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'American Idol' finalists David Cook and David Archuleta on girls, video games and more

Finale_cook_arch_250 "I just wanna make a record that's gonna make the hair on the back of your neck stand up," exclaimed newly crowned "American Idol," David Cook, during a conference call with the media this morning.  When asked when he would recover from the exhaustion and excitement of it all, Cook replied, "Hopefully never."

Throughout the competition, Cook's mentality has been "hope for the best, expect the worst."  After all, following Tuesday's performance, the general sentiment was that Cook's rival, David Archuleta, had won the night. Believe it or not, Cook agreed.  "I definitely thought if you were basing it off of Tuesday, [Archuleta] deserved to win. He came out and did three amazing songs," recalled Cook. 

After his big win, Cook stopped by the "Idol" after-party with none other than his family. Throughout the call, Cook's family was at the front of his mind.  Cook even mentioned the possibility of a collaboration with his musician brother. "I've left the option open, and I'm kinda leaving it up to him," Cook explained, adding that he hopes that his brother will come hang out with him on tour, if only for "a short stint."

After all, Cook's brother was the one who persuaded him to attend the "Idol" audition in the first place. "He has been my No. 1 supporter from Day One," emphasized David Cook, "and has routinely told me how proud he is of me." When asked what he had given his brother in return, Cook replied, "Inadvertently, I'm responsible for getting him into video games."  Hmmm, sounds like one of the Cooks is getting the short end of the stick here.

As for his new star status, Cook remains in awe. "I can't believe the level of support that has come out of me doing this crazy TV show," he marveled.

The level of support in the "Idol" community was clear on Tuesday night, when 12 million more votes were cast for Cook than for Archuleta. "I attribute the finale vote … to my fans just being awesome," Cook stated simply. Still, Cook doesn't want the public to read too much into that number. "I think that number is actually really misleading," he mused, in yet another shout-out to formidable opponent Archuleta. "I was just honored to share the stage with him."

When the conversation moved back to Cook's time as a struggling musician, Cook recalled, "I wasn’t ready to give up on music, and I didn’t think music was ready to give up on me." Now an international star, Cook is grateful for his starving-artist days. "You get pretty humble playing shows to five people," he said with a chuckle.

As for the idea that he would have been better off not winning "Idol" (in terms of credibility as a rock musician), Cook admitted that the idea had crossed his mind, but he said he didn't give it much attention. It would have been "a slap in the face" to the competition and fans, he explained. "As far as having more success by not being a winner, I think that is something that will get played out in the next few years," he concluded.

If Cook looks like a different man today than the one we met months ago, it's not just the gleam in his eye. "I've lost probably 10, 15 pounds on this season," he revealed. And Cook's physique isn't the only thing that changed. He's become more open as a performer, thanks to vocal coach Debra Byrd, who helped him break down the "wall" he was putting up. Hence Cook's late-season success -– and his late-season proclivity for tears, especially at the finale. "The crying after I'd won was like an exhale," he recalled. "I felt like that whole time I was holding my breath." 

After the remarkably articulate and mature "Idol" winner bid us adieu, David Archuleta took over the call. Following Cook, Archuleta's relative youth and worldly inexperience were apparent. The two Davids are at such different stages of their lives, it seems amazing that they ever competed.

"Even after this interview I have to go to school," revealed Archuleta, a 17-year-old high school student. During the competition, while all of the other contestant enjoyed free time, Archuleta completed his requisite three hours of home-schooling. 

Archuleta is more like a typical high school student than one might assume. Believe it or not, he still isn't sure what he wants to do with his life. "I'm still looking at options and careers I'd be interested in in the future," he mused.  At the moment, he's considering a career as an ear, nose and throat doctor.  "It's something that really interests me because it's something that helps people who have the same problems as me," explained Archuleta. "It's something I can really relate to people with."

But don't fret, Archie-fans; he's not inspecting any noses just yet. Archuleta is still devoted to making an album. "The competition is now over, and now it's time to really focus on music," he asserted. Archuleta's album will include both "real music, where it has meaning and depth to it" and "fun stuff."  After all, he asserted, "I still wanna be able to relate to kids my age."

And as any kid his age might, Archie got more than a little choked up when the topic turned to girls. "It just bugs me when kids are like … all the drama," he said in reference to his lovesick contemporaries. "It's not like your infatuation with them is going to support you."  Still, Archuleta is not totally closed off to the idea of a love connection. "It's definitely something I'll want to focus on later on in life when I'm ready. When I feel like I've met a girl who has a great personality and someone … who has respect for themself, but not in like an arrogant way."

