That seems to be the question.

David Cook has been branded the rocker of the competition. He sports an edgy look (compared to Archuleta, anyway), saunters around the stage often with an electric guitar and hits those throat-popping big notes at the end of his songs with apparent ease.

But is he really a rocker?

Any real rocker would never audition for 'American Idol' — 'American Idol' defies the rocker lifestyle, said Garrick Dean, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the local '80s cover band 88 M.P.H.

Dean also has a problem with Cook's use of the guitar. It appears he can play somewhat, but not good enough to be out there with it all the time. It just looks like he's holding a rock 'n' roll prop.

And Jim Christian, a professional in the musical theater field for the past 30 years, agrees with Dean on one thing: Cook's sound.

He's kind of got the look and the sound that people are already buying, Christian said, after giving Cook his due credit. I think there are other people who are out there doing what he does and making careers out of doing that, and he matches that very nicely.

Dean said: He sounds like 10 of the same front men that are the lead singers for top 10 bands right now. If he wins, it will be because he sings so much like corporate America, they will not have to change much about him to fit him into the mainstream.