Crowned Too Early?


Mar. 5 2008, Published 6:00 a.m. ET

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It was the last chance for the boys of American Idol to sing their way into the finals on Tuesday night. And it appears that as far as judge Simon Cowell is concerned they might as well skip right to the finals, as the ornery Brit predicted that David Archuleta will "probably be in the final two."

But did Simon speak too soon? This last round of semifinals showcased some of the best performances to date by the male contestants, including dreadlocked cutie Jason Castro, whose rendition of the oft-covered Leonard Cohen classic "Hallelujah" was lauded by all three judges — even Simon called Jason "absolutely brilliant," saying that it was "one of my favorite performances."

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And what about guitar-wielding dude David Cook? Not only did all three judges praise his power-ballad version of Lionel Richie's "Hello," Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson both said they thought the song should be released as a single now. "It would be a hit today," Paula commented. "And should be a hit today."

Then there was Aussie hunk Michael Johns belting out the Simple Minds hit "Don't You (Forget About Me)" — which Randy misidentified as an INXS tune. Even though Simon commented that he "liked it, didn't love it," he still predicted that Michael is "going to do very well in this competition."


Meanwhile a number of the men didn't have as positive a showing on Monday night. Orlando Bloom lookalike Luke Menard shared the brunt of Simon's acid-tipped tongue with sass-tastic teen Danny Noriega. "Absolutely useless" was how he judged Danny's in-your-face version of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love." "It was horrible, the whole thing." And just as he predicted David Archuleta's iminent success, Simon told Luke, "there is no chance you'll make it through."

So what did you think? Is David the real deal or do the other guys have what it takes to compete?


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