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David vs. David: Is Simon using reverse psychology?

SPOILER ALERT: This post talks about Tuesday night's "American Idol" sing-off. If you don't want to know what happened, come back and read and comment after you've seen the show. You have been warned.

If you'd been in a coma (or on maternity leave, like yours truly) and hadn't seen a full episode of "American Idol" before tonight, you could be excused for thinking that David Cook had this one in the bag. Young David Archuletta had his fans, sure, but the general opinion floating around seemed to be that Archie was heading home, and the older, more worldly Cook would take home the title.

And once Tuesday's show began, you could also be excused for assuming that the first two rounds of singing would be divided equally -- that each David would be awarded a round by chief arbiter Simon Cowell. Doesn't that always happen on "Idol"? And doesn't the show like it that way, to keep the suspense cranking till the last possible moment?

It didn't happen that way. And there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of suspense going into tomorrow's announcement of the winner (five seconds of excitement draaaawn out for a whole two hours).

Simon Cowell didn't seem concerned about keeping up the suspense. He awarded the first round to Archuleta. Cook fans weren't worried, though. Surely the second round would even out.

Wrong. After the second round, Simon again crowned Archuleta the winner, telling him he chose the better song. Two rounds to none with only one round remaining? Well, surely Cook would pull out all the stops and shine on the third round, wouldn't he?

Not according to Simon. After Cook sang Collective Soul's "The World I Know" and Archuleta revisited fan fave "Imagine," Randy called Young David the "best singer of season  seven," Paula proclaimed him "stunning," and Simon used the night's most creakingly overused metaphor, saying it was a "knockout."

Vegas probably would refuse to take odds on this one. It looks like Archie in a walk.

But my co-worker Paige has another theory: Sports teams that appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated are considered cursed, doomed to lose now that they've been called out as winners. Could there be a Simon Cowell curse, meaning the singer he championed in the finals ends up losing? Viewer votes will decide.

Does Archuleta have this one wrapped up? Or will Simon's comments only light a fire under the fans calling in for Cook? Share your thoughts in the comments, and we'll find out tomorrow night.