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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

Posted in @DavidArchie, @ginaorr, @kariontour, American Idol, Archies, Blog, David Archuleta, recap, The Voice | Tagged: , , , | 63 Comments »

The Fight For Balance Within ~ New Blog by David Archuleta

Posted by bebereader on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

poco balanceart edit credit pocoelsy

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a blog.

I have to admit, it has felt kind of nice.  Not because I don’t like connecting with all of you.  But more to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks.  I haven’t posted as often on Instagram and Twitter as I would before, but that has also felt really nice as well.  Not because I don’t like sharing, but it’s because I have a tendency to get caught up in what everyone thinks about what I’m doing.  I’ve learned to enjoy the moment and the people that I’m with, rather than think “Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be showing everyone my life and how great it is.” and “I’d get more followers if I post more of this.” Or “The more of my face in the photo the more likes it’ll get.” (I talked about this in my last blog, but will expand on it a little more today.)

I will say every now and then I like to share moments, quotes, thoughts (And honestly I think it is fun to post photos and videos occasionally) but afterwards I feel a little overwhelmed.  I think it’s from my nature that I’ve always been someone who likes to keep to himself and stay away from attention.

People say “Well you picked the wrong career for that, buddy.”  But I’d disagree. We all have obstacles we face.  Life is designed to give us hurdles that would keep us from following our dreams, keep us from making new memories, and from being happy if we choose to let fear run its course in us and always take the path of least resistance.  But life is made that way because happiness and satisfaction come from accomplishing things that we think are beyond our limits.  How many of you have done something that you didn’t want to do because you didn’t think you could and felt nervous, and afterward felt so good and satisfied for now having accomplished something you didn’t think you were capable of?  It really is designed that way for a reason.

Just because I don’t like attention doesn’t mean I don’t like singing.  I’d sing for everyone all of the time if I could be off the stage, unnoticed and still give everybody the experience of feeling better and more motivated after listening.  But I’ve been given the challenge.  I find so much joy from keeping to myself to give me time to meditate and be still in an inconspicuous world, but I also find joy in sharing with as many people as possible the things that make me happy.


I found an interesting balance of the two of these while I was a mormon missionary in Chile for 2 years from March 2012-March 2014.  I could walk around the streets talking to every type of person you could meet: old and young, wealthy and poor, content and depressed—You name it.  I love people.  I love hearing their stories.  I love sharing with them things that I feel can motivate them to become their best selves.  Sharing my beliefs and the things that filled my soul without expecting to get anything back felt amazing.



Hardly anyone ever recognized me down in Chile for my music career, but I would sing for just about everyone I met.  Many of them worked in the Chilean copper mines, while many others worked in the fruit fields.  Others were teachers, students, security guards, small business owners, etc.  I’d sing for people on the streets, in their homes or in their yards.  For some reason I had some of the most fulfilling performances of my life singing for 1 or 2 people at a time, without the applause or notoriety of crowds—No way of keeping track of social media’s hits/likes/views.  I realized music could touch me and them the same way it could having a special musical moment on TV in front of millions of people.  For some reason, that moment of satisfaction isn’t about the numbers.  It’s about that moment being real and honest regardless if it’s singing for 1 person or 1 million people. Whether it’s singing for the president of the United States or the old widow at the end of the street who lives by herself, it’s all about that moment of connecting person to person, along with this connection originating from something greater than me from above.  I certainly believe it’s a connection with God.

So yes, it’s a challenge for me, but I don’t intend on giving up.  I’m trying to find the balance of living a life that’s meaningful to me both personally (in my quiet and simple world) and career-wise (as a performer and musician.)  Each aspect involves 2 principles: (1) loving people and (2) keeping that spiritual connection with God.



I’ve been continuously writing and in the last couple of weeks have been looking for producers to work with.  I’m hoping I can work this time around with people who can keep me focused on the things I’ve told you about.  Talented people who are good at their craft but keep the focus on the simple but special moment, instead of the pursuit of being “the hippest, biggest, and greatest.”  To be honest it’s hard to keep that focus.  You get tempted to keep up with everyone and everything else because it looks amusing.  But learning from the past I know what that does does and doesn’t do for me.

Do any of you have conflicting aspirations or goals?  If you do, have any of you found a way to find a balance for them to work?  If you haven’t, I hope this helps you think twice, and as you make progress please share it.  You can share it here, and also be sure to share it with your family and friends.


There’s a reason the contrast of yin and yang find a happy balance to create something greater than if they were separated.  I believe that balance comes from finding common ground, similar goals, and the same purpose.  It’s up to you and me to find the way to make that balance happen.



