David Archuleta talks about his return to ‘Idol’, offers sympathy to Aaron ‘Little Archie’ Kelly
As mentioned earlier in our minute-by-minute results show recap, we ran into David Archuleta on our way out of the “Idol”-dome, where he was ever the dimpled charmer, taking pictures with fans and embracing each and every “Idol” crew member within hugging distance.
David’s thoughts on season 9’s Lennon-McCartney showdown? “They did great,” he said. “Everyone did really well [Tuesday] night. It was nice that they had that boost, and I think their effort really showed it, where you could see their emotion and passion… It also showed the magic of the Beatles’ songwriting. Nobody will ever do it like they did.”
But even David was thrown by Michael Lynche’s near-exit. “That freaked me out,” he said. “I was like, ‘No! He better not go!’ He was really good, and I think everyone knew that he should stay.”
As for his personal standout, Archie’s getting behind 17-year-old Katie Stevens, perhaps partly out of age empathy. “Katie is one of the people who I felt like really connected to the song she was singing,” David opined. “It was just really nice to say, ‘Man, she really improved.’ It was exciting to see that improvement.”
David also offered his sympathy to Aaron Kelly, who’s now earned the nickname “Little Archuleta.” Said David: “I feel bad for him, because I’m a pretty weird person to be compared to. And he wants to be Aaron Kelly, he doesn’t want to be David Archuleta!”
But taking note that Aaron sang “Long and Winding Road,” a song David had also chosen during season 7’s Beatles theme, he added, “It is kind of funny that he sang it, but I hope that people will distinguish him, and identify him as Aaron Kelly, because he’s really talented.”
So what’s the latest on Archie? He’s still knee-deep in writing for his second album and is headed to New York next week for another round of sessions with S*A*M & Sluggo. But he’s also close to choosing a single, David added, which may be one of the songs co-written by Eman Kiriakou.
No update on when the album may be released. “It’s just a matter of what songs do we want and what are we missing?” David explained. “We just want to make sure we have everything right.”
Speaking of getting it right, Archie’s performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which “Idol” creator Simon Fuller personally requested, left contestants like Casey James speechless. So what kind of memories did being back on the “Idol” stage ring up? “It brings back how many people are watching,” said David. “You feel like everyone’s energy is so strong, it’s almost overwhelming. Your mind isn’t really thinking about anything, it’s just, like, going. It’s weird how it works when you’re on that stage. It’s a rush and you just hope that you don’t mess up. It was fun!”
David says it’s been at least a year since he sang the song, and he’s only performed it “maybe three times in the last two years,” but he did get to practice a bit, even with only a few days’ notice. Still, the biggest relief involving his return to the “Idol” stage? Not being judged, for a change. “It was, like, ‘Ahhhh,’ ” he said with a demonstrative sigh. “You still feel like they are going to judge you, and like they are judging you in their minds. But it was nice getting to talk to all of the judges afterwards. They’re just really cool people.”
— Shirley Halperin