughout last night’s first half of the American Idol Season 7 finale, David Archuleta and David Cook managed to shake their silks and find their footing as they hooked some favorable performances.  The three rounds included songs chosen by Sony BMG executive Clive Davis; songs chosen by the contestants from the American Idol Songwriting Contest’s Top 20 submissions; and finally, any song a contestant wanted to sing. 

Today,  Coworker Chad and I chat about which contestant has the best advantage of being saved by the bell and winning the title this evening. ...

Laura Mac says:  Let's get rrrrrrready to A-MER-rican Idolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!

Chad says:  Wow. My ears hurt now.

Laura Mac says:  Yeah, but surely not as bad as last night.  What was up with that hokey boxing motif?  I mean, come on.  I know AI's ratings are down, but still.  For the love ...

Chad says:  That was this single strangest American Idol opening I can remember.  Cook, of course, played the part.  Archuleta looked like he desperately needed to be stuffed in a locker somewhere (Gosh, I'm just so glad to be in this locker.  I just want to do my best and have a good time).

Chad says:  I desperately wanted to see them actually fight.

Laura Mac says:  The Cook would’ve jabbed.  And The Archuleta surely would’ve tasered.  Or maybe pepper-sprayed. 

Laura Mac:  You know, Cook has a lot of theater experience.  So I think maybe he's been tapping into that and just staying in each week's (or each song's) character, if you will.  I honestly don't think he cares if he wins.  He's gonna be big with or without an AI title.

Chad says:  I think he will be better off if he doesn't win.  I think his fans will get a better CD.  I've read a lot online about fans not voting for him because they see how good it was for other past contestants.  He certainly doesn't need to win to get a recording deal, and he will probably appreciate not having to live with the AI control.

Laura Mac says:  Or "curse," as it were.  In thinking back on last night's performances, I noticed something about each contestant's three songs. ...

Laura Mac says:  Simon alluded to it when he said that The Archuleta's "In This Moment" (Round 2) was very self-focused.  Looking at the lyrics of the other two songs that he performed, they were also egocentric ... Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and John Lennon's "Imagine.”

Laura Mac says:  And then for The Cook ... all of his songs (U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking for", Emily Shackleton's "Dream Big" and Collective Soul's "The World I Know") had references (of varying degrees) to faith or spirituality in them.

Laura Mac says:  I know that Clive Davis selected the first round's songs - and maybe he tried to match song w/personality.  But didn't David y David select the songs for themselves in the latter two rounds? 

Chad says:  Yes.  The second song was selected from the songwriters’ competition (I think the Davids got to choose) and the third was wide open.

Chad says:  You know, that is an interesting observation on song choice.  I hadn't thought about it.  I was actually just shocked that David A. chose three slooooow, moving ballads.  Big surprise there.  Oh wait, that's what he's done for EVERY song.  Never mind.

Laura Mac says:  Exactly.  And I'm sure the judges' slobber-fest over The Archuleta last night help him quite a bit.  But in a word ... please!  It was just too much.  Stop the salivating.

Laura Mac says:  All in all, The Cook is a class act.  He diplomatically backed his choice for his third song ("The World I Know") when questioned by the judges, and I applaud him for that.  Personally, I don't think it was a wise choice.  But I have to say … the man’s got some moxie.  And that's cool.

Chad says:  Yes.  He is the definitely the true artist of the competition. 

Laura Mac says:  Well, I hope the fans of Clay Aiken and Josh Groban and any other diveauxs (that's the plural of the male version of "diva," mind you) are happy now.  'Cause their next member is about to join the ranks.  And in three years, The Archuleta will be hawking his CDs on QVC.  Mark my words.

Chad says:  I agree.  To all the Archuleta fans out there, I have this to say:  "Congratulations, you've discovered white bread.  He may be Wonder Bread, but he is white bread nonetheless."  As you know, I have never once said David A. can't sing.  I think he has a terrific voice.  But he is a one-trick pony.  His performances are an inch deep.  And on a scale of 1 to 10 on originality, he's a zero.

Chad says:  Great voice, but he's no artist.  I DO look forward to hearing him in elevators and while I'm on hold.

Laura Mac says:  Gosh, that was very  Cowell-esque of you, Coworker Chad.  Well said.  Bravo!

Chad says:  Why, thank you.

Laura Mac says:  And on that witty, Britty note, I look forward to seeing what will happen w/the judges and the contestants and ... sigh, even The Seacrest ... on tonight's second part of the season finale.

Chad says:  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone back on stage again.  I feel exhausted from this marathon season, but there have been several other contestants who I've honestly enjoyed watching.  We should probably get the company to pay for us to cover the tour this summer.

Chad says:  But in the end, the crown will go to Archuleta.  Little girls around the world will sob incessantly with rapturous joy.  And the rest of us will look forward to what I expect will be a great career of fantastically original music from David Cook.

Laura Mac says:  Good thinking about the tour!  I already have my "Marry Me, David Cook!" poster ready to go.  That, and my face paint and body glitter.

Chad says:  So, we don't necessarily have to sit together at the concert, right?

Laura Mac says:  I'm working on a backstage pass for myself, so I think you're safe.

Chad says:  Sweet.  Okay, I need to run to a meeting.  Talk to you tomorrow?

Laura Mac says:  Roger that.  LMac out.

Chad says:  Later.