I was watching the stuff in my Blake Lewis folder a couple of nights ago and I watched YGLABN for like, the ten trillionth time (not to mention the other twenty trillionth times I've listened to it on my mp3 player) and it's still the same Magic that I felt the first time I ever saw it. It's truly mind-blowing, what he did with the song. Maybe I'd hate it if I were a raving Bon Jovi fan, but I happen to hate Bon Jovi on bad days and am indifferent towards them on good days, so to me, what Blake did with an absolutely crappy and run-of-the-mill song was totally genius.
My videos didn't have the judges comments, so I watched the YouTube version just to refresh my memory on what they said (of course, I'm only talking about Simon here). Simon used the following words to describe Blake: "Brave young man", "took a risk", "absolutely the right thing to do".
When David (Cook) bust out his electric guitar and sang Lionel Ritchie's Hello on Top 16 night, Simon said, "David, that was a very brave thing to do, and I loved it." (Quoting Cowell word for word; I watched David's Hello so many times that I can tell you verbatim what each of the three judges said. Yeah I'm kinda insane.) He went on to say, I like people who go out there and take a few risks. I thought it was unpredictable, I thought it worked, and I think Lionel Ritchie will be very happy when he hears that arrangement.
This is another one of my favourite Idol performances ever: Bo Bice's In a Dream, a capella:
Bo was the first - and till now, only - Idol contestant to ever sing a capella on the show, and I think it played a huge role in getting him to the finals. People were all, OMG, WHAT DID HE JUST DO? OMG, HE'S AMAZING!
My point is, there's an obvious trend in my choice of Idol favourites, namely, my favourite contestant always gets the "original" and "brave" label in their respective seasons. Hence, I'm not surprised that David has been called "original" and "brave" on more than one occasions. I'm not sure his originality is on the same level as Blake's since they have such vastly different musical style, but brave? Definitely. Who else would dare to go on stage and sing Chris Cornell's completely reworked version of a huge, HUGE pop hit? Who else would fuck with a beloved Beatles song and replace violin with electric guitars? Who else would sing a song by a Canadian band that no one in the USA has heard of on Idol Gives Back week? Who else would dare to sing MUSIC OF THE NIGHT, arguably one of the most recognisable musical songs ever?
Like Bo and Blake before him, David knows who he is as an artist. He knows what he's capable of, what he's not (very little, in my opinion), and he has enough confidence in his own talent to push the boundaries of the show, but not to the extent of alienating potential voters. He's intelligent and he obviously knows the rules of the game, as is clear from him calling Paula's "I feel like I'm already looking at the American Idol" the "kiss of death". And above all else? He's, quite clearly, the best contestant of this season, if not of all time (though the latter is purely subjective).
I still have reservations about him winning and my biggest issue with it is that he'd need to release that stupid coronation shit song as his first single. But he's demonstrated, repeatedly, how badly he wants this, and it's also clear that he's not stupid. If he thinks winning Idol will do more harm than good for his career, then he wouldn't be fighting and working so hard to take home the title. I'm sure that he's already weighed the pros and cons, because he's not the kind of guy to dive head-first into something so life-changing and definitive, that affects the one thing he's worked towards since, I don't know, high school, without thinking it through.
Hence, if David Cook wants to be this season's American Idol, then David Cook shall be this season's American Idol. And it's knowing how badly he wants this that's seriously adding to my level of anxiety. Of course I'm sure he won't be destroyed if he doesn't win, but somehow I can see him being more than a little disappointed. He's always prepared for mentoring sessions, he always knows who the mentors are, somehow he even knew that Andrew Lloyd Webber is already a Lord, not just a Sir (and Paula Abdul STILL referred to him as Sir). His dedication is unquestionable, his talent indisputable. He deserves to win, and I think at some level, he knows it, too.
