Can David Archuleta go it alone?

Davidarchuleta_lBelieve it or not, an Archuleta has gotten the Idol boot this week. No, not our producer-pimped Idol-to-be, silly. (Hell is still pretty hot, from what I hear.) It’s Jeff Archuleta — a.k.a. David Archuleta’s dad — who’s been sent packing from backstage of Fox’s juggernaut.

According to reports, ArchuDad was told he would be banned from rehearsals after insisting that the show allow David to combine Ben E. King’s "Stand by Me" with lyrics from"Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston’s recent hit that borrows riffs from King’s classic. Not terribly reprehensible, until you consider that such an alteration forced Idol to pay an extra song clearance fee. (ArchuDad’s rumored creepy, overbearing behavior, apparently, was acceptable to Fox. But his demands that they shill out extra green for his son? Guess the show only has so many surfaces it can plaster with Coke ads before it runs out of cash.)

Now, it’s no secret that ArchuDad has been at the forefront of his son’s Idol journey — EW’s own Jessica Shaw witnessed him taking the reins during David’s rehearsals for Neil Diamond week — and rumblings that he psyched out his son’s Star Search competitors years ago certainly doesn’t help support denials that David has been a passive agent when it comes to song choice and arrangement throughout the competition. In fact, the ArchuDad ban is leaving most fans wondering: will the nearly unstoppable power vocalist falter this week without his father to guide him to heaping panel praise? That is, can David go it alone?

addCredit(“David Archuleta: Frank Micelotta”)

I, for one, am hoping that the squinting, seemingly ever-tensecontestant will finally loosen up without the parental judgment loomingover his shoulder. (I’ve always suspected there’s more to David’snerves than just performing in front of the live audience and panel.)And who knows what kind of arrangements this kid could whip out withouthis father encouraging him to reject songs with less-than-G-ratedlyrics? But even still, I’ve never been a proponent of having 16- and17-year-olds battle it out for the Idol victory — heck, even at23, I don’t think I could handle the emotional pressure of the show —and all the news about ArchuDad’s presence makes me hope even more thatthe show one day ups the bottom age range a few ticks to avoid parentalinvolvement altogether.

So what do you think, Idol fans? Will David pull out another"Stand By Me" or will he go the way of "We Can Work It Out" withoutArchuDad? Do you think contestants’ parents should be allowedbackstage, or that minors should be allowed to compete at all?

Comments (521 total) Add your comment
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  • ann

    He’s just been banned from rehearsals. It’s not like his dad won’t influence the kid the other 23 hours of the day. I don’t think this will make much difference, more’s the pity.

  • BC

    I’m glad to hear he got the boot. He comes off as a showbiz parent with dollar-signs in his eyes.

  • Jon

    God I hope not! Syesha-David C final 2!

  • EP Sato

    Archudad’s been rumored to be a little over the top for some time now, but it’s rare that Idol will yield to public pressure on anything. Clearly, AI’s producers cared about the $$$ issue more than anything else.
    As for what this will mean? I’m sure the extra attention (and a-list timing) are part of Idol’s plan to keep the headlines on Archuleta, ensuring Syesha’s ouster. If it wasn’t some sort of ploy, they would have offed Archudad immediately after the results show.

  • Mama Rose

    David has a beautiful voice–but i think the age limit should be raised a step higher. I’m talking 20-30 or something. No one–even babies–wants to watch babies, and this way people like ArchuDad aren’t really a problem.

  • T-Rex

    The fact that David A has a total creapfest of a father AND that this is the first we’ve heard of it is probably my biggest complaint about the sugary sweet production that is American Idol.

  • cimagato

    The producers aren’t making it easy for anyone this year. This is going to be harder than Castro having to perform after hearing his un-sung song sucked. Difficult as Daddy-A has been, it’s got to be an emotional nightmare for little Archie. If he’s never stepped out on his own before, this is a really bad time to try it out. I’m not a fan of the kid, but I want him to be his best at this critical time. What a mess.

  • mscisluv

    I think you’re missing the point on the money. AI producers said no, but he fought and fought and then forced his son to go behind the producers’ backs to do it anyway on live television. More than the money, the producers simply can’t afford to have people behaving unpredictably on live tv (witness: Paulagate). Clearly, Jeff Archuleta is a stage dad out of control – you left out the part of him being banned from the backstage of Star Search as well – and I certainly hope that David would be better off without him.

  • StaleCake

    KATE, YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. The fact that Idol let Jeff Archuleta run roughshod over his son, other contestants, the Musical Director, the band, and anyone in earshot was OK, but they only took notice when he cost them a royalty fee. Sick. And for a smartypants musical reference too — Jeff A. seems like the stage dad totally living vicariously throgh his son. Also sick. I hope David blossoms on his own… then divorces his parents! EMANCIPATE DAVID!

  • Lee

    David is a musician on his own & has other input besides Jeff A. His dad sounds involved, maybe a little creepy from a nonrelative pt. of view, but probably not the ‘monster’ that’s getting tabloid time. I’ve been a stage mom & sometimes you do have to stand up for your kids in performance issues. With AI,it’s much more complicated because of copyright issues,contractual agreements, and just the money involved. Probably, in his eyes, David’s dad is being protective & trying to help his son present the best performance every week. How much of that is living vicariously thru’ his son, who knows? Before rushing to judgment & labeling Mr. Archuleta as overbearing & abusive, people need to know a lot more of David’s history than two incidents from talent competitions.

  • Stephanie T.

    1.The bad news is that Archie is 17 so by law daddy dumba-s calls the shots. Still to demand more money?! He’s a frigging human being for petes sake! Jeff should be thankful that his son is even on television!
    2. Yeah, that’s right. A.I. had to have clearance to allow Sean Kingston’s version to be sung on the air. A.I. will now have no choie but to pay Kingston and his record company.

  • Eli

    Come on, it’s not fair to the father, who failed to do something with his life and is now riding his son’s coat tails. he should be allowed to have all the say in the world, so that once his son is old enough we can read stories about how awful the father was, and once Arch comes out of the closet (after a few years in and out of rehab.) we’ll all know who to blame. I say, if D.A. has any desire to be in the front of every tabloid in America, he should keep dear old dad around for sure.

  • Bleck

    None of us know what goes on behind the scenes of DA’s life so everything is hearsay. The Lohan’s, Spears etc. all get bad publicity due to bad media coverage when in truth, they know little what goes on behind closed doors. Unless the kids come out with a ‘tell all’ book, then it’s nobody’s business.

  • Rose Tyler

    It probably won’t make a difference to Little David but it may help the other contestants relax. I think Mark Harris made a good point in his EW article about raising the age requirement to compete. In a few years, Little David will have more confidence and more personality which would make him more enjoyable top watch.

  • ANTM Freak

    Hard to gage what really went on behind-the-scenes. Jeff Archuleta definitely exhibits the classic symptoms of freaky, out-of-control stage parent. The man just seems completely obnoxious and oblivious to the potentially-toxic influence he could have on David’s career. Nobody wants to deal with that kind of BS from a parent, let alone a failed-wannabe-musician who’s living vicariously through his son. Naomi Judd has made statements about Mr. Archuleta’s negative behaviour from her experience as a judge ‘Star Search’ and I think she’s a legit source. David has been groomed for a music career from a young age and his dad’s involvement is obvious. Can he go at it alone? I think he could…or at least I hope he does. Hopefully this is not yet another case of children being driven by ambitious parents into an unhappy ending. I don’t like Archie’s singing but he seems like a nice, simple guy.

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