Reader Q&A

'American Idol' chat

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May 22, 2008

The Globe's Joanna Weiss was online Wednesday, May 21, at 1 p.m. to take all your questions and comments about Fox's "American Idol." Care to know her thoughts on last night's show? Want to get predictions on who's likely to get voted off next? Catch up here.

The transcript follows.

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Joanna_Weiss: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the final "Idol" chat of the season.
Joanna_Weiss: Before I start, a little housekeeping: Matthew and I are putting together a list of shows to recap regularly for the blog this summer and next season, so send along your votes. "Idol" and "Lost" are givens, and we've gotten some votes for "Survivor" and some love for "So You Think You Can Dance"...
WeissSpice__Guest_: JoJo ? Everybody's aiming at you. Are you wearing your Kevlar vest? Are the arrows piercing your resolve? When will the Idolizers realize that we are all demographically predestined to love the one we're with? And you love the Cookie? Want to rock out with the Cookie? Be Chris Martin's Gwyneth Paltrow to the Cook-EE. Keep the dream, girl.
Joanna_Weiss: Hmm. A lot of questions here.
Joanna_Weiss: Um, yes, I love the Cookie. Though in a generally wholesome way.
Joanna_Weiss: And hey, I can take the flak. Though I do appreciate those who have come to my defense.
Joanna_Weiss: Somehow, the subject of David Archuleta gets people very passionate.
Joanna_Weiss: I don't recall people getting this exercised over Jordin Sparks.
Joanna_Weiss: And that does bring up another thing worth noting: Jordin, if I recall correctly, was also 17 when she was in this position last year. And while she succumbed to emotion from time to time, as all of them do, she did not look as if she were constantly going to crumble.
Joanna_Weiss: One other thing I've been thinking about: Cook and Archuleta both have got to be exhausted.
Joanna_Weiss: In addition to learning three songs apiece, they've had to rehearse all of their group and individual numbers for tonight's show...
Joanna_Weiss: And film another Ford commercial...
Joanna_Weiss: And do filming for that silly boxing thing last night.
chatguest1: I'm sure both of them need naps.
Joanna_Weiss: Oops, that was me, calling for naps.
WeissSpice__Guest_: The Chat will drive the passion. How does fan chatter lend to the success/failure of the product?
Joanna_Weiss: Which product are you referring to? "Idol" itself?
Cook-ified___Guest_: Do you think the judges were overzealous in their praise for Archie last night, so much to seal the victory for him (though I'm not convinced that's it's going to be a runaway for either of them...)
Joanna_Weiss: I think Archuleta's style - the soaring, inspirational ballad - lends itself to what they judges are looking for in a finale. They want the showstopper number, and a heartfelt version of "Imagine" fits that bill more than a restrained and sensitive version of "The World I Know."
Joanna_Weiss: We know Randy is biased toward vocal gymnastics and Simon is looking for a showstopper.
Joanna_Weiss: Paula just wants truth and rainbows.
LW__Guest_: they both looked tired; they definitely haven't had much time to do anything BUT this contest.
Joanna_Weiss: Barely sleep or eat, I'm guessing. I feel bad for both of them, that way.
CarrieUnderwood__Guest_: Joanna, why do you think Simon praised DA like he did after his interview on Leno the other night where he said Cook should win, that Cook was more deserving, etc? Do you think he truly had that big a change of heart or their was some producer interference/pushing?
Joanna_Weiss: Good question, Carrie. I think Simon is quite aware of the effect he has on voting, so perhaps on some level he wanted to rally the fans. But it's more likely that he has a strong producer's sense of what the show is supposed to be at this point, and Archueta fit that bill.
WeissSpice__Guest_: Not only Idol, but all things "Chatted".
Joanna_Weiss: Yes, passion drives all things "chatted," Spice. So I'll gladly take the heat when people are excited. But I've got to keep it real, yo.
LW__Guest_: Joanna & Matthew - so Simon Cowell was on the Ellen show a few days back, and said he thinks Cook *should* win, based on overall performance. But last night, he praised Archie up the wazoo and said it was KO, whereas Cook got the beatdown from Simon. Reverse psych on Simon's part?
Joanna_Weiss: See above. I really think Simon was giving an honest assessment of the performances. But a part of him wants Cook to do well, as evidenced by his "you're the nicest guy" speech.
