Kris Allen Vs. David Cook: Idol's Best Performance Quarterfinals Rage On!

The unspeakable cruelty/deliciousness of’s American Idol All-Time Greatest Performance Bracket Tournament continues today with an unpredictable quarterfinal battle between the winners of Seasons 7 and 8.

Yes, folks, it’s David Cook and his stunningly inventive reinterpretation of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” against Kris Allen and his wickedly unexpected, acoustic rendition of Kanye West’s “Heartless.”

American Idol Top 4 Performance Recap: ‘Nothing’ Ventured, Nothing Gained

It seems almost unfair for one of these epic performances to not reach the final four, but that’s the way the story has to go as our single-elimination, 64-player tourney marches to the semifinals. (For the uninitiated, every day around 1:00 p.m. ET over the next week, we’ll launch a new set of duels to the death, so be sure to keep coming back and making sure your favorites advance.)

Adam Lambert Vs. David Archuleta! Idol‘s Best Performance Quarterfinals Begin!

Before you head to the polls, you may want to peruse these memory-refreshing links to the performances entering the ring this afternoon:

Performance Links!
David Cook, “Always Be My Baby
Kris Allen, “Heartless

Watch those videos now, then down to our polls to vote for your favorites (voting will be open for 48 hours), and hit the comments to justify your picks.

Idoloonies: Stefano Langone Talks
Piano Skills, ‘Hello,’ and Gordon Ramsay’s Bad Behavior

And if you’re interested in the matchups we’ve got planned for the coming weeks and how the early rounds of matchups played out, click here to check out the entire 64-player bracket (then click again for a zoomed in view), and sign up to follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Joe says:

    If you had picked Cook’s “Hello” for this competition, that would be winning by a landslide and would probably beat Mad World or come close to it.

    • Yeah, I don’t understand why “Hello” wasn’t chosen. I know that it happened before Top 12, but it was easily David Cook’s best performance. I loved “Always Be My Baby” and “Billie Jean” and “Daytripper”, but “Hello” put David Cook on the map and helped him along the way, so much so that the performance is still talked about to this day. Although I enjoyed “Hello” more than “Heartless” I enjoyed “Heartless” more than “Alyways Be My Baby”, so there ya go.

    • Kari G says:

      I agree 100%. I still cannot comprehend that decision. That will always be my favorite Idol moment ever!

      • kyrjar says:

        I agree that Hello made me really sit up and listen but like Heartless it was similar to a version that was out there and acoustified by another. ABMB was Cookie’s alone and it was awesome.

        Also Heartless didn’t win it for Kris (who I would have wanted to win in perhaps six other seasons, not against Kelly, David or Adam) but Adam never had a chance to win as he was polarizing. I knew from the beginning that he had the fans to get to the end and whoever made it there with him would win. Love Adam but I think he shouldn’t have made himself more polarizing with that CD cover and that first performance. The songs themselves on the CD are fantastic. But I hate getting a Kris v. Adam do-over here. Should be Cookie (my all time fave)

    • Kari G says:

      I agree 100%. I still cannot comprehend that decision. Hello will always be my favorite Idol moment ever!

    • Sissy says:

      The only worst song they could have picked for Cook would have been Hungry Like The Wolf! They chose one of Cook’s worst performances and Allen’s ONE good performance…almost seems like they wanted Cook to lose. Stupid, stupid, stupid choice! Still Cook ALL THE WAY!

      • Jess says:

        Sissy, puhleeze… Always Be My Baby was considered one of his best performances, and it was received very well at the time. WNTS has it rated higher than 13 of his other performances, so saying they picked one of the worst is absurd, to say the least.

        • Cathy says:

          I still have Always Be My Baby on my iPod. Somehow he took a sappy love song and made it haunting. Of course he did that with Hello, but either are good choices.

      • dave says:

        Falling Slowly, Ain’t No Sunshine, To Make You Feel My Love, She Works Hard For the Money, The Way You Look Tonight, What’s Goin’ On…

        • season 8 says:

          80-90% of kradison’s finals performances were “moments”. what an amazing run those 3 had!

          • ramydam says:


          • Kyrjar says:

            Agreed. Kris had alot of amazing moments and had to make up for a lack of screen time. Said it before I would have wanted Kris to win against pretty much anybody other than Kelly, Cookie or Adam.

            The only other three better contestants with more moments or bigger moments. And Cookie paved the way for those innovators like Kris. Adam’s innovations are often more subtle and his voice is beyond compare to anyone other than Kelly. As great as Heartless was, the Fray’s was as good and I listen more to Kris’s Falling Slowly and Make you feel my love (the one that made Simon notice Kris).

        • Emy says:

          Those are all really amazing, but other than Ain’t No Sunshine and She Works Hard for the Money, they weren’t considered “moments” at the time. Even then, the first ANS wasn’t as much as the second time he performed it. In retrospect, we as fans try to claim such things, but the fact is at the time they just weren’t considered as such.

