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    David James Archuleta (born December 28, 1990) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. At ten years old, he won the children's division of the Utah Talent Competition leading to other television singing appearances.[6] When he was twelve years old, Archuleta became the Junior Vocal Champion on Star Search 2.[6] In 2007, at sixteen years old, he became one of the youngest contestants on the seventh season of American Idol.[7] In May 2008 he finished as the runner-up, receiving 44 percent of over 97 million votes.

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American Idol: The Final Finale ~ A Blog by David Archuleta

Posted by bebereader on Wednesday, April 13, 2016


As promised, David wrote a blog, sharing his experiences both at the American Idol finale last week and about being a contestant of the show.  We decided to post it here.

Last week was the finale of the last season of American Idol.  At first I didn’t think I would be able to go.  It was scheduled for April this year when normally they had it in May.  When they first contacted us previous contestants to attend I had already had things scheduled.  A few days before the finale was to air, I felt something tell me to look at my schedule.  I realized that even though I had already said I was unavailable back in February, I saw that my schedule had changed.  I asked my manager if it’d be too late to still at least attend so that I could say goodbye to so many people that had influenced my life during my time both as a viewer and a participant in the show.  I was happy when I got a response that despite it being just a few days before, I’d be able to go.

(These next sections you’re going to see a lot of names, both familiar and unfamiliar.  I say them all so that you get an idea of how many people are really involved and how many people that I’m personally influenced by from a show like this—regardless whether they’re well-known faces or not.)

When I got there to the rehearsals Tuesday, I was nervous at first.  I began seeing familiar faces though. Carly Smithson and David Cook from my season.  Then Melinda Doolittle, Ruben Studdard, Kris Allen, Alison Iraheta and many others.  I also saw many familiar backstage crew members like Jackie and Debbie, the stage managers, Michael Orland and Dorian, song coaches. Drina, Megan, Sam, Patrick, Charles, Nigel, Wylleen, Mike, Ricky Minor, Paul the guitarist, Pete, Katie and many others.  

2David Cook and me, reminiscing on our time as the final 2 of S7.

I eventually saw even more contestants: Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Jordin Sparks, Justin Guarini, Tamyra Gray, Danny Gokey and many others.  I met new ones, Colton Dixon, Candice Glover, Jessica Sanchez..  There really were so many of us there!   New crew members like Cinthia from Guatemala, Nina, Rachel, Paul, Geri, Becca, Kelsey, Margot, Omar, Alex, Cameron and Mary Jane.

 3Some of the backstage crew

I met this season’s contestants Trent Harmon, La’Porsha Renae, Dalton, Gianna, Lee, Olivia, Avalon, and more.  Trent Harmon had mentioned my name in an earlier episode, and that was really touching to me to watch.  To know that the work we do can influence or inspire another means the world, so it was a real privilege to meet him and see how humble he was, along with how kind the others were.

During rehearsals and being around everyone that I had worked with and worked for before, It was funny in a way to think of how 8 years ago as a 16/17 year-old I let it really get to me and I prioritized what they all thought of me.  Now I’ve become my own person and have higher priorities than pleasing heads and producers of shows, record labels, and companies.  I realized how much we all had grown up—how much I had grown up.  I was grateful for the growth from the show as a performer and person, and for the more uplifting growth I’ve had since.

AMERICAN IDOL: Top 10. Pictured Clockwise from L: Ramiele Malubay, Jason Castro, Brooke White, Michael Johns, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook, Syesha Mercado, David Cook, David Archuleta (C) and Chickezie (bottom C). © Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Frank Micelotta/FOX

AMERICAN IDOL: Top 10. Pictured Clockwise from L: Ramiele Malubay, Jason Castro, Brooke White, Michael Johns, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook, Syesha Mercado, David Cook, David Archuleta (C) and Chickezie (bottom C). © Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Frank Micelotta/FOX

I had an interview with Fred Bronson from Billboard.  (His books on billboard charts and songs had inspired me at the ages of 13-15 and introduced me to a lot of new songs that I didn’t know before.)  He asked how I felt being in the middle season, Season 7, looking at those in seasons before me and in those after me.  I realized the Dolby Theater was before known as the Kodak Theater.  It was here I watched Kelly Clarkson win at age 11.  My dad had surprised me with finale tickets because I was such a big fan.  I remember being a few rows back from Natalie Cole, who also attended.  I remember watching Kelly’s crowning moment as the first American Idol winner and all the confetti falling.  I held onto some to keep for a memory (although I’m horrible at keeping things and unfortunately have since lost it.)  Now I was there for the last season, but on the other side of that same theater—this time on the stage for the finale— I also thought how I was in a finale myself as a contestant 8 years prior for this same show that inspired me so much.  