 Do the red and white in a pokeball count as showing balance too? (Gotta Catch ‘Em All)


Posted in @DavidArchie, Balance, Blog, Chile, concerts, David Archuleta, music, Personal freedom, songwriting, The Voice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 68 Comments »

David Archuleta – A Blog from Afghanistan

Posted by djafan on Friday, July 18, 2014

Photo 1: I don’t think that’s how you properly salute, but oh well haha. We have to wear the body armor sometimes when we travel from one base to another on military aircraft here in Afghanistan.


Hey everyone,

I have written a letter to my family and friends, but I decided that I should share it with all of you as well:

First off, I am sorry that I can never write less than an essay and that my emails are always so long! But please bear with me and my imperfections with this one.

I wanted to write to all of you seeing as this last week has been quite incredible for me. Right now I am writing this to you as blasting winds full of dust attack my face and my eyes (I’m outside to have some time to myself). I am currently in Afghanistan, and as I don’t know when I will ever be here again I would like to take the time to write to you under interesting circumstances.

What am I doing here? I was invited by a man named Dan Clark. He is a world renown speaker who is the main contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. He has spoken many, many times to the troops all over the world. We are joined by a professional impersonator/comedian named Jason Hewlett (he’s hilarious), and my voice trainer Dean Kaelin (accompanying me on the piano and guitar, and performing himself a number) to do a military tour. It is a tour with the focus to inspire and give an uplifting message to the troops as we entertain.

July 8th we left for the Middle East. We began in the country of Bahrain– a country I had never even heard of before. Afterwards we went to Kuwait. It was amazing to see how empty it is here terrain-wise: sand, sun, dust, and desert. However, due to oil and gas these are very wealthy countries. We visited an Islamic mosque and I was amazed to see that they believe in prophets, and even believe in Jesus Christ… As a prophet of God; not as the Only Begotten, yet they believe that He will come again. It is Ramadan here which is the month of fasting, where they cannot eat or drink from sunrise until sunset. We cannot eat or drink in front of them, and have to keep long-sleeve shirts and pants when in public Muslim-eye to not offend their traditions.

Anyway, this is a military tour, not a desert tourist trip. I wanted to express my love for these military men and women. Here in Afghanistan– along with in Iraq–they are in combat and there are attacks going on. I was surprised at the friendships and the respect the local people have with and for the troops, as the reason why we have been in these countries is to protect these people from opposing groups who seek for power and are extremists and terrorists trying to overtake the countries. We are now making transitions to let the Afghan military take charge of defending their own country so that they may strengthen their own sense of duty and value those rights and liberties more by taking the lead themselves.

We have met so many fathers who have yet to meet their newborn babies in person; they are out in this blazing heat of 100-140 degrees day to day (and wow it feels like a hair-dryer blowing in your face!). We have seen and felt their appreciation for us being here as we “come out of our way” to meet with them, perform for them, and let them know we love them — it is the LEAST we can do!! It is amazing to have them come up and say, “you don’t know how much this means to us. Thank you for coming to see us and break the routine. You bring a piece of home.”

These are people who learn what the word “duty” means. They literally put their lives on the line with rockets being shot at the bases, mines exploding their and civilians’ paths, and suicide bombers coming at them. It is real, but they do it because of their duty to our families and to our country, and to their duty to protecting countries and people who cannot do it alone. How grateful I am for their dedication and for them being awakened to their duty.

I hope the next time you see one of these service men and women, you think of their commitment that they have to this duty: to protecting our amazing and beautiful country where we have freedom, and working to help others have freedom as well. We take what we have for granted– whether- we go to the air-conditioned malls, or sit at our peaceful homes bored. Let us think twice about our liberty that we have in this promised land, and how God has truly blessed us. During this trip we are also getting to do some special faith-based events that we call firesides. It has been a wonderful bonus to the trip.

We have one more week of shows, and I will try and give you another (shorter) update as we come to a close.

I hope you are all well!


P.S. I’ve attached some photos.

Photo 2: This is a mortar with some army men that is setup to shoot back quickly at locations where incoming attacks come from.

Photo 3: These army men use those giant explosion-protected vehicles in the back to search for mines. They basically go through explosions many times so that it doesn’t happen to other military troops and civilians in normal cars or walking.

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Dan Clark shares video!

Posted in @DavidArchie, Appreciation, Blog, God Bless America, John Lennon, TROOPS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 123 Comments »

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