The big news on Wednesday night's "American Idol" wasn't that Syesha Mercado was given her walking papers. Please. While the girl has put up a decent fight of late, her fate was sealed weeks ago.
It wasn't that Fantasia performed or that Paula both looked good and made sense (a winning, and somewhat rare, combo) or that everyone got really, really excited when our "Idols" went back to their respective hometowns.
No, the most fascinating information gleaned from the results show this week is that David Cook's brother has every right to resent our top two finalist with all his might.
Because David, you see, never had any intention of auditioning for "Idol." He was just there to provide brotherly moral support — until whatever he said for "Idol" camera crews in the waiting room was declared so charming that it was somehow decreed that he simply had to try out.
(While inarguably talented musicians can surely deliver a cappella versions of songs whenever they're asked, is anyone else cynical enough to wonder if this anecdote doesn't sound just the tiniest bit far-fetched?)
Regardless, David clearly wowed the judges while his brother Andrew did not. And to add insult to injury, Ryan insisted that Andrew come up onto the stage while David was telling this story so that we could all feel good and sorry for him as we secretly speculated about how much his voice might stink.
We were then launched into the hysteria that enveloped Blue Springs, Mo., when the now-famous Cook returned home, which included our hero tossing baseballs in front of enormous crowds, inspiring young girls to weep as they fervently hoped for his success and riding on a float in a parade that seemed to include, inexplicably, someone dressed as Colonel Sanders.
And, for the most part, brother Andrew was along for the ride — sitting next to David on the float, singing along to "Living on a Prayer" and even releasing what appeared to be tears of awe and gratitude for the adulation his brother was receiving (though we'll never really know what he was crying about, will we?)
And look, maybe Andrew Cook is really as nice as he seems, was truly happy for his brother's success and didn't feel like Ryan was patronizing him when he said something about how they'd see him next year. But if that's the case, he might have to stand up on a stage of his own and be awarded a trophy for World's Nicest Guy.
Vying for that spot, of course, is David Archuleta, who was met with Beatles-like mania in his hometown of Murray, Utah. The experience looked like it was an overwhelmingly positive one for our favorite munchkin, who actually seemed to relax and enjoy himself a bit more than usual.
Syesha, too, appeared to have a delightful time during her hometown visit — where she told people to follow their dreams, held babies and generally came off like a grateful, gracious local girl made good.
Now, of course, it's down to the duel of the Davids — in other words, the battle of the phone dialing skills of the prepubescents and post-pubescents. And look, whoever ends up taking home the title, I'm fairly certain that they're both going to have fine careers. The real question is, what will become of the brotherhood of the Cooks?
Anna David is a freelance writer. Her novel, "Party Girl," is in stores.