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David Archuleta vs. David Cook: Who'll win the most showbiz awards?

November 22, 2008 |  2:18 pm

Sure, David Cook beat David Archuleta on "American Idol," but now they enter their next arena, battling over music sales and critics' huzzahs as their debut CDs hit the market just days apart.

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David Archuleta debuted in second place on the Billboard 200 chart last week behind Taylor Swift, selling 183,000 discs. According to MJ's Big Blog, that places Archuleta third in the first week of sales of second-place "American Idol" contestants, after Clay Aiken and Bo Bice, and in 10th place among all "Idol" star releases. MJ warns not to read too much into those numbers, considering that CD sales in general are down 25% this year after falling drastically the previous few years too.

Looks as if Cook will top Achuleta's numbers soundly. Industry estimates project sales of about 300,000. Currently, Cook is No. 1 on both iTunes and Amazon's music charts.

Cook's CD got better reviews from critics, but that's to be expected, frankly. Music journos tend to be macho dudes fond of raging against the kind of dreamy heartthrob ballads that Archuleta croons. At Metacritic.com, Cook has a critics score of 67 compared with 58 for Archuleta. However, regular users of the site give Archuleta a towering score over Cook: 9.3 to 7.4.

Entertainment Weekly likes Cook's "husky, expressive vocals," while the New York Times says, "David Archuleta has a lovely, foggy R&B voice out of scale with his small body."

Looking ahead to the awards arena next: They're both nominated for American Music Awards this weekend, but, as all kudos experts know, those don't count. Let's consider the Grammys. Archuleta might have much in common with past Grammy grabbers Michael Bolton, Justin Timberlake and John Mayer. David Cook could become the next Rob Thomas.

Photo: Fox TV


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