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Archuleta delivered the final blow by singing John Lennon’s «Imagine,» the song that got him noticed in week 2 of the competition

In Cowell’s opinion — and judge Randy Jackson concurred — Archuleta’s opponent David Cook stumbled by not choosing a showstopper to sing in the final round.

The judges, 칠곡출장안마 however, don’t have a voice in who ultimately wins the competition. That will be up to the «American Idol» viewing audience, whose decision will be revealed on Wednesday’s grand finale.

The Fox reality show made full use of the boxing theme throughout Tuesday night’s match, which kicked off with ring announcer Michael Buffer crying out his catchphrase «Let’s get ready to rumble!» HBO’s fight commentator Jim Lampley was shown in clips throughout the show, saying things like «in a three round fight, you want to pace yourself.»

The fight analogy only went so far.

«You’ve gotta have a desire to win and you’ve got to hate your opponent,» judge Simon Cowell advised before the first round of competition.

But the verbal handshake before the fight was a friendly one, with Archuleta saying Cook was «awesome» and Cook responding that Archuleta was the most consistently nice person in the competition.

Archuleta, who won the coin toss prior to the show, had decided to go second in front of the 7,000 people at the Nokia Live Theater in Los Angeles.

In the first round, the singers sang tunes selected for them by record mogul Clive Davis, whose record company, Sony BMG, will hand out a contract to the «American Idol» winner.

Cook kicked off the round with a solid performance of U2’s «I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.» All the judges thought he was in fine voice, with Cowell calling his performance phenomenal.

Archuleta followed with Elton John’s «Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,» which Jackson called flawless.

«Taking everything into account, Round 1 goes to Archuleta,» said Cowell.

The singers chose songs from the top 10 songs in the annual «American Idol» songwriting contest.

Cook broke out his electric guitar for «Dream Big» by Emily Shackleton and Archuleta sang the ballad «In This Moment» by Ryan Gillmor. Of the two, Cowell thought Archuleta chose the better song and gave the round to him.

The third round was the decisive one, at least according to Cowell.

Cook decided to go with a song he hadn’t sung before, Collective Soul’s «The World I Know.» He accompanied himself on acoustic guitar for the soulful ballad. Jackson said it was the perfect song for him, but Cowell pointed out it wasn’t the kind of showstopper that would win the contest.

«You should have sung ‘Hello’ or ‘Billie Jean’,» Cowell said, referring to songs that had won Cook praise earlier in the season.

«It was the wrong choice in the competition,» Jackson conceded, «but it’s a good song.»

«The way that I was looking at it was, why do something I’ve already done. For the record, I completely understand what you’re saying,» Cook said.

Archuleta delivered the final blow by singing John Lennon’s «Imagine,» the song that got him noticed in week 2 of the competition.

«Tonight I think we’ve witnessed one of the great finals,» said Cowell. «Here’s the difference in my opinion: you came out here tonight to win and what we have witnessed is a knockout.»

The evening wrapped with a live performance of season 2 winner Ruben Studdard singing this season’s elimination song, Kenny Loggins’ «Celebrate Me Home.»

Tomorrow night, after the viewer votes are tallied, Cook and Archuleta will know which one of them will celebrate their win as this season’s «American Idol.»

By Judy Rosen


military involvement in Syria is illegitimate, because it wasn’t approved by the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad or sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council

Moscow — In his annual end-of-year news conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned about the growing threat of nuclear war.

«The danger of the situation escalating is being downplayed,» Putin told a crowd of hundreds of journalists in Moscow Thursday. «If something like this would happen, it might lead to the collapse of the entire civilization.»

Earlier this year, U.S. President Donald Trump stated his intention to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF), a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty that has kept nuclear weapons out of Europe for 30 years.

«I believe that humanity would have the necessary common sense in order to avoid any extremities,» Putin said, noting that if the U.S. were to put intermediate range missiles in Europe, Russia would take countermeasures.

«I do generally agree with the president of the United States,» Putin told journalists Thursday, 영암출장안마 welcoming Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria. He said some «major advances» had been made against terrorist groups there, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

He did, however, indicate some skepticism as to whether Mr. Trump would actually deliver on his plan.

«American forces have been present in Afghanistan for some 17 years, and every year they talk about withdrawing… but they’re still present there,» Putin said. 

The Russian president restated his long-held position that U.S. military involvement in Syria is illegitimate, because it wasn’t approved by the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad or sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council.

«We do not see any signs of the American withdrawal from Syria,» Putin said. «But we see that it is possible.»

«I don’t know what she can confess,» Putin said of Maria Butina, who is currently detained in the United States after pleading guilty to acting as a covert agent for the Russian government. Butina, a Russian citizen, was charged with trying to infiltrate conservative political groups in the U.S.

«She has not been acting under any guidance or any (direction) from the Russian authorities,» Putin continued, suggesting that she may have entered her guilty plea because of threats or intimidation.

Putin said, however, that the Russian state was «not indifferent to her future. We will support her as far as we can.»

Putin faced the media during a massive annual press conference for which a reported 1702 journalists were accredited. In past years, the marathon conference ran for over four hours and has been known for its pageantry.

Though members of the international press do attend, the majority of questions are usually asked by local journalists from around Russia. Competing with one another for attention, they wave bright signs in order to get called on. This year, attendees were asked to restrict the size of their posters so as not to block television cameras.

Russia’s media has been categorized as «Not free» by the group Freedom House. Ahead of this year’s conference, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a televised interview that, «If somebody tries to dispute the fact that there is freedom of speech in Russia, I am ready to argue with them forever,» according to the Russian state news agency, TASS.  

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