'Idol' In Iraq: Our Soldiers React to the Season Finale!

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Editor’s Note: It’s crazy serious and difficult for the US Armed Forces in Iraq, but our soldiers still find time for a little fun and escape: just like many of you, they love their weekly dose of “American Idol.” We made friends on the Internet with some members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne division (Fort Bragg, what up!), who sent us their review of each “Idol” installment. And here, at last, are their reactions to this season’s finale!

So an MTV News salute goes out to the soldiers who’ve made “Idol In Iraq” possible: (L-R): PFC Joshua Miranda, 22 (Orlando, FL); PFC Nathan Puckett, 19 (Cynthiana, KY); SPC Cory Combs, 21 (Plymouth, MA); SSG Steve Cody, 27 (Los Angeles,CA). They have been helping give us the freedom to watch “Idol” in the first place.

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And before you read their thoughts on the battle of David vs. David, here’s a note from Nathan, the soldier behind “Idol In Iraq.” It sounds like our friends are coming home this summer…

"So I guess this is the last “Idol In Iraq,” 'tear 'tear. It's been a really fun experience doing this with you guys. I had a blast in New York when I came to visit. You and your fellow workers were so much greater than my expectations, and the city was pretty awesome, too. I will definitely be making another trip to New York when I get back from Iraq. I didn't get to spend much time in the city or go sight-seeing, so I will be looking forward to doing that. We finally got orders saying that we are leaving here in July, so I am getting ready to go home.

Thanks for everything,

Nathan"

Nathan, Joshua, and Steve’s play-by-play of the “Idol” finale, after the jump.

David Archuleta, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” by Elton John

Steve: Awesome job. He really nailed it at the end.

Nathan: He started off kind of weak, but finished the song great.

Joshua: Perfect song for his voice.

David Cook, “I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For” by U2

Steve: He did really awesome on a U2 classic.

Nathan: I think he outdid Bono on this song.

Joshua: Great performance, really starting his night off right.

David Archuleta, “In This Moment” by Ryan Gilmore

Steve: He did really amazing on this song, and I have to agree with Simon: I think David Archuleta has taken both rounds so far.

Nathan: I think he picked a good song for his voice.

Joshua: He really did well with an unknown song. I could hear it on the radio now.

David Cook, “Dream Big” by Emily Shackleton

Steve: Not a great song, but he still did pretty well on the song.

Nathan: He picked a song that was more of a rock song and more in his element, and I liked that.

Joshua: I didn’t like the beginning, but he did well after that.

David Archuleta, “Imagine” by John Lennon

Steve: He is really on his A game today. Really showed up David Cook today.

Nathan: He did a great job just like he did last time he sang this song.

Joshua: It was expected that he would do amazing on this song.

David Cook, “The World I Know” by Collective Soul

Steve: He could have picked a better song to end his “American Idol” career on.

Nathan: It’s really good to hear him singing this type of song. It’s really in his element.

Joshua: He did well with the song, but should have picked something to show his voice off more.

The final debate:

Steve: David Archuleta really showed David Cook up on the last night of the competition, but I still believe David Cook should win. I don’t think he will -- but I believe he is the more deserving contestant.

Nathan: The winner of “American Idol” should be David Cook! He outdid David Archuleta all year. Tonight was not the best night for David Cook, but I think throughout the year he has proved himself over and over.

Joshua: I can’t wait to buy an album from David Cook, who should be the American Idol!

And, as we all know by now, the wishes of our soldiers –- in line with those of a whole lot of Newsroom readers -- ended up coming true.