          • bart says:

            Actually, Emy, the first ANS was a definite moment for Kris – just look up some of the press it rec’d the next day. I remember that after the performance he was elevated to one of the three front runners by Vegas oddsmakers.

          • dave says:

            Folks, I was answering the person who commented that Kris only had ONE good performance. Nobody said all these performances were considered “moments”. That’s beside the point. (Tho bart is right, ANS #1 was one of Kris’s biggest Idol moments – which is why he chose to reprise it in the finale).

        • HelenCrump says:

          I’m so happy that you mentioned “The Way You Look Tonight” I adored Kris’s version of that—so romantic. I’d also add “Remember the Time” as another great Kris Allen performance. For someone to suggest that Kris had one good performance is ludicris.

    • kyrjar says:

      I think that picking ABMB was good b/c it was a total Cook original arrangement. Heartless was similar to The Fray arrangement, as Randy even mentioned when Kris performed it. While smart to pick unknown arrangements like Cook did with Hello, I gotta go with Cookie here. My all-time fave, though Kris is on my short list of faves too with Adam and Kelly.

      • already bored says:

        No, I believe you are talking about Heartless on Kris’s CD which was different from his live performance. And Randy actually said that he liked it(Kris’s Heartless) better than Fray’s version and original.

      • dave says:

        Randy said that it was “better than” Kanye’s, better then The Fray’s. He didn’t say it was the Fray’s version (any more than he said it was Kanye’s version).

        • kyrjar says:

          Dave I totally agree with your selection above as to great Kris performances. I took notice of him with Man in the Mirror and he surprised the pundits right up to the crown and I wanted him to the end. (I don’t buy hardly any studio versions of AI performances but I’ve bought several of Kris including Heartless). Best season period.

          BUT I only said that Heartless was “similar” to the Fray version. So like Cookie, Kris knew that a stripped down acoustic version would be an unexpected treat for the masses. I defer to what you say about Randy though as I can’t understand him half the time.

    • Idahophoenix says:

      This was tough. I love both of these artists, so I had to watch the videos, which just reminded me all over again how much I loved those two seasons of S8 and how much I miss Simon (because he actually gave real criticism, so when he liked something it mattered.) All that being said, I voted for Kris because Heartless was just such a defning moment.

  2. kt says:

    This is liking picking a favorite child….ugh!!!! So hard!

    • JayK* says:

      I knoooow! I went for Cookie, but it cut me deep.

    • flower says:

      I agree! This was really hard. My two favorite AI winners. I went with Cook just because of all the songs that he has performed, but I liked “Heartless” better than “Always Be My Baby”.

  3. Timely says:

    Ugg this is sad. I am pooped out with the voting. I just feel like letting Kris win and then Adam and Kris can fight it out in the finals.

    • Betty Boopski says:

      I think that’s what Slezak is trying to do. Correct me if I’m wrong Michael. But it won’t matter. Because any way you slice it, Kris Allen is a winner in my book. Hands down.

      • mjhtvchick says:

        I figure for a Adam vs. Fantasia finale…

        Having said that, I thought this would be a much harder choice until I re-watched the videos, then it was really clear to me that it was Kris all the way!!

  4. JC says:

    I must be in the minority because this Cook song on Idol was my favorite of his.

    I like the delicate creepiness of it towards the end. I’ll be disappointed if Kris Allen runs away with this one. Don’t get me wrong, I like Kris, but to me Cook’s song is better.

    • Scrubbie says:

      EXACTLY, for me Kris was a very bland singer, this song was his “breakthrough” but it doesn’t has an inch of the Cook’s song, that was a magical moment, i remember clearly that i was bawling at the end, i was worse that Paula & her happy pills…THAT WAS A MOMENT!

      • icj says:

        Though I really like David Cook, I disagree with the bland singer comment because honestly I’ve always thought vice versa. I love his cover of “Always Be My Baby” and some others, but that’s it. That’s why I didn’t buy his album, just only the songs I like. Just my opinion.

        • tuppy says:

          totally agree. I’ve never gotten david cook — I’m on board with his musicality, his intelligence in arrangements, and his commitment in performing, but not his VOICE. (especially “always be my baby,” which seems to sit way too low in his register for most of it, then ends on a weird vocal semi-riff.) I just don’t enjoy listening to him. but I could listen to kris sing all day long. I rewatched both of these performances before voting, and “heartless” was the clear winner.

          • same song second verse says:

            David Cook made every single song sound the same. He converted his songs, regardless of genre, to the same rock-ballad genre. So much so that I can’t even tell his songs apart. But I do like his voice.

            Kris Allen OTOH rearranged every song in different, interesting, and engaging ways. Bongo drums on a Donna Summer song? Heartless with nothing but a guitar? And unlike DC he didn’t need to change up songs. Apologize, Falling Slowly, and several others were true to the originals. The man has musical ingenuity in spades.

