David Cook, "American Idol" 2008, meet Kara DioGuardi, "American Idol" judge in 2009.
Because she didn't get to critique his run on "Idol" last year, we'd like to imagine what DioGuardi might have said about Cook's sold-out concert Friday night at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake.
Kara DioGuardi: Man, oh man. You know who you are. You are just a natural at this. You take the stage, command it, work it. I loved when you wandered through the crowd playing guitar. And you did it without being surrounded by one security guard -- just you amongst your adoring fans. That was fantastic.
You are a charmer. You have a disarming smile and emo eyes. And did you hear all the screams when you just raised your eyebrows? These Midwestern women absolutely embraced your Midwestern wholesomeness. No guyliner and fussed-about hair for you. One suggestion, though: Stop the gum chewing. It's distracting.
I loved how you were in the moment, spontaneous and quick. That was a great line when a fan offered you a chocolate rose and Cheez-Its and you said, "OK, let's get married. That's the magic equation, not compatibility." That was so cute.
You know what I liked best of all about you? Your singing. Great sandpaper pipes. Like Bryan Adams with some chutzpah. And you poured yourself into your songs like every word truly meant something to you.
Now, let's talk about your songs. You got to collaborate with some of your idols to write the material on your album. People from Soundgarden, the Goo Goo Dolls, Our Lady Peace, Better Than Ezra. And working with those guys, you came up with songs that sound so 1990s. And that's OK. But I'd suggest that you try collaborating with maybe Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. Have you heard what he did on Chris Daughtry's new album? And I'd love to work with you. You know that.
Oh, my gosh! Look who showed up.
Randy Jackson: Yo, dawg. Listen up. Loved how you've got that left-handed guitar thing going on. Hendrix, McCartney, Kurt Cobain, Tony Iommi. I've always loved the lefties. That's hot. One other thing: That was the wrong key for you on Fleetwood Mac's "Little Lies." Too high. Also, you didn't introduce your bandmates. That was uncool. But otherwise, you tore it up, man.
Paula Abdul: David, David, David. I'm so proud of you. You've blossomed in more ways than I ever expected. Even though you didn't mention anything about your brother Adam passing away from cancer, I could just feel that his spirit was onstage with you. You leave me speechless. Again.
Simon Cowell: Thank you, Paula. Some things never change. Kara, I have to disagree with you. Maybe your getting engaged the other day was like a permanent happy pill. David, I'd like a little more angst in your grunge-pop and more uptempo tunes. I quite liked the aggressiveness of "Kiss on the Neck." But, to be honest, after what I've seen tonight, I think America got it right.
For a set list, go to www.startribune.com/poplife Jon Bream • 612-673-1719