LW__Guest_: Joanna - did you see the stats? Looks like DCook will take it all, based on scores and busy signals.
Joanna_Weiss: Yeah, I was surprised by that, but wouldn't be totally shocked. Both singers have very passionate fans, and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of overlap in musical taste.
k_3__Guest_: I wonder if the judges' praise last night drove Cook's supporters to vote even more. I know it did for me.
Joanna_Weiss: Very possible, as stated above. But I think Cook could have done more for himself: i.e. a more surprising arrangement, somewhere in there. And I believe Simon thinks so, too.
CarrieUnderwood__Guest_: Who do you think will have the most successful post-Idol career, album/music industry-wise? Michael Johns? Carly? David Cook? Archuleta seems destined for high school musicals (or High School Musicals) and Syesha for Broadway..
Joanna_Weiss: I think Cook has the most record-sales potential. Michael Johns may get a boost. I'm not so sure about Carly, who seems a little harder to package.
Cook-ified___Guest_: Paula wants sparkles too...
Joanna_Weiss: Yes, rainbows, truth, sparkles, and pretty little ponies.
LW__Guest_: And will SOMEONE please tell Randy to stop with the Dawg and "you can sing the phone book" baloney? He sounds more stupid that Paula does when he says stuff like that.
Joanna_Weiss: Every time he says that, an angel loses his wings.
lmd1016: People who are complaining about DC not doing a "breakout" song, I'm thinking, when does he have time to come up with and learn this great song that's going to knock everyone's socks off? Like you said, they have to learn three songs, and do all the other stuff, too.
Joanna_Weiss: Right. I think it would have been a matter of finding a pre-packaged arrangement, which is easier than it used to be in this age of iTunes and YouTube. But I take your point.
HDAC8__Guest_: I think it's quite obvious that Archuleta has the best voice, but Cook is probably more poised for a music "career." What type of debut album should we expect from each David?
Joanna_Weiss: I think both of them have quite good voices. Cook made his mark, early in the season, by proving he could do more than just rock within a single octave. I think Cook will put out an alt-rock record (and I truly hope there are some good hooks), while Archuleta will bring on the ballads. Ballads, ballads, ballads.
WeissSpice__Guest_: In your opinion, did Paula have a "flirtation" in the race this year?
Joanna_Weiss: Nah.
Cook-ified___Guest_: Did you vote at all last night? If so, who did you vote for?
Joanna_Weiss: I don't vote, "Idolwise." It would just feel too weird. (I do vote in presidential elections and other actual civic races.)
LW__Guest_: I disagree that the producer's think that Archie fits the bill. Taylor Hicks? Ruben Studdard? Jordin Sparks? None of them have done anything like Carrie Underwood or Daughtry or Kelly Clarkson
Joanna_Weiss: Archie isn't Taylor or Ruben. He's the closest to Jordin, and she's doing pretty well for herself so far. (Her current single has been #1 on Radio Disney. Which should tell you something about Young David.)
k_3__Guest_: Do we know if there will be any "guests" singing tonight?
Joanna_Weiss: As I just posted on the blog, E! Online is reporting that George Michael will sing. Paula is spreading a Michael Jackson rumor, but we'll see. And I have a feeling we'll be seeing Jordin Sparks, who hasn't appeared on "Idol" all season thus far.
Just_me__Guest_: or a unicorn loses it's horn?
Joanna_Weiss: Right. When Randy mentions the phone book. He must be stopped. Unicorns are endangered.
SarahBeth__Guest_: I think no matter what it's going to be a very tight vote tonight -I thought after watching last night that the vote could swing either way. That being said, I think David Cook has more marketability then DA does and will do well no matter who wins.
Joanna_Weiss: That's why I think it was OK for him to downshift a little last night, whether out of sheer exhaustion or some other motivation. It doesn't matter. He's got his platform. At this point, it's more about bragging rights for fans.
ac__Guest_: It seems that Idol producers judge success of past contestants on record sales. That beig said don't you think that Cook will sell more albums? DA may lose a big part of his fan base when he gets a little older. Although I'm sure he would sell alot of Christmas albums. Thoughts? Also I vote for a Top Chef recap.
Joanna_Weiss: Well, you're way right about the Christmas albums. And there's obviously a big market for Alt Rock. Also, I hear you on "Top Chef." I've really come to like that show.
k_3__Guest_: David Archuleta can sing the phone book because all he ever does is look at the lyrics teleprompter - anyone else notice this? There is no connection between what he is singing and his emotions. It's too robotic.
