Yesterday, we had the fabulous experience of sitting in on (and sitting right next to) DAVID COOK while he was being interviewed at Fox Network Television offices in the News Corporation building in Manhattan.
We spent about a half hour with Cook, shortly before he was about to board a flight for a couple of days rest, after which he goes right into rehearsals for the 2008 Idols Live Tour. David is as gracious, charming and nice -- and just as handsome -- as he appeared on "Idol." It is definitely a case of what you see is what you get. When we asked him whether he had known what he was getting himself into -- after all, that morning he was already performing live outside Rockefeller Center on the "Today" show (a couple of blocks away from the Fox offices) while we were still sitting at home watching him on TV -- he answered yes, and that he would get some rest today and tomorrow. Looking a bit tired, he requested a raincheck when one of his young interviewers (they were 10) asked if he would sing a song for us. Saying he was a bit under the weather vocally (he had a glass of orange juice on the table by him), he did, however, promise that he would try to come and sing at their school to make it up to them.
Cook was wearing the same black sport jacket with a black T-shirt that read Lady Luck beneath, a necklace and the jeans that he had worn during his "Today" show appearance. His boots looked like the same pointy-toed pair he had worn on the "Idol" finale. As soon as everyone was seated around a small table, he flipped off a TV that was on behind him. His phone apparently was set on vibrate and when it went off he apologized to us (!) and turned it off as well. He was polite and courteous beyond belief.
Although we didn't learn a lot of things we hadn't heard or read from other interviews, David, 25, did say:
--That he thinks his brother Andrew will try out for "Idol" again next season.
--That he got his first guitar when he was 12 or 13 but didn't truly learn how to play it until he was 24 (and, in fact, is still learning).
--That his favorite song of those he sang on Idol was his last one, Collective Soul's "The World I Know" because it summed up his whole "Idol" experience and everything that had happened to him.
--That his favorite song ever is "Potato Girl" by Our Lady Peace.
--That the contestants he was most saddened to see leave -- because, in his opinion, they left too early on weeks they had done well -- were Michael Johns and Carly Smithson.
--That he considers all 23 other semi-finalists his friends, but bonded early on with Michael Johns, Luke Menard and Jason Yeager.
--That as a child he wanted to be either a baseball player or the guy who stood on the back of the garbage truck.
--That Simon Cowell wasn't cruel just very honest ... and a little mean (said with a twinkle in his eye).
--That he played all kinds of sports as a child: baseball, football, basketball and soccer, but that he wasn't very good at the latter. In fact, he said, I probably wasn't very good at any of them, because look where I am now.
--That he hadn't been embarrassed when he looked back at his performances singing and dancing -- until he was just asked that question.
--That he hated Wednesdays on "Idol" because a) He had to dance, and b) Someone had to go home.
--That this was his first trip to New York City
At the end of the interview, he patiently posed for photos and autographed photos for everyone, even carefully making sure to write something different on each picture. He acted as if we were doing him a favor for being there for him instead of the other way around. David Cook is the very image of what an American Idol should be. Not only because of the great talent he is blessed with, but because he is humble, sincerely nice and a wonderful role model. This week his music downloads have already set new records and we wish him continued success in what we expect will be a brilliant career.
Watch video of David Cook and David Archuleta interview on the "Today" show:
Watch video of David Cook singing "The Time of My Life" on the "Today" show:
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