Being the crazy ODD Idol fan that I am, the recent season 8 finale got me thinking about what has transpired in the life and career of David Archuleta since that fateful night, almost a year ago, when he came in second to David Cook during the 7th season of American Idol. Performances and appearances number in the hundreds since then, and there have been a number of moments that have been game changers.
AI Tour Summer 2008
This annual tour takes the finalists across America. Since David had already signed a record contract, not only was he touring, he was recording every chance that he got for his upcoming debut CD. His set included four songs: Angels, Apologize, Stand By Me, and When You Say You Love Me. Night after night many were wowed by his voice, and many were starting to notice his charisma and growing performance technique. Before and after the venue throngs of fans waited in the summer heat to great him.
Headlines blared “Archuleta Crushes the Competition” after his debut single raced up the charts, topping iTunes just hours after its release. The song became both a chart and critical success and began to silence those who had considered David solely a ‘ballad boy’. “David Archuleta” the CD debuted at number two on Billboard and currently has sold approximately 700k in the US. Crush has sold 1.8 million downloads and is still an AC radio mainstay.
David appeared in a slew of mini sets across the US promoting his CD during the holiday season. The one that always comes to mind is the Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden, when David was sandwiched between Kanye West and Chris Brown. He not only fit right in… he rocked it out!
At the beginning of the year David embarked on his first solo tour, playing a couple of dozen medium sized venues. The reviews of both fans and critics were positive as David had grown as an entertainer, blossoming on stage before our very eyes.
Asia, home again and McFly
David got a Beatles style welcome from his Asian fans during his press events and promotional performances. Back in the states he returned to the Idol stage and, hampered by nerves, he later roasted his own performance. Finally David toured with the UK band McFly. Bolstered by his fans who came from far and wide, David relied on his pristine voice, stage presence, and matinee idol good looks to win over the McFly fans.
David Archuleta and David Cook performed a back-to-back concert in Manila. During their stay they were given a warm reception by the fans; both have strong fan bases there. The concert sold out. 50,000 tickets were sold, with reportedly an equal amount swarming the grounds outside the venue.
So much has been said, and will be said about how far David has come, and where this road will take him. What has impressed me the most about David is his drive and determination. He is both tenacious and humble. It’s taken him a long time to realize that yes, the fans come to see him. He seems to try hard to not miss an appearance or an opportunity to greet his fans. David works hard at his craft, but he plays just as hard, taking the opportunity to take in the local flavor of the city or country he visits whenever he can. He’s a young man playing with slime at the Kid’s Choice Awards, and the next he’s working the stage with more than a hint of sass and maturity. I have no doubt that this is David’s passion. There is no question for me but that this is what he was put on this earth to do.
As another cycle of American Idol begins, and another winner and runner have been determined what can we expect as David’s ties to the show are perhaps relaxed? Will David become a Disney icon? Or will he become, as many of us hope, the type of performer he admires? Will he have the respect of someone like John Mayer, or the cool reputation of Jason Mraz? Soon he will go on tour with Demi Lovato, and is also working on material for his second CD. With talent like David’s, expectations must be high. I have no crystal ball. No prognostications. I do expect that it will be something to keep his growing fan base talking, tweeting, and blogging. I mean, how can we not? He’s done so much in this year since Idol ended, I can only imagine what he will do with even more confidence and experience. I think his future is bright. The accolades will be many. Yes, he’ll stumble sometime, but he’s shown resilience that belies the image many had of him. He’s come a long way in this incredible year.
(And thanks to our own vermeer for the beautiful artwork.)