Screen-Shot-2016-04-12-at-6.49.12-PM-537x300Kelly Clarkson meeting David Archuleta

I remember watching the first season. There were Justin Guarini and Tamyra Gray present last week. Tamyra greatly influenced me—particularly with her performance of “And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going.” I never heard nor saw anything like that performance in my 11 years of life.  I had never watched anyone put so much soul and energy into a song the way she did.  I told her how she influenced me more than any other contestant with that one performance.  I told her how I had tivo’d it, memorized it, and learned every part down to her expressions.  She said “You need to stop or you’re going to make me cry.”  

Screen-Shot-2016-04-12-at-6.52.03-PMTamyra Gray

There were a lot of Polynesian security guards.  I decided to talk to them since usually at least 1 or 2 are Mormon, because a lot of Polynesians are Mormons.  It turned out 3-4 of them were. 

5Left to right: Mark, Frost, and I believe Cory(?)

There was a red carpet.  I never like doing red carpets. I feel like it’s a “Look at me! Judge how I look! Compare me to everyone else walking down here!” kind of experience and I just don’t like it lol.  It gets my anxiety really going, but once I get out on the carpet, as awkward as I stand there, the anxiety goes away once you’re focused on something else.  I’ll have to be honest that I can’t wait for it to move on.  I saw some familiar photographers that I enjoyed seeing, and also the FOX publicity folks like Jill Hudson, Jen, Alex, and Nicole who had helped us get through so many interviews and pictures throughout the years.  Jen told me about how I had called her one time in between my American Idol auditions because a TV film crew had showed up at my door; my mom and I were freaking out.  We had no idea what to do.  We just didn’t answer, haha.

Before our opening number, “One Voice”,  I was feeling anxious.  I tried breathing to calm myself down. There were a lot of people backstage and a lot of noise with everyone talking, which all triggers my feelings of anxiety.  Everyone was excited, but I was quiet.  I usually am in those kinds of situations to not get overwhelmed.

Jordin Sparks was behind me, and asked with her bubbly energy that she always has, “Do you want to say a prayer?”  I said, “yes!”  She shouted around her  “K, everybody!  We’re going to say a prayer if you want to join us!!”  No one could really hear.  Colton Dixon and Danny Gokey came over to join us along with Blake Lewis, and Jordin started praying.  During the prayer I felt my fears calm down.  Prayers usually do calm my fears.  It’s interesting how that works.  When we finished the prayer and said “amen” I heard a lot more amens then I expected.  I looked up and saw that just about everyone of the group on our side of the stage had huddled around us to join us.  It was a special moment.  I’m glad that Jordin was willing to be mindful of quiet little me, and also wasn’t afraid to get all of us together like that. It was a unifying experience, which is one of the many powers of prayer—it brings people together and unifies us in a higher purpose with God.

6Jordin always has an upbeat youthful spirit. Just like she has no fear to show her Pokemon gear She had no fear to round everyone up for a prayer.

Right before we were about to go out, Tamyra Gray called me over, grabbed my hands and told me “I want to take in this moment with you out on that stage.  I want to feel your energy and share this with you.”  It was a cool moment.

Near the end, we watched from side stage that last moment of Trent Harmon being crowned as the final winner of Season 15.  It was an emotional moment for all of us past contestants and all of the crew.  We were all a part of this legacy and had worked hard to make it as good as we could.  I had to work hard to keep my tears back.  We all went out on stage to congratulate Trent and say goodbye to everyone.  There were a lot of hugs, tears, and phones filming. (I always automatically avoid the phones and snapchats.  It’s just 2nd nature for me for some reason.)

I never did get to congratulate Trent, but so many people were mobbing him, I thought I’d give him time to breathe.  I did get to congratulate his family.  They were really sweet folks.