When the conversation turned to another uncomfortable topic -– the portrayal of his father, Jeff Archuleta, in the media -– Archuleta was surprisingly forthcoming. "I heard one thing was like he refused to give me water," Archie exclaimed in disbelief.  "I'm 17. If I want water, I'm pretty sure I'd just go get it." "The next thing is, he's a great guy," David said of his father, adding that his whole family had been incredibly supportive during his time on "Idol." "No one understands what I'm here for more than they do."

One of the things that he is not "here for," however, is the pictures. "I hate looking at myself," he revealed, adding that even before the competition, whenever a camera came out, he would "be the one hiding behind a bush or something." And it's not just looking at himself that irks Archie. "I can't stand hearing my voice," admitted the "Idol" finalist. "I've never watched myself on the show … I'm OK with talking on camera as long as I don’t have to hear it afterwards." Sure, he may be a world famous singer, but first and foremost, David Archuleta is a 17-year-old kid. 

Before the call was over, Archuleta wanted to say thank you, and not just to his fans. He was grateful to us, for even wanting to speak to him. "I'd just like to thank everyone for their time," said Archuleta, overbrimming with love and sincerity. "For them wanting to speak with me even though I'm out of it right now … it means a lot to me when people appreciate the hard work I've been putting into this."

-- Stephanie Lysaght

(Photo courtesy Fox)

Comments () | Archives (71)

Tara, I couldn't agree with you more. David A. is by far much more talented and will end up doing much more with his career than David C. David A. has pure talent and has reach people of all ages. David A. is going to be a super star for decades to come. David C. will produce a record and then nobody will give him the time of day. David C. has a limited listening audience. Myself being a rocker from the 80's. I enjoyed his voice but would never buy an album. David C. did Not show me nothing new. Were as David A. is dynamic and has a pure voice that is simply amazing.

email anytime.

Dave C. should not have won America did NOT get it correct. DC will come and go with in a year or less. And DA will be around for decades to come.

Even DC knew that he shouldn't have won. He conceded the competition. "Everyone already knows who is going to Win. I am just here to have some fun". This suggests to me that DC knew that DA should have been the winner. And DC also knew that DA is the Better Talent. I feel bad for DC, he is going to come and go, sure he'll make some money. However, DA will have an impact on our society, and will effect people all around the world with his voice and his music.

That my friends is the Truth!!!

With all the comments that are being posted here for DA and DC. I can tell you that the way that DA and DC are going to make their money is by internet sell. Learn how to profit from the internet with American Idol and other business, at www.BulkBits.com.

David A. is and should have been the American Idol. He basically represents everything that is good and pure in music and with the children and new generations and older generation should look up to him, with his passion with his music. DA will affect the world with his music.

You've Got to be kidding, cluephone! David Archuleta is compared to Perry Como (my great grandma music) There is no way I would listen to that on the radio!! David Cook has an Awesome voice! I could listen to that night and day! Maybe when your old enough to get out of Romper Room you'll know the difference. AMERICA GOT IT RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

In my opinion, Archie was the best contestant that season and he should have won by a landslide. He clearly murdered Cook on the performance night. I agreed with everything Simon said that night. Archie blew Cook out of the water. The fact that Simon apologized to Cook was good I guess, but it made me think that he knew David Cook was going to win and didn't want to look bad. I'm pretty sure it was even more obvious when Simon watched it at home that David Archuleta won all 3 rounds tuesday night. I think I do agree with the reverse psychology thing to. David Archuleta should have won. In my opinion, David Cook is just a rocker. David Archuleta pours his heart and soul into every performance, and his rendition of "With You" wasn't that bad. He is clearly the better singer, and it was his dream. He will be big no matter what. In my opinion, Archie is still a winner:) He'll have a great career in music.

I love american idol!!!! it is so much fun to wach!!!!!!!

