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Simon Cowell predicts David Cook will be 'American Idol' champion


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/20/2008 

Better late than never, Simon Cowell has finally delivered his favorite to win American Idol's seventh season.

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"I think it really, really will come down to song choice.  So I'm going to call it for David Cook," said Cowell during a Tuesday appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.  "I wouldn't have said it nine or 10 weeks ago, because at that point David Archuleta was a red-hot favorite.  But over the weeks, this guy David Cook -- two or three performances have been staggeringly good.  Whereas [Archuleta], he's kind of just [leveled off] a bit."

The Idol judge's first seventh-season prognostication came when he labeled Archuleta as the "one to beat" when the competition was still in the semifinal rounds.  

Cowell and fellow judge Randy Jackson then went on the record as foreseeing an Archuleta vs. Cook finale when there were still eight finalists remaining and Cowell subsequently reiterated that claim when there were only four finalists remaining. 

The prediction came to fruition when Syesha Mercado was ousted during last Wednesday night's live results show.

Cowell has made a regular habit of issuing Idol predictions over the last few seasons. 

Last year, he forecast a Jordin Sparks/Melinda Doolittle finale when there were still six finalists left in the competition.  In 2006, he predicted Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks or Kellie Pickler would walk away with the fifth-season title immediately after the season's 12 finalists were revealed.  And in 2005, he openly claimed that Carrie Underwood would eventually walk away with Idol's fourth-season title.

While Cowell thinks both Davids can sing, he agreed with DeGeneres that Archuleta lacks Cook's personality -- or personality in general.

"I think you'd struggle a bit on the interview.  Once you got past 'gee' and, 'gosh,' there's not very far to go," Cowell said about Archuleta's speaking skills.  "But that's just the way he is.  He's a young kid.  He hasn't got that charisma, experience.  You get the feeling that he's kind of being almost like trained to do this over a period of time.  He hasn't really experienced life.  I like people who have had to work a bit... then get a break."

Cowell also chimed in on Archuleta's father Jeff -- who last week was barred from providing his son with any more musical input. 

"I think with Jeff, when you look at him, he just looks a bit earnest the whole time," explained Cowell.  "He just needs to relax a bit.  [David's] in the final, just have a good time."

In addition, Jeff has been criticized for being an overbearing stage dad when it comes to his son -- with Naomi Judd previously stating she encountered Jeff when she was serving as a Star Search judge and David was a contestant, commenting that Jeff "is like the worst stage dad."

"I've had worse over the years," said Cowell.  "I've had mothers practically attacking me after the show for what I said to their daughter or son.  The stage moms and the stage dads go nuts.  They just go crazy."


(Photo credit Fox)


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