To be fair, most of the incredible stars from the first run of the ABC reality television show American Idol had the talent needed to have a successful career in the music industry beyond their time on the show. One of those talented young contestants was world-renown entertainer, David James Archuleta.
David was just 16 years old when he competed in season seven of the competition in 2008, finishing in second place. Since then, he has gone on to have a very successful music career, recording numerous albums in the United States and overseas in countries like the Philippines, ranking in the music charts, performing on stage in his own concerts and with other well-known music artists, and even trying his hand at acting.
He recently recorded a song for Paul Cardall’s new album, The Broken Miracle, which will be released on 5 February 2021. The original song by Cardall is called “My Heart Beats for You.” David also rounded out the year 2020 with an original song that he appropriately titled “What A Wonderful Way To End A Crazy Year.”
David’s time on American Idol did not come without some challenges. As a minor, he had to have a parent on the set with him. That proved to be somewhat of a problem when tensions arose between his father, Jeff Archuleta, and the show’s crew. Although David does not regret his time on the show, according to The List.com, the drama that took place on and off camera stayed with him for years.
However, despite all the media hype and the unwarranted drama that was often created in the media, David credits his father with being his voice when he could not speak for himself. He also remembers his father always telling him, “David, remember the power that music has. You can sing a song that is popular but stay true to who you are.” In a 2018 interview with Yahoo Entertainment, David said:
If I didn’t have my dad there, I probably would’ve become the “white Chris Brown” [that the music industry wanted me to be], just because I didn’t know what to say. If I’d had parents who’d said, ‘David, just do what [the record label executives] say; they know what they’re doing,’ then I don’t know what would have happened to me, to be honest.
In the interview with Yahoo Entertainment, David also openly talked about having PTSD from his time on American Idol. He said, “I think that there’s something about reality TV shows that’s a very interesting, unique experience, and it has its own kind of PTSD that comes with it. . .. This was years ago, right? But there’s still certain things about us that we still had certain little tics that we’re paranoid about certain things. … Eight, nine, 10, 11 years later, we’re still kind of stuck in some of those patterns of thinking.” He continued:
You’re basically a character on a TV show, and parts of it are worked so that it fits the TV show — but they’re using your personal life. So, you become this character, but it’s with your own name, parts of who you are, but other parts that are portrayed in a way that you’re not actually. Then everyone feels like they know you, and they know what you are, and they know how to treat you, and have certain expectations.
David Archuleta worked out some of the mental health struggles he experienced as a result of his time on American Idol through music. In 2020, he released his eighth studio album, Therapy Sessions. He hopes that the reflective album will help a lot of people get through everything going on in the world at this time.
He says that the pace of his career today helps to ease some of the pain from old American Idol wounds, as well as those that predated the show. He is content with where he is at in his life and how he is handling himself. He said, “I’m a happy person, even with all the frustrations, even with all the anxiety that has never gone away. Here I am 12 years later, and I’m still here, and I’m alright.”