          • tealeaves says:

            Music of the Night, Little Sparrow, DreamBig, Eleanor Rigby, All Really Need is You, Billie Jean. . . Cook was a master. He has a large vocal range and was able to give extremely different perormances.

      • rod says:

        It’s a matter of personal taste but I think if you’re talking “interesting” Kris is a more interesting singer/performer. But they both have great voices (very different, but great) and are awesome people.

        • icj says:

          I do hate to pick between the two, because they’re great guys and are very different in style (despite people grouping them together because they both happen to be white and play guitar). I do love Kris Allen’s voice and as a singer/performer more than Cook, but doesn’t mean I don’t like Cook. It is a matter of personal taste. Though both Kris and David are top notch guys who care about people, and that’s what these two guys have in common. Not the musical aspect as bias people try to throw around.

        • henryF says:

          Actually, Kris’s Ain’t No Sunshine was his “breakthrough” moment, long before Heartless. I have to say I’m a Kris fan, though Cook is my second favorite.

      • Grandma Moses says:

        Hey…you like Cook great. Let’s be mature and not call someone names like bland just because you prefer Cook. I don’t see any Kris fans calling Cook names.

        • flower says:

          I agree. There is no need to be rude. I love both Cook and Kris. They are both my two favorites. Plus Cook fans and Kris Allen fans have always been the nice ones. There are some other fans that jump at the opportunity of a put down (especially when they hear any praise of Kris Allen) so let’s not lower ourselves to that level please.

          • HelenCrump says:

            So agreed flower–please no name calling! I adore Kris Allen, but David Cook is really great too, but for me, no contest, it has to be Heartless, which, when I want to feel that electric charge of Kris pulling a musical rabbit out of his hat when he needed it most, I listen to again (particularly during the blandness of this season’s Idol.)

    • JBanana says:

      you’re not alone. Hello and this one are tied for first place for me. It really didn’t matter to me which one of the two were picked. I’ve watched them both about a zillion times. (And I think Little Sparrow comes in third… love that one!)

      However, it is still PAINFUL to have to vote against Heartless, which was brilliant and I also have rewatched more times than I can say. But not as many times as Always Be My Baby, so that has to be the winner of my vote.

    • Kellie D. says:

      I’ll be way disappointed if Kris ends up beating out David on this too. It’s really absurd to me. Kris was good, but David was AMAZING, no matter what song he sang. And this was a completely original arrangement of David’s. Kris had a few good songs, but ALL but one of David’s from the time he hit Top 24 were amazing!

    • selena says:

      how is Kris winning? Cook was AMAZING on idol. No one compared to him. And I loved how he changed the song. Better than the original

    • Yeah says:

      I voted for David (and Fantasia). Oh well losing on both counts.

      • Yeah says:

        at least Adam won his round, I’m not even a huge Adam fan but he was miles infinitely better than Archuleta and had he not once this round the Mayans would’ve been off by a year….

  5. MT says:

    So tough, so tough.

  6. Jenna says:

    tough choice, love them both.

  7. Kim says:

    Aw…this is just mean. Love them both…but I went with Heartless.

    Also, I really miss Simon.

  8. min says:

    I like both guys. What is the point of these polls?

    • Name That Tune says:

      To have Kris v. Adam again?

      • Kradam4ever says:

        YES!!!! And, I’m guessing that is what Michael Slezak had in mind all the way long…!!!
        And I believe it is meant to be.., Yes?

      • liz says:

        Gahhh….I’m so sick of the Adam v. Kris stuff. I love Kris, David C., and some others, so I’ll vote occasionally (even though it’s really hard in this one). I’ll probably boycott the glambert craziness, though….

      • Teresa says:

        I think you’re being a bit hard on Michael here. He didn’t vote ABMB as better than “Hello.” That was us.

        The point of the tournament is to allow us to have some fun reliving some favorite AI performances. In some cases, I didn’t even remember them and it’s been a thrill to see them as if for the first time. In some cases, rewatching them has given me new appreciation.

        It won’t come down to Kris and Adam. If Kris wins this round and goes up against Adam, whoever wins that round will end up going up against a female singer.

        Nothing is at stake here. It’ll all for fun. I hope Michael makes this an annual event. So we can see how Season 10 stacks up against the classics.

        • joan says:

          I don’t understand why males and females are ranked separately. They don’t compete separately on the show, except in earlier rounds – and I don’t even agree with that, actually. But anyway, it’s just for fun.

          • already bored says:

            Don’t get me wrong as I am a female too, but it seems most um…passionate fans are females. I HAVE seen crazy males fans especially in Asia with pretty female singer group, but
            mostly females fans are more committed. I think Michael was just trying to avoid “oh, it’s females fans spamming the voting poll” complaint. I would have done the same.

      • flower says:

        That was my suspicion too! Michael, we don’t want to do Kris vs Adam again!!! Please! Adam fans are so vicious! If Kris wins, we will never hear the end of it (again) and if Adam wins, they will gloat. They are just too fanatic to be nice. I just want to be happy listening to the songs.

