Thursday, May 29, 2008

David Cook is the seventh American Idol

On May 21, 2008, David Roland Cook was crowned the seventh American Idol, with the teenage David Archuleta as the runner-up. American Idol judge Simon Cowell was rooting for him anyway. Cook then sang "The Time of My Life", the winning song of American Idol season 8. "The Time of My Life" was written by Regie Hamm and produced by Steve Lipson.

Son of Beth (née Frye) and Stan Cook, David Roland Cook was born in Houston, Texas, on December 20, 1982. He was raised in Blue Springs, Missouri. His younger brother Andrew attends the University of Central Missouri, and his older brother Adam resides in Terre Haute, Indiana. Cook's parents divorced during his childhood. His mother remarried and became known as Beth Foraker. His father relocated to Indianapolis, India.

Cook's interest in music began during childhood. He received his first guitar at the age of 12. He began singing in second grade, when his elementary school music teacher had him sing solo in a school choir performance. He proceeded to perform in virtually every Christmas and PTA program. He also participated in choir and drama programs and middle and high school. He performed various musicals, such as West Side Story (which is based on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet). He was also an avid baseball player in high school. He lost interest in sports and began to focus more on music. He attended the University of Central Missouri. When he was in college, he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa. After graduating from college,
he relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to pursue a music career, telling his family, "I just want to give myself until I'm 26 years old to get a job."

Cook was the lead singer of the band called Axium, a Missouri-based band, from 1999 to 2006, when Axium disbanded. He formed the band during his junior year in high school with drummer Bobby Kerr. One of Axium's songs, "Hold", was selected by AMC Theatres Movies Tunes and was played before previews on over 20,000 screens across the United States. After Axium disbanded, Cook relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and joined the regional touring band called Midwest Kings, as a guitarist, bassist, and backup vocalist. He recorded an EP entitled Incoherent with Desire to Move On, with Midwest Kings in 2006. He worked as a bartender in Tulsa clubs such as Blank State and Rehab Lounge.

Cook released an independent solo album, entitled Analog Heart, in 2006. He designed the artwork for the album. The album was declared the fourth-best CD released in 2006 by the website Music Equals Life. Cook also won the Urban Tulsa Weekly's "Absolute Best of Tulsa" award for "Best Locally Produced, Independent Album" in 2007. Before he auditioned for American Idol, he finished recording his second album. During the weekend of April 18, 2008, Analog Heart was listed as the no. 1 album for "Today's Top MP3 Albums" on Shortly thereafter, Analog Heart was deleted from

Cook's musical influences include Our Lady Peace, Alice in Chains, Big Wreck, and Pearl Jam.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The next American Idol is going to be male

First it was Amanda Overmeyer, then Ramiele Malubay, then Kristy Lee Cook, then Carly Smithson, then Brooke White, and final Syesha Mercado. Syesha Raquel Mercado, the last woman standing, has been voted off of American Idol, giving her third place and joining Kimberley Locke as the female contestant in the top 3 to allow the top 2 male contestants to compete in the finale. The season 7 finale would be head to head between David Cook and David Archuleta. Archuleta's father has been banned from backstage for bullying.

Meanwhile, American Idol season 6 runner-up Blake Lewis called the season 6 finale unfair, because the producers gave him unfair restrictions. He was not allowed to be creative, while his winner Jordin Sparks was allowed to be creative.

Syesha Raquel Mercado was born on January 3, 1987, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She was raised in Sarasota, Florida. Her mother Zelda Mercado is African-American, but her father José is Hispanic. She attended Daughtry Elementary School in Manatee County, Florida. She graduated from Booker High School in 2005, where she was in the Theater Visual Performing and Arts department. As of now, she attends Florida International University in Miami, Florida.
Mercado auditioned for American Idol Season 7 in Miami, Florida, singing "Think", recorded by Aretha Franklin, where all three judges (Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul), unanimously said "Yes" to her and granted her entry to Hollywood. When she entered Hollywood, she temporarily lost her voice and went on vocal rest. She then communicated through handwriting. She sang "Chain of Fools" and was accepted into the semifinals. She was the only female in the top 3 and was voted off on this day, locking in the gender of the next American Idol winner to male, thus leaving two male contestants David Archuleta and David Cook to compete in the finale. Despite positive reviews from the judges, Mercado was in the bottom two or three five times, evading elimination. Some commentators, including American Idol judge Simon Cowell, believed that her singing style is more suited for broadway than pop music. I myself believe that her style is also suited for R&B.

According to, her musical influences are Whitney Houston (ex-wife of New Edition member Bobby Brown), Etta James, Alicia Keys (princess of Neo Soul), Zap Mama, Lauryn Hill, and Aretha Franklin (the queen of soul).

Mercado is currently engaged to actor and producer Hess Wesley.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mario has been thrown off Dancing With the Stars

Unfortunately the 21-year old R&B artist Mario Barrett, simply known as Mario, has been voted off Dancing With the Stars, alongside his professional dancing partner Karina Smirnoff, during
Tuesday's results show, which also served to celebrate the show's 100th episode. Mario came in third place following the judge's score last Monday. Mario and Smirnoff performed a Viennese waltz and a jive during Monday's performance show, earning 53 out of 60 points. The judges crowned him "new prince" following his ballroom dance, but was scolded for his Latin dance.