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May 20, 2008
Idol Chatter: Just a few hours to go

Members of the print media (including myself), who have been covering "American Idol" since January (nuts!), were scheduled to have a quick phoner with the two finalists - David Archuleta and David Cook - Monday, before tonight's competition (at 8 p.m. on Fox40).

It didn't happen.

However, Fox apparently snagged them between rehearsals (and maybe throwing up), so here's what the two "Davids" had to say:

Q: Is it going to be different singing on the stage at the Nokia Theater compared to singing on the "American Idol" stage?
David A.: I don't think it'll be too different because the audience is still going to be big on the other side of the camera, watching on TV, so while there's more people live, I don't know. I guess I'll have to see once I go and rehearse and stuff.
David C.: You know, it's interesting. I've always been really kind of confused by the idea, like the smaller the crowd for me, the more nervous I tend to get. Having the Nokia full should be great. But you know, win or lose, I think we both win, so for me now, it's just kind of enjoying the moment.

Q: Are you getting a lot of advice? Does the experience match what you expected?
David A.: Every single person always has something good to say, from (David) Cook to the people helping us out, to family, to friends, to just people you meet and fan mail.
David C.: It's busier than I thought it was going to be. And so for me, the learning process has just been kind of like watching the stuff that takes place that people never get to see - more than anything, just kind of the relationships that form. I remember at the beginning of the season, I always wondered why we all cried when people went home, and it's like, you know, some of these people we've known almost a year now, so it's definitely been an experience for sure.

Q: Is being an "American Idol" finalist anything like you thought it was going to be?
David A.: No it's not, because I didn't even think I would be a finalist so that's already the difference right there. And then, just how crazy and busy it is. And tiring. I thought I'd have time to prepare for the finale, and this is the week where we've gotten the least amount of time to really prepare and it's like the most tiring on your voice. Hopefully it will all pull together.
David C.: You know, to be where I was at before, now to be standing on the finale stage and have a 50 percent chance of my name being called, is pretty heavy. So for me, it's just, either way, I'm content.

Meanwhile, Fox also alerted me this afternoon about tonight's song lineup: It will be a song of each finalist's choice, a song picked by record producer Clive Davis (who's probably itching to sign one or more of the Top 10), and one picked by online votes. Don't know where that leaves the winner of the songwriting contest.

Just FYI: A completely unofficial survey of Bee employees picked David Cook to win. Not that the paper has any inside track or anything. Just sayin'.

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