Joanna_Weiss: I tend to agree with you, but judging from the pockmarks in my Kevlar vest, a lot of people disagree, too.
WeissSpice__Guest_: How long have you been eligible to vote?
Joanna_Weiss: Oh, dear, you're going to make me tell my age? Let's just say my first presidential election eligibility was 1992. I'll let you do the math.
ac__Guest_: Jordin appeared and sang "No Air"
Joanna_Weiss: When? On a results show I fast-forwarded through? That's possible.
WeissSpice__Guest_: Is DA destined to star as Barney on Ice?
Joanna_Weiss: Hee. I can actually see him doing a nice duet with Elmo.
asha__Guest_: I just think David A looks like he doesn't want to win
Joanna_Weiss: He looks like he doesn't want to be anywhere near that stage, as far as I'm concerned. (Ducks for cover.)
asha__Guest_: as if every timehe does well, it pains him because it means his father will continue to be, well, his father
Joanna_Weiss: Well, at the very least, his dad needs some image consulting.
CarrieUnderwood__Guest_: Ultimately do you think Cook is better off losing? Although Kelly and Carrie have fared well, the male winners generally haven't. Won't he be much better off going the Daughtry route vs. singing about rainbows and soaring for his dreams?
Joanna_Weiss: At this point, it doesn't really matter either way. Take Carrie; yes, she was obligated to release a first single about moments and dreams, but then she also had a hit about scratching her keys into someone's car.
bb__Guest_: Jordin Sparks did appear on Idols Give back with Chris Brown...
Joanna_Weiss: Ah. I have to admit I fast-forwarded through some of that. Which makes me perhaps uncharitable. Sorry for the mistake.
lmd1016: DC said in an interview that "The World I Know" meant a lot to him, and he had wanted to perform it all season. I think that's probably not the best reason to choose a song, but I can understand why that would influence your choice.
Joanna_Weiss: Michael Johns made that mistake a couple of times - singing songs he liked, rather than songs he could knock out of the park - and it's part of the reason he left so early.
Cook-ified___Guest_: The Mole is coming back this summer, I vote for that...
Joanna_Weiss: But with no Anderson Cooper, will it really be worthwhile?
LW__Guest_: Ewwwww!!!!!!!!!! No Michael Jackson - please dear God NO!!!
Joanna_Weiss: Yeah, it's a kind of creepy thought.
lmd1016: Wasn't Jordin on with Chris Brown?
Cook-ified___Guest_: I thought I remembered seeing Jordin as well -- Chris Brown was with her...
MichaelJohnsFan__Guest_: I think Jordin was on Idol Gives Back
Joanna_Weiss: OK, I was wrong!
LW__Guest_: Or near his father after the show..... (standing up straight and tall to take the bullets for Joanna)
Joanna_Weiss: Aw, thanks.
CarrieUnderwood__Guest_: Recap Gossip Girl and the new guilty pleasures on TV!
Joanna_Weiss: 90210 I'm definitely on board for. On Gossip Girl, I could be convinced.
Just_me__Guest_: da reminds me of haley joel osment's character in AI (Artificial Intelligence). robot boy with no emotions. sadly, his father seems to have such control of him.
Joanna_Weiss: Look out! Incoming!
SarahBeth__Guest_: I could see the "Dream Big" song that DC sang last night as a single - I thought it was catchy and he did a good job with it. :)
Joanna_Weiss: I did think he did a good job with it. And if I heard it on the radio, I wouldn't change the station. But I worried, at the time, that it wasn't a jump-out-of-your-seat showstopper.
Cook-ified___Guest_: I agree - Anderson was the best host of that show...
Joanna_Weiss: Now he's gotten all news-y. Drat.
asha__Guest_: What do you make of contestants who've already had record contracts? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of the show?
Joanna_Weiss: I always sort of thought so, and I think it contributed to Carly's inability to really catch on. Technically, they only have to be unsigned at the time they're on "Idol." But yes, I like the conceit that this is truly undiscovered talent.
WeissSpice__Guest_: 34-37...This likely tells us about your musical influences. Remember darling, it's better to look good than to feel good.
Joanna_Weiss: Good math! And those were the best SNL years, too, I'd venture to say.
