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Laya

EPIC. PWNSOME. X-factor. Star quality. Charisma. Mystique.

Whatever else you call it, David Archuleta's definitely got it.

How else to explain the strange things that happen when touched even by only a bit of this boy's magic?

I was one of those in the Bronze section during the David Cook and David Archuleta concert in Manila last Saturday, May 16, 2009. (For news on the concert, click here.) I brought some friends to watch the concert with me. Hey, don't get me wrong, I would NOT usually shell out that much cash for this sort of thing... my soul usually tots up how many days I could live on that amount (the cost of all those tickets=two weeks allowance). But this was a special occasion. This was David and David. These were the American Idols that we had watched with bated breath each week, and rooted for, and wished a hundred times over we could vote for. Yes, dears, that was the only AI season I ever bothered to watch... and people are saying it was certainly the most memorable, the way Ginebra fans look back on the Gordon's Gin/Ginebra lineup as the most memorable. So when I heard they were coming to Manila, would I dare pass up the chance? I DID NOT!

My friends were excited too. According to one of them, her aunt told her mom that if she wouldn't allow her daughter to go to the concert, she'd go in her place just to be able to see David Archuleta. LOL. "Ang guwapo naman kasi talaga ng batang iyon (Because that boy is really just so handsome)," her aunt told her mom, she said.

Hold on a minute there guys... David Cook IS the American Idol. He is the champion. But oh, never mind. My friends wanted to see David Archuleta, no offense to all of Cookie's loyal fans.

When we got there, I noticed that the crowd was not all teeny-boppers and screaming girl fans, no indeedy. There was a group of middle-aged men. There were whole families, complete with tots and grandmoms. Even the old ladies wanted to see... David Archuleta. So LOL.

By then, I had a screaming headache because I'd been to the Komikon earlier in the day, and alternate combinations of the hot sun and airconditioning had triggered a major migraine. So I spent the minutes before the concert started, sitting on the ground with my head in my hands while my young friends bounced excitedly around me.

I sat up and took notice, though, when the concert started. We had a good view of one of the screens, although some of the girls later slipped off to find a better vantage point nearer the stage.

Yes, both Davids were spectacular! Take note, they sounded even better live than in their studio recordings! But then, being on American Idol had conditioned them to sing live, anyway.

The funny thing was, I discovered what might be a cure for my migraine... it faded right in the middle of Cookie's Bar-ba-sol. EPIC lulz, that song was the heaviest song on the record, and it succeeded in scaring my big bad headache away! Theorizing, perhaps the heavy beat cancelled out the throbbing of my migraine. XD

Well. Listening to them both, I knew why their season of AI had been that spectacular, and not just because of the estimated 100k+ people that attended the concert. It truly had been a grand battle. Both of them are able to take songs and make them their own.

David Cook is truly worthy of the title of American Idol. He is a great performer, he knows how to rock his audience, to hold their attention. Witness the little trick he pulled on us just before Light On... turning off all the lights and keeping silent for a few minutes so that we began wondering if the program had ended without us realizing it. To suddenly hear that voice, that chuckle, come out of the dark: "I hope you people weren't planning on going anywhere..." It was the sort of thing that makes us throw pillows and other stuff at people when they do that to us. And the voice, man, the voice. The way he sang those songs. Always Be My Baby was a Mariah Carey hit until Cookie came along and owned it. That was power. That was a star. That was an American Idol.

David Archuleta was a different matter. Younger, yes. Less experienced, when it comes to that. But boy, the voice. The engaging grin. The earnestness. The sheer... star power, for lack of a better word. Archie dominated that stage the whole time he was on it, by pure star power. At last, firsthand we experienced what made the AI judges rave about him. It's not describable in plain words, not exactly... it was just a matter of his being there.

Imagine, despite its simple words and melody, is not an easy song to sing, as anyone who's tried to sing it on the videoke or karaoke knows. But Archie pwned that song. Angels was a Robbie Williams hit (and I love Robbie Williams, while Angels is one of my favorite songs since the first time it came out)... until Archie came along. Now I can't decide which I like better, the originals or the David Archuleta versions.

Later on, while I was writing up the article on the concert, I browsed through all the blogs and stuff people were saying about the two Davids. Halfway through, I began to wonder if David Cook's fans were just the silent types, or whether David Archuleta in fact had more fans. After all, I encountered just one site for Cookie, the Official David Cook tour site, while there were a number of fan sites dedicated to Archie. And most of the latter contained a legion of raves.

There were raves about Archie's "angelic face" and "flawless complexion" (come on, seriously girls, those descriptions are more often applied to girls than to boys!), about his "sunshiny attitude." How he makes people feel better, how he lights up a room simply by walking into it. Although that brief hour he was onstage during the concert certainly made me feel that there was truth to all those praises!

It turns out, too, that Archie can singlehandedly affect Twitter trends. During his stay in the Philippines, he guested on the shows Eat Bulaga and Sis. Well, guess what made it to the top 10 Twitter trends those times? Yup, Eat Bulaga, Sis, and Philippines.

Then, earlier today, Archie happened to tweet that he was watching Charice Pempengco videos. Uh-oh. Major Twitter trend, as people began to comment furiously about Charice. Some comments were good, some bad; some conveyed excitement that David seemed to like Charice, some opined that Charice wasn't that good. Again, Charice and Philippines entered the top 10 Twitter trends.

Major star power he's got there. And boy, am I ever one of those who are glad that he is on the same planet. *goes back to listen to Angels all over again*

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