I could just dismiss this whole thing with a flippant "eh not my life who cares". But the truth is? That train has left the station nearly three months ago, and it was derailed somewhere along the way. Not being affected by whether David Cook wins American Idol or not is no longer an option for me. I am completely enamoured with him and he's affected me on a personal level that I can't really explain. It goes beyond OMG DAVID IS HOT and OMG HE'S SO SEXY and OMG HIS MUSIC IS AMAZING! It's about all of that, it's primarily about the music and his voice, but there's something about him as a person - or what's known about him - that's affected me in a way neither Blake nor Bo has, nor any musician or artist or whatever has in a very, very long time. It's about how he's a normal guy with a dream and the talent to back up that dream, and it's about how hard he's worked to get where he is now, despite his circumstances and where he lived.
He could easily be any one of us. And anyone who's ever dreamed of taking the route less travelled, of being something that isn't conventional, of doing something that doesn't involve sitting in an office working a 9 to 5 job and collecting a stable paycheck at the end of the month can, at some level, relate to his story.
And I think that's probably why it's really more than the music for me when it comes to this guy. If/when the confetti is falling down on him in three weeks' time, I'm going to cry really hard because at some level, I'd be able to understand exactly the magnitude of that moment, the overwhelming emotions and how you can't even hope to adequately convey what it means and how it feels to have all your years of hard work and sacrifices pay off in such a grand manner that exceeds your wildest dreams.
Of course, I'm having a ball of a time fangirling over David because he's just so sexy hot and he's so funny and dorky and he's just totally made of win. But there's always a serious explanation for the shit that I do, and this David Cook obsession isn't exempt. He's honestly affected me on a very, very personal level, and as someone who's wanted to write since I was like, 14? I can definitely understand, at least on some level, how it mustn't have been easy for him not to take a regular job after graduating from college, to relocate to another state to pursue his music, and more or less to live in limbo, not knowing for sure whether or not his sacrifices would one day pay off.
I don't know, maybe this only makes sense to me, maybe I'm grasping at straws trying to justify being 12 over David, but this is more or less how I feel. And that's why I think he deserves to win, regardless of whether he should win or not.
I'm proud to say that I've done my job as a Cooktard by spreading the good word of Gizmo which I've been using to vote for David for the past three weeks. And yeah, of course it's free; like I'd willingly give money to bloody American Idol, right?
Actually, I might, if it means helping David get what he wants. Have I mentioned that I'm really enamoured with this guy? Because I am. REALLY enamoured. He's just amazing on so many levels, and seeing David win it all would probably be one of the most amazing moments of the past few years. Seriously.
I don't know, I wouldn't be surprised if everyone's all, WTF is Yelen on? She's fucking crazy. Maybe I am, and yes, I am a bit overboard with this fangirlism, but this guy is just...I just want him to get what he wants, I want his dream to come true, and I want him to be able to live a dream that the rest of us probably won't ever get to live. After a while cynicism becomes tiring and I just want to see a happy success story, and I can't think of anyone else I'd rather see it happen to than David Cook. He's just so hardworking and talented and determined and brave. I don't think I can ever adequately convey how much I admire him for flipping the bird to society and going after this music thing, considering Missouri/Tulsa aren't exactly, you know, New York City.
And much unlike Blake who was all, "Because I live in Seattle" when Simon went, "If you're so good why haven't you been discovered yet?", David hasn't shown any signs of blaming his prior lack of huge success on where he lives. You just have to respect someone like that. I can't help but respect and admire someone who's secure in his own talent, who knows what he wants, and has the courage to pursue his dreams.
Because, honestly? How many of us are capable of that? I can only hope that I'd have half the courage that he has when I'm forced to make a choice.
Oh well. I'm sleeping early tonight 'cause I have to wake up at 8.30 a.m. tomorrow to make sure that I don't lose a single voting second - seriously. And now I have to go ask my parents some questions pertaining to the Legal Chinese exam I was doing this afternoon.
I must say first though: OHMYGAD I FUCKING HATE TRANSLATING SHIT. WHAT THE FUCK I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND LIKE HALF THE CHINESE WORDS IN THAT CHINESE PIECE AND I COULDN'T STRING TOGETHER A PROPER, GRAMMATICALLY-CORRECT SENTENCE IN CHINESE. WHAT THE FUCK MY CHINESE SUCKS OH MY GOD I DESERVE TO DIE.Title of entry from Silver by David Cook