LW__Guest_: But when singers are creating their albums (non-Idol controlled) don't they sing songs they *like* versus ones that can be "knocked out of the park"? I give credit to Johns and Cook for doing what they wanted to do - not what they thought the producers think they should do.
Joanna_Weiss: It all depends on how much you value winning. I don't think it's necessary by any means, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing, either.
asha__Guest_: And the Mole without Anderson Cooper is like the Earth without a sun
Joanna_Weiss: Ah, some more Old Anderson love. I'm sure Paula would agree with you.
SarahBeth__Guest_: I vote for the Mole to recap - I'm so excited it's coming back.
Joanna_Weiss: Another vote for the Mole. Interesting.
Cook-ified___Guest_: We can't have Michael Jackson there -- David A might be a sight for sore eyes for him...
Joanna_Weiss: I was going to avoid jokes like that...heebie jeebie territory.
MichaelJohnsFan__Guest_: I've never really heard of Dialidol.. how often is it right?
Joanna_Weiss: In other seasons, it's been remarkably accurate. I think it did quite well this season, too, but I'm not sure how the algorithm does at this stage. It basically tracks busy signals and translates them into votes.
LW__Guest_: Just_me - PERFECT description of Archie!
Joanna_Weiss: To recap: it was a comparison to the kid in "AI."
Cook-ified___Guest_: I don't see anybody defending David A here today...
Joanna_Weiss: Yeah, I guess they don't want to chat.
Joanna_Weiss: If you're out there, speak up!
Eric_The_Midget__Guest_: Don't you think David Cook should have taken off his boxing glove and punched the producers for coming up with such an embarassing bit?
Joanna_Weiss: I felt really, really bad for him. For both of them.
Eric_The_Midget__Guest_: Will they change the voting format next year? Voting someone off would likely result in better contestants staying in longer.
Joanna_Weiss: I don't think they'll change the voting format. More likely, they'll tweak the mentoring/song selection process. But they've said they'll do something.
Cook-ified___Guest_: I always thought The Mole was the most intelligent game show...
Joanna_Weiss: Hmmm. I'll have to think on that one.
CB_2__Guest_: Will this year's AI tour be better than last years?
Joanna_Weiss: I have never attended an actual tour, so it's hard to say. But there are a lot of decent singers, and you're not looking for that element of surprise, so it might be more satisfying than the show in some sense.
SarahBeth__Guest_: I was hoping that the big superstar surprise performance would be someone like U2
Joanna_Weiss: I'd vote for that, too. Bono did make an appearance on "Idol Gives Back." Sans sunglasses. (See, I watched some of it!)
SarahBeth__Guest_: George Michael or Michael Jackson? Who picked that?
Joanna_Weiss: Blame ye the "Idol" producers.
Tracy__Guest_: Please blog after Dexter - whenever it returns. Best show ever.
Joanna_Weiss: Ah, Matthew might want to grab that one, but I share the "Dexter" love. Both of us picked it last December as our best on TV.
asha__Guest_: I will say I'm glad Idol is ending this season... sometimes it feels like the TV element of the A&E section is really "Let's analyze Idol, and then go back and analyze it again"
Joanna_Weiss: Well, it does draw the passion. But I have to say I'm a wee bit relieved myself. This season, while pulpy in its way, was something of a slog.
CB_2__Guest_: Dialidol's problem is it only tracks phone calls. It does nothing with texting. Zaba tracks texting somehow & has it VERY close.
Joanna_Weiss: That's a very good point. Haven't checked out Zaba, but I'm inclined to believe that number - and it doesn't take much insight to realize that Archie would lead in the texting.
SarahBeth__Guest_: I was a DA fan in the beginning, and then when he turned Think of Me from Phantom into a pop-y thing (that I hated btw) I was done with him. But I did really like "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" last night. Imagine just didn't have the same pizzaz as it did the first time around.
Joanna_Weiss: That's why I sort of respect the Cook decision not to do a reprise. Still, he needed to surprise.
Eric_The_Midget__Guest_: More inteligent than Jeopardy?
Joanna_Weiss: Oh boy. The battle of the game shows begins.
Eric_The_Midget__Guest_: I decided to pass on the lame road show. If I don't like DA now, why would I shell out all that money to see him with the most stage time?