American Idol was probably the most difficult thing I ever had to do in my life.  The most draining, emotional, challenging, overwhelming times in these first 25 years I’ve had.  A lot of people told me my 2-year mission in Chile would be.  It really wasn’t though.  Nothing challenged my character more than American Idol.  Never did I feel so alone, never was I so tempted in my life.  Never had I had such a drastic change.   Never was I surrounded by so many superficial things and people.  Never had I had so many people talking so much good and so much bad about me, having cameras follow me around and making stories up about my life just for the sake of more unwanted attention.  I can’t tell you what that did for an introverted person who had always considered himself a recluse, lol.  But it has definitely made me stronger.  I owe so much of who I am today to my experience on that show. I learned to get over my camera phobia quickly.  I learned how to carry conversations with people. I learned how to accept both criticism and compliments—To be honest it was harder to learn how to accept compliments.  I had to learn to be gracious and say “thank you.”  

I made some wonderful friends from my time there.  Even though I don’t speak to many of the crew nor contestants anymore, I care about a lot of them.  They’re dear to my heart.  I’m so glad I went through it.  I have so many stories to tell now.  Being there for that final show helped me gain closure for a lot of unresolved feelings I had about that whole experience being a naive, oblivious teenager in a crazy world of the Entertainment Industry.  American Idol was the opportunity of a lifetime.  I tell people it was a once in a lifetime experience, not only because I don’t have the desire to do all of that again but because it brought me to places I never would have even dreamed of going to, and experiencing things I never imagined I’d experience.  I thank God for prompting me to go.  It was a prompting that I needed to go to learn something.  I thank my dad for motivating me to keep going because I would have been fine just stopping after the first audition.  He sure did get a lot of flack from the media, but none of you would know who I was today had he not continued motivating me and telling me there was more in me than I gave myself credit for.

Thanks to everyone who watched that show.  Thanks to all of you who have voted for us.  You each had a part to play in that whole experience for every one of us on that show.  Even though it’s hard for me to grasp the whole concept of fans, I am ever grateful for your support throughout the years and for your willingness to give me your lending ear.  I know that the other contestants feel the same way. It’s nice to know that someone will listen to what we have to say and share.

(All photos courtesy of

63 Responses to “American Idol: The Final Finale ~ A Blog by David Archuleta”

  1. tawna21 said

    Love It!!! It’s comforting to know that David found some peace, and had a good time,by attending the finale.

    Here’s to hoping that some new music is on the near horizon!! I’m noticing that the ticket sales for various venues that he’s announcing aren’t selling out like they have been. In my thinking, fans are needing new materials. He’s getting so involved in all of these speaking/singing engagements, that concerts are not happening in other parts of the country. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in their meetings and discussions.

    I see where he is going to be at the Layton Amphitheater again this year… in June sometime. I got an email from the Davis Arts Council to get my season tickets ( 🙂 ), and there was information about his appearance (and a date), but it isn’t showing in their events calendar yet.


  2. jans11 said

    Thanks, Bebe for posting this super blog by David. It is so heartfelt and sweet. Happy that he was able to attend and make a full AI circle. I’m thinking that the whole AI thing has finally come to a close for me. On to new and better things! What you’ve been doing is fine, David, but move on across the country…go east, young man, go east! 🙂

    #kansascity #texas #newyork


  3. Abrra said


  4. djafan said

    I was actually pretty shocked when I clicked on David’s “recap” blog. The length surprised me, I was expecting something with much less detail, not sure why. And what we got was so so much more. He shared his thoughts, his feelings, his reactions, such a personal sharing of himself with us, his fans. Love the y’alls lol

    I’m so glad he was able to go enjoy, get closure, recognize the learning and opportunities AI has given him in spite of the challenges. Giving props to his Dad for seeing in him what he didn’t. Most youth need that adult to give them that push.

    That he was able to speak and connect with Tamyra Gray, share what her time on AI meant and did for him and come full circle, it left me in tears.

    “I told her how she influenced me more than any other contestant with that one performance. I told her how I had tivo’d it, memorized it, and learned every part down to her expressions. She said “You need to stop or you’re going to make me cry.”

    “Right before we were about to go out, Tamyra Gray called me over, grabbed my hands and told me “I want to take in this moment with you out on that stage. I want to feel your energy and share this with you.” It was a cool moment.”

    This is huge and telling of how far he’s come to understand what it all meant. He’s always said he slow lol His understanding of us is coming around 🙂 I’m so excited for the future!