        • already bored says:

          I agree with you. I just want to listen to nice music. But I almost always read this nasty comments whenever I watch any music video or performances. I am none AI watcher and first heard Kris and Adam both on radio. I liked their songs, but nasty comments about Kris on both of their videos have actually made me his fan…and well, sorta turned me off of Adam’s song. I hate seeing people being cruel and inconsiderate to anyone just because they can and because they won’t be held responsible. And, hasn’t it been almost two years or something? I mean isn’t life too short to be hateful? Just…sad.

          • Jess says:

            Well, you know, I was an avid fan of Kris and Adam. And although on their season I was rooting for Adam, and felt a little sad that he did not win, I was also happy for Kris and thought if Adam had to lose to anyone else, I was glad it was Kris. But after the constant slams on Adam’s fans by Kris’ fans I find myself distancing myself from Kris and his music, for the same reasoning you use above. And you can go on any article about Adam and youtube and there are plenty of comments that I assume are coming from Kris fans. All fan groups have the crazies, I am a little tired of people always making snide comments about Adam and his fans, it is as irritating as the crazy you are criticizing.

          • already bored says:

            Thank you for your reply. As much as fans like you saddens me, they also amuse me with overreacting and putting words in other people’ mouths. By the way, I don’t think I said anything about being “crazy”. If you felt offended, I’m sorry you did. I was merely pointing out that some of his passionate fans lack netiquette as some people on the internet do. And no, I did not notice any single rude comments by Kris’s fan. Then again, I only looked up YouTube video and article only once few months ago.

        • Love not hate says:

          Gambrels drive me crazy. I stay away from all adam’ songs.

        • Let says:

          Sorry, but nobody beats the Cook fans for nastiness. Bit***g about a guys promotion opportunities who was not even in Cook’s season was the lowest of the lows. The envy and jealousy was just ugly. Tweeting RCA eveytime they promoted the guy. Geez, they are his label of course they were going to promote him. The same as they promoted Cook when his first album came out and the way they are promoting him now.

          • Jackie says:

            LET: Cook fans are no different from other fans; the problem is, when people are invested in a performer though hear nothing about plans moving forward, it stings a little to hear of others. Any other Fan Base would feel the same. To be in the dark is not always a good thing. Cook and Lambert are spectacular at what they do and both will thrive for a long time. jmo

            Ok, my vote is for David Cook. He blows my mind continually

  9. aunt_deen says:

    God, this is rough. Love both of them, but I have to give this one to Kris.

  10. Karen says:

    Tough call. I love them both!!!!

  11. KradamMyIdol says:

    Oh.. Please vote for Kris!!!!
    Kradam finale would be priceless and it’s sooo close…
    Please please please… Please make it happen!!!

    • Sissy says:

      How about we vote for the best (which is NOT Kris Allen in ANY competition) and quit trying for a certain finale for such stupid reasons. Sorry, but this just the dumbest statement on the board. VOTE FOR THE BEST SONG…only reason to vote. WADFNW

      • peter la says:

        Whoa. That’s your opinion. Obviously a lot of people disagreed with you in that little competition called season 8. Including me. I think Kris is AMAZING. My favorite Idol in 9 seasons. Your taste is your own but don’t state it like it’s a fact, please. I also like David Cook immensely.

  12. Nicole says:

    Both amazing performances! Went with Cook because that was my all-time favorite performance of his.

  13. Christina says:

    While the originality in the re-arrangement of Heartless was one of Idol’s best ever, Cook’s Always Be My Baby is my all time favorite performance ever on this show.

  14. Timely says:

    I don’t mean to nit pick but isn’t Heartless basically The Fray’s version? If I’m wrong my apologies.

    • Lori says:

      No, the phrasing and tempo are both different. If Kris ripped off the Fray’s version without acknowledging it I doubt Joe King would have been too keen on collaborating with him.

  15. jennifer says:

    Kris could NEVER hold a candle to David. Heartless was good in his season, but if he had been in David’s season, he wouldn’t have ever win. Kris was lucky.

    At least if Kris beats David here, I can vote for my beloved Adam, and not have to finally choose between David and Adam, something I refused to do.

    • BumbledBee says:

      Jennifer, I agree with you. I LOVE Kris Allen and bought his album. However, if it was a season where Cookie and Kris went head to head, there’s just something about David Cook. Both were humble, but the passion that David brings to the stage is mesmerizing. I hate that I even had to make this choice since I truly do love both artists. But, since I have to, Cookie for the win!

    • ktina says:

      See, I completely disagree with you & would state the exact opposite. Guess it’s true that opinions are subjective. : ) (At least Kris & Cook fans are typically cordial about disagreements, though).

    • brandon says:

      “if he had been in David’s season, he wouldn’t have ever win. Kris was lucky.”

