With his performance in the finals of American Idol David Archuleta has impressed the judges and now the jury is out for the Public Vote. Unless there is some major upset in the voting it seems David has got it made. Here are some brief facts about this American Idol finalist.
In 2003, at the age of 12, Archuleta sang on several episodes of the television show Star Search. He ended up as the Junior Vocal Champion on Star Search 2. On one episode, he sang against then 13-year-old Alexandréa Lushington, who also became a "top 20" semi-finalist on American Idol alongside Archuleta. Archuleta's competing on Star Search led to appearances on The Jenny Jones Show and CBS' The Early Show, and meeting the finalists from American Idol's first season, for whom he performed a spontaneous a cappella rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls.
Archuleta's fans have been dubbed "the Archies" and the "Arch Angels" with his "cultlike appeal" nurtured by his work on American Idol attracting a wide demographic including "grandmothers and teenage girls." Archuleta was labeled the front-runner by both the judges and the media because of his good looks and his "pure, pop voice," which have helped him build a huge fan base during the competition. David Archuleta seems to be sympathetic with his audience, as since his performance of "Angels" he has been responding to requests of his fans on the American Idol Forums to signal them by putting his hand over his heart. Rushfield commented on some of the girls who were standing in the front of the audience: "An hour after the show, they were still shaking, sobbing and screeching about their encounter with the Chosen One. Teen-based entertainment is "surging" and the teenage voters may have accounted for the teenaged
Idol. Referring to American Idol's system of popular voting for the remainder of the competition, Rushfield said, "No demographic can match the voting power of hysterically excited teen girls."
Simon called the night a knockout, scoring all three rounds for Archuleta. The other judges also indicated that Archuleta was the better performer. If this were actually decided like a boxing match, there would be no reason to stay up to watch the end of the Wednesday results show.
But that’s not the case, and therefore what’s been one of the most evenly matched final pairings in “Idol” history will continue to leave fans guessing up until the moment Ryan Seacrest reveals the winner.
Archuleta chose a more conventional path. After starting off strong with Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” he selected “In This Moment,” by Ryan Gillmor from the list of original “Idol” songs. Unlike Cook’s selection, Archuleta chose a song that was the usual sappy “I’m so happy to be here!!!!!” treacle, and as the lyrics said, it was a moment no one could take away from him.
“Right now, you could sing the phone book and it would be good. You’re in the zone,” Randy said.
He finished by going back to the beginning of the season, singing “Imagine.” That won him universal praise back in March, and it did the trick again on Tuesday in the finale.
“Dude, you are so good tonight. You are exactly what the show is about,” Randy said. “The best singer of Season 7 is right there.”
“It’s the culmination, David, and you’ve left me speechless like I was when you first sang the song,” Paula Abdul gushed.
And Simon pronounced their verdict. “At the end of the day, the show is about finding a star. In my opinion, David, you came out here tonight to win, and what we have witnessed is a knockout,” he said.
It might seem like we have an American Idol right there but if the fans don’t like what the judges think, they can overrule them. The “Idol” super delegates made it clear at the end of the night that in their minds Archuleta was their winner, but don’t be surprised if the voters ultimately declare their independence and give the title to Cook anyway.