Joanna_Weiss: One advantage of the TV show, to be sure, is that it comes free with your cable subscription.
lmd1016: Does anyone know if they have a live band for the tour?
Joanna_Weiss: I will defer to those who have seen the tour. My suspicion is yes.
Jason_is_a_Riot__Guest_: Off the David's for a moment: We often said that Brooke White would not be commercially viable but then I recently heard that Colbie Caillat song "Starts With My Toes" and thought that Brooke could make that kind of CD and it seems to be popular, plays on the radio all the time. Joanna, agree?
Joanna_Weiss: That song seems a little fizzy for Brooke, as far as I can hear. Her stuff seems sadder. But Sarah MacLachlan and Tori Amos have done fairly well with saddish songs accompanied by piano, so there is hope for Brooke.
CB_2__Guest_: My wife LOVES DA and couldn't text her way out of a wet paperbag ;-)
Joanna_Weiss: I hope your wife doesn't mind you saying that! My point is, the tweenyboppers are likely to lead in the texting, and they seem disproportionately likely to be Archuleta fans.
LW__Guest_: Re; voting process - they really should limit the time frame in which to vote. Their "50 million votes!" means nothing when people have upwards of 2-4 hours to vote. If DWTS can restrict votes, so can AI.
Joanna_Weiss: I always find those numbers pretty meaningless. All it says is that people know how to use speed-dial.
MichaelJohnsFan__Guest_: I'll defend Archuleta, he did way better last night and defintely deserves to win. I don't really buy the whole stage dad thing, I think it's been blown up. As for him looking sad, I think it's just emotion he puts into the song.
Joanna_Weiss: I'm glad to hear the perspective. Seriously. As for the emotional part, I think part of that is possible (after all, David Cook did get choked up at one point last night) but still, he looks so fearful and miserable so consistently that I wonder what's going on in his head.
cookie__Guest_: david cook seems a brilliant artist/arranger and a great singer to boot. archuleta makes me wnat to jump off the zakim. how could the judges praise david a so universally when david c is so much more talented?! this the the first time i've disagreed with simon!
Joanna_Weiss: I think Simon was judging song choice and strategy as much as singing. It's his perspective on the show - remember, his career is all about packaging and selling artists.
Cook-ified___Guest_: How many Ford commercials do you think they do in the stage tour?
Joanna_Weiss: Oy.
ginger__Guest_: I vote for blogging after "Dexter" , too, just love that show (even though i am a bit of a scaredy-cat). And "Weeds", I think it is starting again on June 15th, one of the best shows ever. Thanks to you (Joanna) and Matthew for blogging so passionately about LOST, my all-time fave.
Joanna_Weiss: "Lost" is a totally blog-worthy show. Matthew will also be reviewing the finale next week for Friday's paper (and online) Globe.
Cook-ified___Guest_: Jeopard takes useless knowledge, The Mole takes intellect...
Cook-ified___Guest_: But I do love Jeopardy as well...
Joanna_Weiss: Alex Trebek will be so happy to hear it.
CB_2__Guest_: What about a collaboration between Brooke & Jason?
Joanna_Weiss: Zzzzzzz.
SarahBeth__Guest_: I'd like to see Idol restrict the number of votes per number or per household. Why do you think they've never put up voting online?
Joanna_Weiss: I don't think they want the numbers to sway the voting. If Archie looked way ahead, for instance, maybe his fans wouldn't be so passionate about their texting. As for restricting votes, I wouldn't mind that so much. But it could really change the results, I'm guessing.
lmd1016: Okay, OT, but my five-year-old noticed that the Ford logo and the AI logo are very similar - probably not a coincidence, but I have to say, it never occurred to me until she pointed it out. We were driving by a Ford dealership and she said, "Is that where the Idols live?"
Joanna_Weiss: Wow. That's a great story.
Joanna_Weiss: You've got a very observant kid.
Joanna_Weiss: My three-year-old (almost 4!) watched part of last night, and I had to spend a fair amount of time explaining the concept of plastic surgery to her.
Joanna_Weiss: She took one look at Andrew Lloyd Webber and said, "What happened to his face?" Seriously. I fumbled for an answer and set myself down a very dangerous path.
Cook-ified___Guest_: Couldn't they hide the percentages of online votes? It would be so much easier to be able to vote online...
Joanna_Weiss: I suppose they want there to be some sort of barrier to entry. Just a guess.
