Thursday, May 22, 2008

David Cook voted 'American Idol' winner

David Cook in boxing gear during American Idol finale 01
Yes, those were the classic words to Michael Jackson's legendary "Billie Jean" coming out of the mouth of American Idol finalist David Cook as we moved into the battle of the top 10. However, it was a version stripped bare of the original recording's mammoth bass line and glossy production. It was easily the most surprising performance of the night, and, I would expect, it generated a new appreciation for the versatility of the song "Billie Jean."

The inspiration for this Michael Jackson cover? It's a version of "Billie Jean" by Chris Cornell, former leader of grunge legends Soundgarden and currently lead vocalist for Audioslave. His take on "Billie Jean" is featured on the solo album Carry On which was released less than a year ago in June 2007. Critical comments on the Cornell cover of "Billie Jean" ranged widely from those who felt that it was a fascinating way to interpret the song to others who were much less kind. The American Idol judges were amazed and impressed by David Cook's presentation of a performance of "Billie Jean" inspired by Chris Cornell. What do you think? Compare the performances side by side below.




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