  5. djafan said

    Aye that voice!


  6. djafan said

    From MJ’s: “She highly recommends”. She wasn’t very kind to David but it’s been some time now that she’s been very positive in regards to David.

    “David Archuleta posted a long thoughtful blog post about returning to American Idol for the finale. Realizing his schedule actually would accommodate at least attending the event, The American Idol season 7 runner-up arrived a couple of days into auditions. He was only able to be part of the big opening group number, but it appears, for Archie, coming back home was about re-connecting, and perhaps coming to terms with the negative aspects of an extremely intense experience.”

    “I’ve excerpted part of it here. But I highly recommend reading through the entire post here. He’s uploaded some pictures as well.”


  7. djafan said


  8. djafan said

    Twitter has gone nuts! David is in Orlando!!!


  9. collegemom said

    My music worlds collide – David at a Pentatonix concert!


  10. Abrra said

    A new tweet from David this morning.



  11. djafan said

    I thought I’d give a sampling of reactions of those at PTX concert about David. This is on Orlando, Florida.

    The Duo saw David’s tweet!


  12. djafan said

    Some more lol

    Kevin Olosula from PTX responded to David!


  13. djafan said

    Someone took the time to add lyrics to video, nice job.


  14. Abrra said

    Looking good David!!



  15. Abrra said

     photo 19kari.PNG_zps8de7htvh.jpg

    Check Kari’s Periscope for a clip of David singing Angel. It short /cry.



  16. Abrra said

    Fangirls are out in force tonight in Orlando. 🙂

    Hmmm what does she mean?



  17. Abrra said


  18. Abrra said



  19. Abrra said


  20. Abrra said

    Best clip of the night!!


  21. Abrra said


  22. Abrra said


  23. jans11 said

    Thanks, Dja for posting 7 Years Old with the words. David sings that song so good and reading the words along with his singing, I can keep up with it! Don’t know how anyone can remember all those words, let lone sing them too! 🙂

    Abrra, you have been on the ball tonight posting all these goodies! Thanks so much. But #15 on the short Periscope clip says the song is Angel and he was singing True Colors.
    No big deal, Angels is one of my favorites and was looking forward to hearing it again. True Colors was awesome though…he changed it a little like he does and that always make it interesting!


  24. Abrra said

    Angel was the first song. I posted the link to her Periscope so folks can see the rest of the clips by going there. She didn’t put song titles on any except True Colors, but 4 are there.
    I didn’t think I needed to keep posting the same link each time.

    He sang these songs. Kari didn’t video all of them, though.
    Bridge Over Troubled Waters
    True Colors
    Be Still My Soul



  25. Abrra said

    All videos re posted by ShanelleArchie#DA2016, she didn’t give credit to original videographers.

    Some of these look like Kari’s Periscope vids.



  26. Abrra said


  27. Abrra said


  28. djafan said

    Wow. He sounds amazing. I’m requesting Tru Colors. Really love his cover of this one, who am I kidding I love them all!


  29. jans11 said

    Thanks, Abs! I figured it was something like that. I did see the rest of the songs on FB and Twitter. Thanks for posting the rest here in one place! 🙂 You are so awesome keeping up with him!

    Dja, me too! 🙂


  30. Abrra said

    From last night.

    Even leaving from an empty room, they give him an Elvis Exit. 😉


  31. Abrra said

    From last night. BOTW so good!

    I put an MP3 in the Candy jar. Also, Be Still My Soul.



  32. tawna21 said

    Thank you… all of you…. for the photos and vids!! It must have been an amazing evening in Orlando! To hear David giving his motivational messages and then to hear him relay those messages in song –WOW! ♥♥

    BSMS — ohhh-kay! I’m coming down from the high that one put me on!!

    Kind of off subject…. I heard an interview today with Marie Osmond, and she commented on how she is not a celebrity, she is an entertainer. She feels this way, because the industry is not her life… her family and every day life is what her world revolves around. That sounds like the definition of David. That, I do believe, is why we love him…. he is for realz and not a person we wouldn’t recognize without the makeup (figuratively speaking). jmo


  33. jans11 said

    Yes! BSMS and BOTW…my gosh! He keeps getting better and better! What would I have done without David and his beautiful voice and all the wonderful fans I have met because of him?? It has made life a lot better, for sure! 🙂 Keep up the good work, David! Never quit singing……talk about beautiful…….