Joanna_Weiss: Then again, the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards collect their votes online...
LW__Guest_: Joanna, I think SarahBeth is talking about being able to vote online, the way you can with DWTS. They limit the # of votes (phone and online) to the # of contestants still on the show, until it gets to the final 3 - then you can vote 5x for them from each phone line or online registered name.
Joanna_Weiss: Ah. I understand now. And I suppose I just sort of answered that question, though I'm open to other theories.
Joanna_Weiss: I do think they like to be able to brag about "50 million votes" or whatnot, because it makes them look important.
Lucy__Guest_: Has anyone heard David Cook's independent record Analog Heart that got pulled from Amazon a few weeks ago?
Joanna_Weiss: I haven't heard it myself. Anyone?
cookie__Guest_: i think archuleta is a musical savant who has not seen sunlight since his dad decided his son was his meal ticket! ALSO seems to have a great track record predicting wins and they give cook the win!
Joanna_Weiss: Although, as has been pointed out, Dialidol doesn't count the texts.
CB_2__Guest_: Maybe they could add something like SYTYCD and let the judges 'save' a contestant.
Joanna_Weiss: I wouldn't mind that, either.
Eric_The_Midget__Guest_: That's funny. After watching Paula, I had to explain the concept of drugs to my daughter.
Joanna_Weiss: Hee.
Lucy__Guest_: Archuleta will win but does anyone think an entire of CD of same sounding inspirational ballads sung with his limited range would sell more than a good modern rock CD?
Joanna_Weiss: Well, I wouldn't buy it. But, as I've said in the past, Josh Groban sells records.
asha__Guest_: I think there should be one vote per person
Joanna_Weiss: I doubt that will happen. Because they do like those big numbers.
asha__Guest_: It's really not fair and Michael Johns would probably have stayed on longer
Joanna_Weiss: Maybe the judges would have saved him...
CarrieUnderwood__Guest_: I'm waiting for a disgruntled producer or someone to write a scandalous tell-all that confirms all the wildest conspiracy could happen!
Joanna_Weiss: It certainly could. I don't know what sort of secrecy clauses they all have to sign...
archie_is_lame__Guest_: The show's title is American Idol not American Singer, or American Balladeer. To be an Idol you must have a personality, stage presence and be able to conduct an interview. Archie has none of the above. His tenseness and one word answers ("Um", "Wow", "Thanks") do not project well. He is a 'pageant' boy and much better to listen to than to watch. Thought?
Joanna_Weiss: Well, I can't totally disagree with you; I find him slightly uncomfortable to watch. But he does have a beautiful singing voice and a lot of people love him.
SarahBeth__Guest_: Thanks LW for helping to explain! :)
SarahBeth__Guest_: That's exactly what I meant. :)
Joanna_Weiss: I second the thanks. I think my head is a little fuzzy from watching too much "Idol."
Lucy__Guest_: As for the voting thing, if it were online then they would lose the sponsorship of the cell phone company which likey pays big bucks
Joanna_Weiss: Another excellent point.
CB_2__Guest_: There's nothing wrong with Christian rock groups like Sonic Flood either - that may end up being DA's niche
Joanna_Weiss: I can't quite picture him there. There's nothing "rock" about him.
Cook-ified___Guest_: Who picks their outfits? I was a little disappointed that they weren't a little more dressed up for the finale... And the anchor jacket David A was wearing was a little ridiculous...
Joanna_Weiss: I think the stylists have done a beautiful job with Cook, though that's mostly about hair. They seem to be trying to make Archuleta look modern, and maybe a little older. It doesn't really work.
LW__Guest_: Interestingly, David Cook's Analog Heart was outselling Mariah Carey on Amazon before it was pulled. Check out this Fox News story,2933,352069,00.html#6 Only 91 enthusiastic reviews from previous downloaders remain.
Joanna_Weiss: I'll have to check it out.
asha__Guest_: Is it really okay to compare David A to Josh Groban?
Joanna_Weiss: On whose behalf are you insulted?
Kelly_Clarkson__Guest_: This fake humility did not play well with Melinda Dolittle and it does not play well with Archie.
Joanna_Weiss: I don't know if it's fake humility or geniuine fear. I've been voting the latter.
Cook-ified___Guest_: I've always thought DA belongs with Up With People...
