David Archuleta is the epitome of what American Idol presents itself as the divining force of: the new face of American pop music. The next superstar. The next music icon. The next, well… American Idol. David Archuleta is 17, humble, handsomely cute in a sleepy-eyed kind of way, and one helluva singer.
The first time you hear David Archuleta sing, you know you are experiencing a unique event. His is not the calculating professionalism of some of his more experienced opponents, but a disarming hesitancy that disarms the audience before his smoky vocals control the air around him. He has a mastery of sound beyond his years, and, should he fail to reach the top spot on American Idol at season’s end, he will certainly become a sensation.
Not that he isn’t already.
Praise has followed most of his performances to date. Even from Simon Cowell. Archuleta’s rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” for his Final Twenty song was one of the best this writer has ever heard. Simon Cowell told him he was the one to beat.
His version of Phil Collins’ “Another Day In Paradise,” his offering for the Final Sixteen, was powerful, but Simon told him he needed to do something exciting. So, attempting to step it up a bit, for his Final Twelve song, he sang the Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out”, stumbled over the lyrics and produced a sub-par performance. Luckily, so did most of his rivals — produce sub-par performances, that is.
TV Guide’s Power Rankings saw David Cook take the top spot that week, but the second week of Beatles songs, which the rest of the Top Eleven seemed to struggle with, gave Archuleta his chance to regain the number one position. In a seemingly effortless performance of “Long And Winding Road”, Archuleta wowed the audience and the judges. He also took back the number one position in the Power Rankings.
John Farnham’s “You’re The Voice” was the choice Archuleta made for his song from his birthyear (Top Ten). He performed it well, but it was nothing spectacular. An obscure song, “You’re The Voice” held little for the audience to embrace. Clearly, little David was overshadowed by big David (Cook) a little later in the show, so he will probably need to step up his game to ensure that the rocker does not end up stealing the season from him. David Cook is David Archuleta’s most serious rival, although you can’t count out the powerful voices of Michael Johns, Carly Smithson, Syesha Mercado, and Ramiele Malubay.
(And let’s not forget quiet, self-effacing Jason Castro. You have to be wary of the quiet ones.)
There is little doubt that David Archuleta can win this competition. He definitely has the voice for it. If anyone actually doubts it, all they have to do is listen to the screams of the girls in the audience when he is on stage or when they announce his name. And who do you think sets their cellphones to speed dial as soon as they hear David’s number for the week?
“More Idol on TVGuide.com”, TVGuide.com