I grew to really love David Cook's amazing performances. Each time he took a cliched or familiar song and turned it into a masterpiece. I do hope that some of the songs he sang on the show will be considered for a future CD, songs such as Billie Jean, and The First Time Ever I saw Your Face. He made them both new and alive. I wouldn't call myself a rocker fan, but I will certainly buy anything David Cook puts out. And I think David A will go far as well. Both have talent, just in different ways, and with different styles of music.

first of all lol - jean ann's comment
second i think this was a cliff richard vs. rod stewart kind of battle though i dont think cook is as special as rod. apples vs. oranges. still archuleta was the better choice i believe

I was overjoyed when David Cook's name was announced as the winner of AI7. He is truly unique and has a great voice. Cook could sing uptempos, ballads, rock and roll songs and he made songs unique (Hello, You'll Always Be My Baby, Billie Jean). Archie did have a nice voice but he was only good at one thing: ballads. He was not diverse AT ALL and I know that got old for many people. Ballads may sound nice on an album but good luck trying to sell out concerts for Archie....people don't want to spend fifty bucks to sit in a hot stadium for an hour and a half to hear non stop ballads. They want diversity, and Cook has that. (Cook reminds me soooo much of Keith Urban on stage, another GREAT entertainer) Cook had the "IT" factor that Archie didn't. Archie will be successful, but he better start making more modern, uptempo music instead of old fashioned sloowwww songs, because if he doesn't, mark my words, that boy will be gone in 5 years. Radio doesn't want to play old fashioned songs, they want modern music.


WAY TO GO DAVID COOK!! I am soo glad that DC won! Since I'm from Canada I couldn't vote, but America defineately got it right. David Archuleta is a really cool kid who has a great future ahead of him, but I was all for DC from the very start!

I think that both davids are good when it comes to singing and it is a fact that both can sing. But i'm a huge fan of David Cook because he is so versatile when it comes to singing and he makes it to a point to make a song sound his own. I'm very happy that he won AI and I know that he will go a long way on his career and be successful on his craft. Go go go DAVID COOK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Watching AI these past years, this has got to be the absolute best! Both David's were gerat--David Cook should have and did win it. David A. has a great voice but not a great pressence. Perhaps in time he will mature and develop a stronger stage pressence.

Cooks voice and pressence as a musician is compelling, full of character and embodies the true soul of music-that's why he received 12mil more votes. He is the quintessential American Idol.

I expect that he will produce one of the most memorable mega-selling tracks the world has yet to see. I predict he will soar above Daughtry, Underwood and Clarkson. By the way...who are the others?


People may love David Archuleta, but you must admit that David Cook has the experience and wide variety of fans and musical styles he can pull off singing. It seems Archie has been a ballad-crooner, and it is only the tween girls who love him. David Cook can do both of these, and more. I've been hoping he wins since Day One! Can't wait for David's album!

my man is sooo funney!!! I love this kid and I will always google him. He's really interesting and amazing.
I will buy all his cds!!!
Thankyou for your time. lol.
This guy is hilarious... He is the best person I have ever knew.

from the many comments here, the archie fans are apparently very sore losers. no one said archie did not have a good voice . . . but david cook won because people wanted something different and he is amazing. comparing him or his voice to archie's is like comparing apples to oranges. i really wish the archie fans would get over themselves, and i hope they DONT watch the show next year so we can continue to see more exiciting winners! see ya in disneyland, archie fans!

There is no doubt DC deserved to win because the winner should be based on the whole season of performances. DA has his moment of brilliance but DC is more consistently brilliant. I find it weird though when Simon apologize to DC for his critique in the finale. Clearly, DA won the night but not the season. Thanks to LA Times Richard, Stephanie and Ann(at least the later part of the season) for their objectivity and impartiality. I am looking forward to buying the CD of both Davids. They are both incredible singers.

To Tara: Have you ever heard "the children shall teach their parents"...maybe your kids no more than YOU would be willing to think!

David Cook did an awesome job! David Archuleta did an awesome job! Both are winners!

When I first heard Cook's rendition of HELLO, I was impressed. But when I heard Cook singing TIME OF MY LIFE at the radio, I was like, EWWW, thin voice, some notes off, and his rock voice was forceful, unlike Daughtry who has a broader and more natural sounding voice.

Then I started thinking, was it because I heard HELLO so many times in it's pop and lame version, and when I suddenly hear a different edgier version, I feel refreshed and surprised, therefore I was impressed? And I was thinking, if a new song was given to Cook, he'll sound just like other rock band, maybe even not as good because he has a thin voice.

Archuleta, on the other hand, has a solid voice, and this will carry him for many years to come, and will stand to be timeless. By the way, he didn't butcher Chris Brown's WITH YOU, I admit he had tempo issues and his phrasing was off, but give him some time to polish the song, and he will definitely bring the house down.

In this year's AI, I have heard good and bad from both Davids. I have enjoyed both. Both are different and unique in their own way. Best of luck to both David's I say. They seem like they respect and admire each other. Maybe we can follow in their lead and respect each other's ability to choose based on our own sense of individuality. I hope they both do awesome!

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