Well, apparently America -- or at least every teenaged girl in it -- thinks growly interpretations of awful ballads by terrible nu-metal bands are far more pleasing to the ear than the dulcimer sounds of the first person to ever make both show tunes and Elton John songs gayer.
Really, I can't say which of the two is the better singer; they're both pretty annoying in their ways, though David Archuleta's cloying aw-shucks nature is more excusable than David Cook's Hot Topic brand of faux-hipsterism because he's young and stupid; David Cook is old enough to know that Slipknot sucks. Besides, Archuleta is from Utah, and not even a big city in Utah. Did you see his high school? It was like an episode of Big Love, only whiter. While it may strike you as laughable when he closes his eyes soulfully and sings a song that includes the phrase "my boo," he is, without a doubt, the premier soul singer in the entire quad-county area, I guarantee you. Whereas D. Cook is a bartender from Kansas City -- he has access to music not sold at Wal Mart, and regular-strength beer, and basic cable -- he really has no excuse to be so lame.