Who can take the sunlight, sprinkle it with dew,
Cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two….
The Candy Man can…

Prologue: Anatomy of an attraction

David Archuleta seems to possess one attribute above everything else that stands him in good stead no matter the occasion. A high likeability factor. While this observation is nothing new to anyone who has observed David or crossed paths with him since he burst onto the music scene, what makes it remarkable at all is its penetrating and lingering power.

First Inklings

It started innocently enough when we were introduced to a fresh-faced young singer named David Archuleta during the early audition stages of American Idol Season 7. From the moment he sang Waiting On The World To Change and wowed the judges, the first nascent stirrings of attraction began percolating within us. When he was through, for some inexplicable reason we were immediately attracted to his personality but there was no rhyme or reason other than what was just witnessed by all.

david-archuleta-j04During Hollywood Week, Simon Cowell gave voice to what we were all experiencing when he described David with this now-famous quote; “You’re young, likeable, good-looking and you’ve got a great voice”. As the competition evolved and David was introduced each week with a video clip, more of his personality began to emerge. The early stirrings of “Hey, this kid is cute” began strengthening with each performance, and his grace under heavy criticism at times from Simon, only impressed us more and more.

David Archuleta by DavidArchuletaIsMyGuitarHero.

The Candy Man can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good!

However, the single most defining and unifying moment for us as his fans with the collective name of “Arch Angels”, started when David placed his hand over his heart at the end of his performance of Angels. With that tiny gesture – we were goners. While in past seasons we may have supported our favorite contestants, it usually ended with a phone call to place a vote. Finally, here was someone who found a way to communicate acknowledgment of that support beyond the barriers of an artificial studio set with a simple, genuine, heart-felt non-verbal cue.

Awakening: The American Idol Tour

Who can take a rainbow, wrap it in a sigh,
Soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie?
The Candy Man can…..

David Archuleta by DavidArchuletaIsMyGuitarHero.

David’s emergence from the bubble of the AI show and his interaction with people became apparent from the very first show. Early grainy Youtube videos captured not only his skill at singing but the crowd’s emotive reaction to David as the piano emerged on stage with the first strains of
Angels. By the end of his set – When You Say You Love Me – participant and viewer alike – scarcely anyone was left unaffected in his wake.

This ultimate breakthrough led to fans seeking him out by the buses. As word spread about how nice he was to everyone via fan reports and videos, the widening circle of falling in “like” with David became evident. Somewhere along the journey David for us, transitioned from just a cute talented singer to a really good friend.

Love Affair

The Candy Man makes everything he bakes satisfying and delicious. Talk about your childhood wishes…you can even eat the dishes… 🙂

Thus began one of the greatest love affairs of Summer 2008. In show after show, city after city, talk show after talk show, critic after critic, non-fan after non-fan – once again, almost everyone who came within smiling or singing distance of David simply fell under his spell. They came bearing tokens of love – gifts, letters, scrapbooks, and accounts of touched or changed lives. Along with merely liking David, the longer one remains exposed to his personality or music, a seemingly compulsive need develops to reciprocate appreciation for the untold pleasure his talent and personality provides on a day to day basis. We worry about if he is eating well or getting enough rest through his now hectic schedule. He also activates our protective instincts if we even get whiff of an oncoming hurt in the making.

One day without him feels like an eternity at times. Why do we feel this way about David? Why do we withstand inclement weather and stand in line for hours just for an opportunity to see him perform live or simply get a 5-second autograph, picture or if we’re really lucky – a hug? Why do we salivate over any tidbit of new information about him? Finally, even without meaning t0 – why do others new to him get drawn into this singular vortex of affection?

Epilogue: The Heart Goes On

Who can take tomorrow, dip it in a dream
Separate the sorrow and collect up all the cream?
The Candy Man, oh the Candy Man can…

David Archuleta by Liz Archuleta.

In some intangible, unexplainable way, the aura of David seems ten times more affective than the average person. It spreads undiluted from his presence to ours and at the end of each exposure – he leaves you wanting more… of him. The affection that flows from him is manifested in the way he takes care of us – from his selection of songs with uplifting lyrics, to the quality of his delivery, to defying security instructions if it comes between his fan interaction time, to blogging extensively and now tweeting regularly about his day to day activities.

David’s greatest gift as a person is cultivating a sense of intimacy. We cannot get enough of his “genuineness” in an era of me-centered celebrities. Its as if you just want to bottle it up to save for a rainy day. At this moment of our history with daily bombardment of negative news – wars, failing economies and increasing cynicism, David’s likeability reaches out to us like a ray of sunshine and makes us hold on for dear life.

In the words of Bebereader a regular commenter here on TDC:

“You want your heart to be healed, take a dose of Angels. You need to be uplifted to the clouds, take a dose of ZG. If you want to feel that someone is there for you, have a little Somebody Out There or a dose of Save The Day. Whatever your emotion, David Archuleta is the cure! And he’s the best tasting medicine I’ve ever had!”

The Candy Man can cause he mixes it with love to make the world taste good!

final-hands_heartsDavid Archuleta is a real-life Candy Man, because he mixes everything he does with a generous portion of love. For us, his fans, just that extra helping of love makes all the difference and separates him from the rest. Just that extra helping of love sweetens the drudgery of our lives and enables a more bearable existence in this world. I sometimes wonder if this mere 18 year-old young man is aware that he unknowingly shoulders the balance of joy he brings to our lives. Thank You David – you’re one in a million and you’ll always have our backs. After all – they don’t call us your Arch Angels for nothing!

Love, Peace – Joymus

Please enjoy this rendition of The Candy Man by Sammy Davis Jr.