Cook-ified___Guest_: They are all about changing the world
Joanna_Weiss: He'd be a great headliner for them. Though I'm not sure they still exist.
M__Guest_: I know I'm a little late today, but what is everyone's reaction to Fantasia last Wed. That was awful screechy and spastic.
Joanna_Weiss: Actually, I loved it. Really.
Jason_is_a_Riot_2__Guest_: Got an error, so resending. We often said that Brooke White would not be commercially viable, however, I recently heard Colbie Caillat "Starts with My Toes" and thought Brooke could cut a CD like that one - it's popular, on the radio all the time. Joanna , what do you think?
Joanna_Weiss: I thought I answered above, hope it went through: Brooke = sadder.
Kelly_Clarkson__Guest_: David A to Josh G is a great comparison. They are both incredibly insipid. Milk toast, pablum, etc.
Joanna_Weiss: And yet, here's someone insulted by the comparison, on behalf of:
asha__Guest_: Josh Groban
Lucy__Guest_: A running joke in my house now is the always predictable "Oh my gosh" "Thank you, oh thank you" mumble DA seems to issue after every judges statements.
Joanna_Weiss: Good one. I've been wanting to go around to everyone today saying, "Look out, you're standing in your truth," but I'm not sure anyone would get it.
Jo__Guest_: I'll defend David A, too - there's probably some pressure with the "competition" aspect. During hometown visit, he was beaming! I think he did lose some momentum toward the middle to end this season, but he sure brought it out last night. I really admired his performance.
Joanna_Weiss: But they're all under pressure, and some young folk have done quite well - so what is it about him in particular? (But again, I appreciate the perspective.)
CB_2__Guest_: DA vs Josh? It's all styles. DC is cut from the same cloth as Chris Daughtry. I also read somewhere that he's studied what Chris did. Not a bad act (no pun intended) to follow.
Joanna_Weiss: No, Daughtry has done quite well for himself, and contributed to the feeling that you don't have to win. And DC is much more Daughtryesque, but I do think he's a better singer, all in all.
LW__Guest_: It was horrendous! Even Simon was appalled! Not sure where Fantasia was going with that, but it *so* didn't work!
Joanna_Weiss: I think it was a loved-it or hated-it thing, Fantasia's performance last week. I just found it sort of mesmerizing. Weird, interplanetary, but mesmerizing.
SarahBeth__Guest_: Josh Groban was the same age as DA is now when he first started out -- so maybe there's hope for DA to have room to grow as Groban has done (and he's gone from being shy and nervous to being an awesome performer). It's been fun to watch the transformation.
Joanna_Weiss: I hope David A. grows and gets more comfortable, if he does continue a singing career. I really do. I think he's a sweet kid, and I feel bad for him.
asha__Guest_: Josh Groban actually has passion -- he's not my cup of Zevon, but he's a lot more engaging than David
Joanna_Weiss: Oh boy. The comparison continues.
notfullyinvested__Guest_: How do you feel about the "conspiracy theory" that D.Cook picked his songs in an effort to NOT win?
Joanna_Weiss: Tricky question. He's played the show very well strategically thus far. I sort of buy into the idea that he was doing the sort of songs he'd want to do on an album, rather than what "Idol" expected of him. And he didn't care what that did for his chances tonight, one way or the other.
archie_is_lame__Guest_: I lost all respect for Simon last night. Randy has been terrible for a couple of years and his pandering to Archie was sad, Paula is well....Paula (like Manny being Manny), but I could always count on Simon to tell it like it is. Last night when he gave Round 1 to Archie, I nearly changed the channel for good. Cook had the much tougher song aned was able to give an unbelievable performance without coming off like a Bono poser. Archie got a lay-up song that any karoke bar wannabe could do okay with and he did just okay. Sounds like Simon maybe sold out to the producers. Has Simon jumped the shark?
Joanna_Weiss: Nah. The show still depends on him. I think he's just thinking like a producer - of TV shows and records - and telling us the song-choice decisions he would have made.
Ms_Fit__Guest_: I almost hate to bring up his name but 2nd place winner Clay Aiken seems to have done quite well for himself. Not a fan myself but Clay Nation, come on.
Joanna_Weiss: He's sort of plateaued, but yes, he has a fanbase and has done fine. Better than fine.
