Here we are with the Final and perhaps, not entirely Fantastic, Four. And my sofa and cabernet.
Strangely, the Pond allowed itself to veer from its dedication to humor by revealing two of the actual songs to be sung tonight before, apparently, anyone else did.
Which is of no concern to us.
What concerns us deeply is that someone would say “Hungry Like The Wolf” is one of the 500 songs that made rock and roll.
If this is the case, then, truly, where was Joe Jackson’s “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”
Or even Procol Harum’s “Drunk Again.”
I happen to have rubbed shoulders with Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon at the Four Seasons in San Francisco last Saturday night. His shoulders were warm and high. His demeanor, very friendly.
And all I can say is that if he had heard David Cook’s rendition of the song, he would have reached for the nearest nut bowl and spat in it.
To describe this rendition as execrable would be to be unkind to fecal matter.
I am sorry. I was born in Birmingham. Simon Le Bon was born in Birmingham. And this performance was born in a haedes of vinegar and offal.
Truly, this was the worse performance of Mr. Cook’s long, long journey. The dawn of a long, long journey into night, perhaps.
Syesha is Proud Mary. She is singing it. And she is being it.
She performs. In the truest meaning of the word. Her voice is a little too thin to be overwhelming. But she leaves whatever she has on the stage for the roadies to sweep up, sniff, inhale and enjoy.
I know the judges must have disagreed because I see that Randy is turning menacingly towards Simon.
Ah, who cares. The judges have fewer votes than I do.
Jason Castro’s dead hair is not Bob Marley’s. His brain, however, may be as dead as Bob Marley’s.
I will try to be charitable. I will say nothing more about Jason shooting the sheriff, other than that there may be a few sheriffs in Texas this evening whose wives might be keen on shooting Jason. Or their husbands.
Jason may have deprived them of their only sex fantasies on this May evening. Or any other.
No time to dwell. Little David is here. My eyes are drawn to his feet. Whatever shoes he wears, his feet seem always to have been photoshopped onto the rest of him by someone with a clown’s sense of proportion.
However, he sings “Stand By Me” very well. He still has all the stage magnetism of a roadie’s nephew, his t-shirt reminds me of a maiden aunt’s wallpaper, but every note is beautifully chosen.
Little David wins part one. Or should I call it the Old Testament?
So back to Big David. He has his Les Paul Comfort Blanket in his mitts.
This is better than his initial nightmare. Semolina with gravel is better than his initial nightmare.
Still, this version of “Baba O’Riley” by the Who is not exactly revelatory. If it reveals anything, it reveals the vast, echoing limits of David Cook. Perhaps he is tired of covering other people’s material.
In the same way that Kentucky Derby winners get tired of covering women they only meet for a couple of minutes.
The time for that is almost here, David. Almost here.
Syesha returns. “A Change Is Gonna Come,” she sings. She may well be right. I hear Paula say “You have come, Syesha.”
What can one possibly think after that?
Randy didn’t like it. Simon did. Simon owns the show.
Syesha begins to channel Brooke. She weeps. She talks about history. There are votes in this. Please ask Mrs. Clinton.
Jason Castro has veered into cheesy. Even his intros are becoming cheesy. Which reminds me, where is my wine?
He forgets the words. He is still a student of life.
When Paula says “It is what it is”, I am concerned. When she says something about being blown away by him personally (as opposed to his singing), I wonder just how many people will choose to vote for him tonight because they feel just like Paula.
In the mood to be blown away by Jason Castro personally.
Jason looks like the cleaner who has walked on stage humming, only to discover the audience is still out there.
I lose consciousness and then, suddenly, Little David is talking romance. Have I died and gone to Missouri?
So there he is, Josh Groban’s estranged Mormon brother trying to lay a claim to adulthood by singing “Love Me Tender.”
This would be have been perfect were it a tour by the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Again, he sings each note with the precision of a pathologist.
But that is the problem. When I am watching an autopsy, there just aren’t enough good feelings coursing through me.
David Archuleta was by far the best singer in Rock and Roll Week. Doubt has cast off its shadow.
But he left me feeling as cold as the turning body of Elvis Presley.
Is this a star? Is this an Idol?
Perhaps in ten years time. Certainly not now.
While I consider the possibility of it being Cookie that gets the cutter, I realize the truth- this glass of Honig Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 is, without question, the star of the evening.
Your health. And that of your ears.
The Pond drinks to Brad Bechtel and his picture of a 500-year-old tree. It’s called Tony Bennett.