      Well, nobody expected him to win his own season, either, but he did. :)

    • Joe says:

      Here we go again, just like another person stated. Another Adam lover putting down Kris. Your comment that Kris was lucky is absurd. I have to admit I probably like “A’int No Sunshine” as much as “Heartless”

  16. Jenny says:

    Saw this match up coming and knew it was going to be hard once I had to choose. Ended up picking David Cook. I just remember that whole moment and he just left everything out on that stage. He had the cards stacked against him with having to sing Mariah Carey to the end moment when he had tears in his eyes gets me every time. I love Heartless too, but based on sure emotion I had to go with Always Be My Baby.

    • Ella says:

      I so agree with you. I loved Heartless and it is one of my favourite performances of all time, but based on emotion, I’ll go with Cook in every single time. ABMB was not as good as Billie Jean or Hello, but Cook sang the song with full emotion and those teary eyes were just breathtaking so I have to go with Cookie.

      And afterall, if Kris winns this, it will go down between him and Adam and what’s the point of that? We saw them competing in their finale back in 2009, it would be so much interesting to see Adam fighting to any other contestant, espacially Cook than seeing how Adam fans are taking revenge and voting for him like crazy.

      • Blair says:

        But doesn’t this poll only allow you to vote only one time? If so, how can any fan of anybody “vote like crazy”?

  17. sara says:

    Now this is just downright mean.

  18. Leslie says:

    I went back and reviewed each performance. David’s performance was great, but I had trouble understanding the words at the beginning. His voice is more powerful that Kris’, but he also had a lot of help with the band. Kris was all alone on the stage and just sang his heart out. Since we’re voting on the best performance, I had to go with Kris on this one.

  19. Brandon Rowe says:

    God I hate Kris Allen I still say lambert should have won he was clearly better

    • Cee says:

      What’s the point of this comment? He’s not competing against Lambert here.

      • br says:

        Oh relax, you guys can’t even wrap your brains around the thought that comments like the one above are from trolls trying to stir the pot, knowing it will start a fan war. And instead of scrolling you give them what they are looking for. Then you start pointing fingers and baiting. All the while the troll sits back laughing his/her a$$ off! Probably that blog guy that who’s name starts with an R or one of his monkeys!

    • liz says:

      See, this absolute statement of “my opinion is the only possible opinion” is what has turned me off of anything having to do with Adam L. I think he’s okay, but his fans are just insufferable.

      • G-Mom says:

        I ABSOLUTELY agree!!! Kris ia GREAT and deserved to win. I had to vote for Kris even though I like David, too. This contest is brutal!!

      • Linda says:

        Well, I have to point out that you’re making an absolute statement of your own, and an inaccurate one. I’m a Lambert fan, but I like Kris Allen very much, and if Heartless goes up against Mad World, I’ll probably vote for Heartless because I think as a single performance it’s even better than Mad World.

        • aunt_deen says:

          Oh, lord, this is exactly what I was thinking.

          I love Adam a little more than I love Kris, but GOD, I don’t know what individual performance could ever beat Heartless for me.

      • Linda says:

        I so agree. I know there are over-the-tops in every fan camp and there is no way the artist SHOULD be made responsible for his/her fans’ behavior, but in the real world, every time I hear a Lambert fan proclaim that Adam is… add all the superlatives here… and that anyone else who has a voice is… add all the insults here… it just totally turns me off Adam Lambert. I have never bought any of his music and I never will because I don’t want to add to their frenzy. Case in point are all the Adam comments here when it is supposed to be about Cook and Allen. I actually hope Cook wins so Allen fans won’t have to be once again subjected to all the hostility Lambert fans are sure to pour out.

        • BY says:

          I know how you feel. That is the same reason why I don’t buy Cook’s mucic. His fans think he is the best contestant ever on Idol. They could not stand that he got upstaged by the Glamone. Just check out DCO and see how they proclaim him the best singer ever. Even claiming that he sang RITD better than Adele. Delusional I tellya.

    • Amy says:

      Lambert is not even on the poll. You can’t change Season 8 results by voting on those polls. Winners will still be winners. Both are having their careers the way they want. Get over it.

    • dana says:

      Hey, could you kindly leave Lambert out of it? He’s not competing here. You’ll have your chance soon enough.

    • Celeste says:

      Brandon, hating Kris Allen is akin to hating peace, love, & charity. Telling people that you hate a good person, and someone Adam Lambert called “the nicest guy in the world”, is not a very strong endorsement for your opinions, just so you know…

  20. Claire says:

    Could not choose based on the song — I went back and forth between the two and had to face the fact I like them equally. So I had to fall back on which singer do I prefer overall and David Cook is my favorite Idol winner ever, much as I love Kris.

  21. AprilD says:

    Yeah, ABMB was never a favorite of mine for Cook. Had The World I Know gone up against Kris’s Heartless – I would have voted Cook all the way.