    Tawna, I agree with you on David and Marie. Thankful that they feel that way and not like a lot of trashy stuff that is out there. I’m not a prude by any means but some out there are downright ridiculous. I will have to fast forward Miley when she is on The Voice next season as I can’t stand her any more since her shananigans. I read where the Beiber was caught lip sinching when he fell on stage and the music went on! 😦 How anyone can think they are great is beyond me!


  34. Abrra said

    Thanks to FoxTV for today’s Sunday puzzle.



  35. jans11 said

    Another beauty, Abs. Thanks! For some reason David’s face went together before the edges… 🙂 .and lovin’ all that blue…he looks so good in blue!


  36. tawna21 said

    Thank you, Abrra!! 🙂


  37. djafan said

    Just can’t get enough of that voice! The closest TOFW is in Sacramento a 6 hour drive, bad timing though or else very tempted.

    Nice video of David interview at the finale.


  38. djafan said

    Look what I found on twitter today :)))))))


  39. djafan said

    hahahaha Love this!


  40. djafan said



  41. djafan said

    Oh and I love his answer lol

    Me: “Can I take a picture with you?? I don’t want to be in your space or make it weird 😁” David: “I won’t be weird if you aren’t weird.”


  42. tawna21 said

    ummm – dja – I’m blind… what do you think you see?


  43. djafan said

    Upper lip? Chin? lol


  44. Abrra said

    I think its the filter on the B/W image. I don’t see anything in his performance pictures.

     photo 27dittman_zpsykabz6p7.jpg
    credit Sue Dittmann



  45. Abrra said


  46. djafan said

    haha Abrra, I thought for a moment, a goatee??? Crazy me lol

    Billboard picked up David’s AI Finale blog. Nice.


  47. Abrra said




  48. tawna21 said

    Yep, Abrra, I seriously doubt we ever see any facial hair on David — unless he’s in the role of actor and it’s required! Five o’clock shadow now and then, but nothing more. jmo


  49. Abrra said

    Hmmm What is it?



  50. tawna21 said

    #49…. cracks. me. up!!! 😀 😀 Here we are waiting for new music and he’s taking painting classes. 😉 Maybe he’s going to paint his own stage backdrops. Oh well…. it shall happen… eventually!

    Does this look like he was working right-handed?


  51. jans11 said

    Agreeing, Tawna! That’s his right arm anyway! 🙂 Maybe he’s holding the paper with his right hand and painting with his left hand…. 🙂 I like his sqiggly pigs on the paper plate! 🙂


  52. djafan said

    lol Abrra, he probably could though 🙂

    Jans, I saw the squiggly pigs! He’s still doodling them. People were suggesting he write using his drawings, I’d buy.

    Prayers for Jen’s son.


  53. djafan said

    Trending Party!


  54. djafan said

    David songwriting!!! Is he writing for Gracie? How fun!


  55. Abrra said

    Maybe a new duet 🙂



  56. djafan said

    Abrra that would be very nice.

    Longer Beautiful version….lady on phone foot dancing and does clap so maybe she has ADHD lol

    Credit: Jennifer Tucker Long


  57. jans11 said

    David back to songwriting! Yea! Working with Gracie, yea! 🙂

    The lady scrolled thru her phone during the whole song of BOTW…the camera was on her the whole time. Thought it was rude. mopo


  58. djafan said

    Isabeau Miller also posted the songwriting picture on her instagram. I love her comment.

    “isabeaumiller The first thing I was told today, by an acquaintance in passing, was to “make something beautiful”. Thanks to these three, we did. They made my heart sing. So grateful for @davidarchie @gracieschram and @shaunbalin”

    Be Still My Soul. David keeps improving his performance from the previous one and good view on this one.


  59. djafan said

    Who’s going?!


  60. jans11 said

    Hope and pray that little Sean Berry will be ok. Dad sure has had a plate full this past year. 😦

    Dja, wish I could go. I’d go to everyone of his concerts no matter where they are if I could! 🙂

    RIP Prince. Terrible news.


  61. Abrra said


  62. djafan said

    New Post >>>>>>>>>


  63. […] American Idol: The Final Finale ~ A Blog by David Archuleta – As promised, David wrote a blog, sharing his experiences both at the American Idol finale last week and about being a contestant of the show. We decided to post it here. […]


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