CB_2__Guest_: DA's whole future is ahead and will only improve & grow. Compare that with someone like Carly, who was as good as she was ever going to get. I think part of being THE American Idol is the potential.
Joanna_Weiss: A good point. And I do think Archuleta has room to grow as a performer. Obviously. (He did a valiant job keeping his eyes open last night, which is a start.)
asha__Guest_: Judges shouldn't criticize song choice when someone else chose the song...
Joanna_Weiss: Well, true. It's not exactly fair. But again, Simon is thinking in terms of packaging. And there's always a chance to do an interesting arrangement. And Cook DID choose his last song.
Tracy__Guest_: Did anyone notice how the judges kept reminding us they were in the Nokia Theater? Did they get paid per mention?
Joanna_Weiss: They want to capitalize on the bigness. Idol is big, big, big!
Ms_Fit__Guest_: I noticed last couple of weeks that if I closed my eyes, I enjoyed DA much more. Kid just creeps me out - but that's probably not all his fault - being traumatized by dad and all.
Joanna_Weiss: Well, it's good to know (not that I didn't know already) that I'm not the only one to have a similar reaction.
Ms_Fit__Guest_: I'll take your word for it that he's plateaued. One can only hope,right?
Joanna_Weiss: This is Aiken, right? Well, I think he's playing in "Spamalot," so read from that what you will.
Ms_Fit__Guest_: I'd love an update on Project Runway when it returns. And my guilty pleasure, since I don't have Bravo is Hell's Kichen. Yikes!
Joanna_Weiss: I LOVE "Project Runway." But Gordon Ramsay gives me a headache.
Kelly_Clarkson__Guest_: Given the state of the recording industry, isn't all of this an exercise in futility? Does anybody buy CDs anymore? One kid in a dorm buys a CD or a download and shares it with the entire school.
Joanna_Weiss: Well, yes, the music industry is in trouble. But still, there are big musical stars.
SarahBeth__Guest_: Another vote for Project Runway
Joanna_Weiss: Fierce!
Joanna_Weiss: Ah, it's getting late...So let me post some comments on the Archuleta/Groban comparison:
LW__Guest_: And Groban can sing the pants off of Archie ANY day.
Kelly_Clarkson__Guest_: Josh Groban? Puh---Lease!
Kelly_Clarkson__Guest_: Josh Groban has passion? I guess you probably like Dave Matthews too?
Joanna_Weiss: And Fantasia's performance last week...
SarahBeth__Guest_: And as for Fantasia's performance last week --- I only caught the last 30 seconds of it but I thought the look on Sinon's face was priceless.
Kelly_Clarkson__Guest_: Can't stand Fantasia. Hate her name and hate her being proud that she couldn't read.
M__Guest_: Oh, I was totally glued to watching Fantasia but more like a train wreck. Did anyone notice that last night when they were talking about past Idol's becoming stars they only showed Kelly/Carrie and I can't think of who the other one was, but I found it interesting.
Joanna_Weiss: And "Idol" in general...
CarrieUnderwood__Guest_: I think the problem with Idol is that it caters to a certain demographic whose definition of an "idol" is different than the mainstream public's who will be buying records. Hence the crazy over DA. I just cant see him doing well commercially, when certain parts of the Idol fanbase are taken out of the equation
Joanna_Weiss: And the Archuleta phenomenon...
rp__Guest_: Cook is so much more marketable, what do you see David A. doing?
lmd1016: I'm not a DA fan, but to me, he seems like a very sheltered kid. That would cause fear of everything right there.
idolcrazy__Guest_: What is all the fuss about David Archuletta? He has no personality and he looks like he is going to cry all the time. David Cook is the man and I hope he doesn't will so he can go and be great!!.
Joanna_Weiss: And, um, Dave Matthews.
lmd1016: Leave Dave M alone!
asha__Guest_: I actually hate Dave Matthews...
SarahBeth__Guest_: Thanks for doing this chat all season Joanna - granted, today's the first time I've been able to participate!
Joanna_Weiss: Thanks for taking part, everyone. I promise more chats and recaps in the future. ("Project Runway" is a strong contender.) Seriously, big thanks to everyone for reading. Matthew and I are having a ball. Even when we have to watch bad TV.
lmd1016: Thanks Joanna! I will miss the ai chat. . .
Joanna_Weiss: We'll be back, I promise. Stay tuned to the blog...Have a great night watching, everyone.

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