  22. nl says:

    It is great to rewatch some of the old Idol performances. It is interesting to see how these “competitions” work. It all depends on how the creator sets it up. For example, Putting Adam and Archie up against each other was a sure way to get Archie out of the competition in the top 8 where if he were up against Kris (who I also like), Archie would most likely have won. The fact is that all the “top” idols deserve to be heard and enjoyed for what each is doing in music. Liking Cook does not mean that I don’t like Kris’ music and liking Archie does not mean that I don’t like Adam’s music.

  23. SharonM says:

    How Sophie’s Choice of Slezak… putting Cook against Kris… arrrgh. Well as much as I LUVS David Cook, I have to go with Kris on this one.

  24. Lily says:

    Harsh, both so good. I won’t be sorry whichever one wins.

  25. Leah says:

    Gotta be Heartless. Kris rocked that full stop.

  26. Jessabean says:

    How could you??!!!

    I actually said that out loud when I saw this poll. ARGH!

    Heartless beats ABMB, no doubt, but I have to vote for Cook here. I agree with all the other comments about Hello.

  27. Shell says:

    This is exactly what is missing from the past couple of years of Idol….although I prefer David Cook, both weren’t afraid of taking risks and being inventive. These guys completely retooled these songs and made them their own.

  28. Tina says:

    Wow, I am actually surprised at some of the comments regarding ABMB. For me personally I thought it was David’s best performance on Idol. Billie Jean and Hello were great, but I liked the fact that David transformed a song by Mariah Carey of all artists and made it his own. He even got a standing ovation for it, but not for BJ or Hello. Heartless was great too. Both songs were very bold and daring choices for David and Kris.

    • cheeri says:

      I agree! Always Be My Baby was an amazing performance. Also, there was a lot of indication at the time that it was THE performance that sealed the deal for Cook. So many fans were already hooked because of Hello or Billie Jean, they do not seem to have ever fully appreciated how great a moment Always Be My Baby was.

    • Princess Adora says:

      One of the most mature comments I’ve read here. Thank you, and I agree completely. Although my personal fav was First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
      I’m voting and routing for Cook, but this is a VERY tough call, Heartless was fantastic and Kris was my favorite in his season. They both deserve to win!

  29. Mike says:

    It would be a shame if Heartless lost here. I loved this Cook performance but Heartless was the defining moment of the best season in AI history. And it was pure genius for Kris.

  30. JVC says:

    Folks, if Kris Allen advances to the final bout. Then it’s going to be de ja vu all other again. Since Adam’s beating Archuleta by a landslide, it’s going be the season 8 finale all over again. It would’ve been more interesting if it was Cook’s “hello” against allen’s “Ain’t no sunshine” which it along w/ “heartless” are in my top 25 most played songs on my itunes. So it was a no brainer in picking heartless. Still it’s going to be close, I will say that.

  31. Ellen Rabiner says:

    I’m a Cook fan and loved almost all of Cook’s performances (including this one, which I was lucky enough to see live) but I have to vote for Kris on this one. “Heartless” was simply brilliant. Against “Billie Jean” or “Hello” would have been a tougher call for me, but I feel that “Heartless” (which, let’s face it, was the moment Kris won Idol) was a stronger performance than ABMB. Both great artists and great guys.

  32. Emily says:

    Here’s the thing. I like Heartless better than ABMB, but I feel like Cook changed the game for future Idols. People had toyed with changing up the songs for themselves and not making it a karaoke competition, but Cook made the songs fit him and not the other way around. People realized you could win using that strategy and the judges started expecting it after this season, rather than it just being cool when it happened. So for that reason, I think I gotta vote Cook, even though I thought Heartless singlehandedly gave KA the win.

  33. becky says:

    It is a tough choice. I really liked the arrangement of heartless. And the tone of Kris’ voice is nice, and he hits the notes, but his phrasing is so twangy and nasally that I prefer David Cooks song better. Voting according to what I heard listening to the links.

    • Eric says:

      Phrasing has nothing to do with being “twangy”. Phrasing has to do with the starting and stopping of notes, and where you decide to take a breath. If you mean to say that he’s singing with an accent to his voice, then that’s a different subject. Also, I don’t think you know what a truly nasally tone of voice sounds like, because Kris does not sing with a nasally tone, especially since he generally sings with a lower register, and a nasally voice coincides with a higher pitch, and usually in falsetto.

      • becky says:

        OMG! Then would it help you to understand if I said he mumbles? I can state an opinion without some holier than thou telling ME what THEY think I know or don’t know! It is an OPINION! Just like your OPINION that Heartless is the “bestest evah!”

        • Sarah says:

          becky, where did Eric say that Heartless was the best? lol, you probably shouldn’t get so worked up over someone else’ comment. just some advice ;)

  34. Kim says:

    There is NO comparison here for me!! David Cook ALL the way hands down! No matter how this poll turns out, Cook has killed Kris in sales IRL and he will always be my baby! :)

  35. Robin says:

    They are my 2 favorite idols of all time, with Daughtry right with them. I had to go with Kris because it was a game changing moment. He threw a wrench in the Gokey/Lambert finale that the judges and producers had been gearing up for! Go Kris!

  36. cheeri says:

    Always Be My Baby was a critical song in the history of this show. Cook took an extremely popular pop song, and stood it on its head. The result was something so excellent, and so different from the original, that it could have been released as a radio single based on Cook’s rearrangement. That was quite a moment. Cook also had many other moments, but that should not count against him here!
    Heartless was also a great moment and a great version of a popular song. But it was a year later and was not as much of a rearrangement. So I have to go with Cook!
    All that being said, Heartless is among my favorite Idol performances, also. It is really unfortunate these are the 2 songs being pitted against each other at this point in the competition.

  37. pattieann says:

    I’m a huge David Cook fan, but I also love Kris and his music. David wins all the polls for just about everything, which is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned. His fans, of which I am one, are purely dedicated. However it isn’t going to hurt anything if Kris should win this poll. It is just for fun, after all, and I think Kris deserves more credit than he gets. His version of Heartless was no less than astounding. Even though I love David’s version of Always Be My Baby, I have to give this one to Kris.

  38. crunchyconmommy says:

    Not fair, pitting my two favorite idols against one another! I really can’t choose!

  39. jillyb says:

    Love both guys and both performances. Ended up going with Cook. I still hear Kris’s Heartless on the radio so it was clearly a big moment for him. I am fine with either one winning this one.

  40. justi says:

    I’d have to choose David Cooks version of Always Be My Baby. I’ve been a huge fan of his since his audition. I do love kris Allen but I choose David by a long shot. He’s talented has a very sexy voice and this performance gave me CHILLS!

  41. Jalyn says:

    How can one claim to be a “true Cook fan” but then state they voted for Kris? Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

    “Heartless” was what I would call a turd in a punchbowl for Kris- it stood out because everything else for him was forgettable. Sure it was a good performance, but it was his ONLY “wow” moment. David, on the other hand….well, hell each media journalist states a different David performance as his/her favorite. Hello, Billie Jean, ABMB, The World I Know, Eleanor Rigby, Yo’ Face…each of these are referenced as “moments”, “favorites”, “turning points”, etc. depending on which media outlet you frequent.

    David wins hands-down every time. That’s why he’s got a platinum album and platinum singles.

    • Georgia says:

      This round caused a lot of angst! Contrary to what Jalyn believes, we really CAN love more than one artist and performance. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t continue to watch American Idol or be open to new artists. I’m a devoted David Cook fan, was mesmerized by all of his AI performances, have seen him in concert, have lustful thoughts, etc. HOWEVER, I think Kris Allen has gotten far too little credit for his performances on American Idol. When he finished singing Heartless, I said to myself, “He just won.” I voted for Kris.

    • jennyrose says:

      Two points. 1) Kris has a platinum single, too. 2) You clearly didn’t hear his Ain’t No Sunshine, or Falling Slowly. Both singers are talented musicians, seems to me.

    • kell says:

      Several times Kris’s performances were cited the next day as being best of the night. Ain’t No Sunshine was one. The finale reprise was also a great moment and Simon called the round for Kris against Adam’s Mad World. She Works Hard For The Money – the audience gave it a standing O. People still listen to To Make You feel My Love, Apologize and Falling Slowly, about which Simon said, “Kris, you were brilliant.” So, you don’t agree? – too bad. I fondly remember all these moments and why I felt Kris was consistently good.

    • danielle says:

      It’s easy, they aren’t really Cook fans, they are fans of Kris trying to make it look like even Davids fans think Kris is so much better! LOL

      • Linda says:

        I don’t understand the view that if you are a fan of one artist you can’t also be a fan of another or like his/her performances. I have no problem loving all three of my children, though they are very different.

  42. Sarah says:

    Kris had plenty of wow moments, that’s why he made it to the end. ANS? Dripping with wow and topped with awesomesauce. Heartless tho is still getting radio play despite never being a single. It was special.

  43. Tahoe Mike says:

    I so hate both of these guys.

  44. Jan says:

    I love both of these guys, but when I go back and watch videos of David Cook’s performances on youtube (which I do often – does that make me creepy?), it will be Hello or The World I Know. So for that reason, I picked Heartless. It’s a tough choice though!

  45. jennyrose says:

    This is the hardest choice I’ve faced so far. IMO, both performances are great. I came down on voting for Kris, mostly because he was so exposed–just him and his guitar–that all the emotion had to come from his voice. There was no backup strings swelling or singers adding to the effect. Kris was also singing a difficult song and he sold it, even though he’s about as different from Kanye West as you can be.

  46. BumbledBee says:

    Random Observation: I noticed from the boards that fans of Kris Allen never actually bash Adam Lambert. However, die hard Lambert fans (not all, but many) go out of their way to bash Kris. I wonder why this is? Are Kris fans naturally more gracious? I was extremely happy with the finale of that season; the two most talented artists in the competition were going head to head. I thought it was a win-win either way. I made it a point to vote for Kris because I knew I’d buy his album, which I did. At no point, however, was I rooting against Adam. So, why can’t more Adam fans be equally as gracious?

    • cookiemonster says:

      I don’t know what makes you convinced that no Kris fans bash Adam, because it is so not true. Just go to any board specifically about adam and read the bashing that is there. They may disguise themselves but there are many Kris fans dishing it out. Besides that, there are many trolls from certain idol sites, that shall remain nameless, who purposely comment on idol blogs just to be inflammatory and are entertained on the fan wars they create. If a comment sounds totally blatant and downright nasty, “troll” should come to ones mind. Anyway, I voted for David Cook because he was the first idol contestant that got me so excited that I actually picked up a phone to vote for! Haven’t done that since.

      • Yolanda says:

        I think Adam fans wrongly assume that Kris fans are the ones attacking Adam in certain places using a disguise, but they are wrong! I have rarely come across any Kris fan whose actively seeks to insult Adam Lambert… The people who bash him are generally people who don’t even watch Idol that just enjoy picking on flamboyant people. They aren’t Kris fans. Kris fans have no logical reason to insult Adam, unless they are trying to get even with Adam fans who antagonized first. Many Kris fans go out of their way to walk on egg-shells just to avoid any type of confrontation with vicious Adam fans who want to throw insults around, etc.

    • Chuckles says:

      I am a die hard Kris Allen fan and I hardly ever see Lambert bashing anywhere I go. I do see some bashing of Lambert’s extreme fans, but Adam….no way…. he’s respected for being a great person and talent.

      In regards to this poll, I love Cook, but it is Heartless for me all the way.

    • truthbetold says:

      Okay, I have to call this out. Adam fans are notorious for being mean and bullies to Kris and his fans. How do I know, because after Kris won I couldn’t decide who I am fan of more. Adam or Kris? Visiting videos, sites, and articles I saw how relentlessly hateful and mean Adam fans were to Kris and his fans and any other person who don’t seem to worship Adam. That’s when I knew that I didn’t belong there. I was going to still be Adam’s fan regardless and not be part of this cult. I saw this reading Kris Allen articles in which these type of Adam fans were finding so they can bash, troll, and vote polls against Kris (even if Adam is not even in the poll).

      BUT the good news is there are some awesome Adam fans out there who respect Kris and get along with his fans.

  47. Jamie says:

    I like ABMB, but there were several other performances that DC did that I like much better. I never quite understood why that one was so “iconic”. Perhaps because ABMB was his own take and not a borrowed cover?
    “Hello” was one of my faves, too (which, again, was David’s own version), but “Billie Jean” was certainly even better, even tho it was a cover of a cover. And his performance of it was so freakin’ awesome.
    For me,(for you)it’s more about the performance than the song. So comparing one old song to an even older song doesn’t even seem relevant. Just like Beevis & Butthead scorned Haley for her song choice of “You & I”. Her performance was awesome–the song choice didn’t matter.
    Actually, my favorite DC performance was “The World I Know” with “Little Sparrow” (the studio version is amazing) and “All I Really Need Is You” coming in close 2nd & 3rd. I was always bummed that TWIK & AIRNIY never had studio versions done. I also loved “The First Time Ever…” and “Music of the Night”. All of these I preferred over ABMB. I’d put his performance of “Sharp Dressed Man” w/ ZZ right up there, too!

    Having said all that, and even tho I love Kris, my loyalty as a fan to DC won’t let me vote for anyone else over him. He’s my favorite Idol ever.
    (By the way, loved Heartless, but my fave Kris Allen performance is actually “Ain’t No Sunshine”. :o)

    • Jamie says:

      I think one reason it is so iconic is because of his dying brother being in the audience and him getting the great critiques and then crying afterwards. I mean that’s just good tv. Plus he really had an emotional connection to the performance. But he did have so many good performances, its hard to choose.

  48. Jamie says:

    Oh, and I curse you Michael Slezak, for linking me to a vid that included Kara.

    Just kiddin’, but geez…


  49. Brecken P says:

    “Always Be My Baby” was a very good performance by Cook. “Heartless” was a true Idol moment for Kris. Had to go with “Heartless,” although my vote probably would have been different had Cook’s performance been “Hello” or “Billie Jean.”

    Of course, you could make it even tougher on me by pitting one of those Cook performances against “Ain’t No Sunshine” or “Falling Slowly.” So many great moments by these two contestants!

  50. Made says:

    This is a tough one! I really loved both David’s and Kris’ take on their respective songs voice/performance-wise but if you look at them from the point of view of remaking the song, David did a better job than Kris, IMO. Just take the time to listen to the originals vs the covers before you make up your mind ;)

    • jennyrose says:

      I agree with you that listening to both the originals and the covers is really helpful. I’d recommend that to everybody. It’s also a really good idea to listen to the performances chosen head to head. Does make it harder, though. I ended by coming down on Kris’ side, for at least one of the same reasons you came down for David. But it was a tough, tough choice.