‘Idol’ runner-up David Archuleta is poised for record debut

By Elysa Gardner

Those who followed David Archuleta’s rise on American Idol won’t be surprised that the Season 7 runner-up is a little nervous about his self-titled first album, out Tuesday.

“I haven’t had a ton of recording experience,” the 17-year-old singer says. “Sometimes I feel like, ‘Wow, I don’t know anything at all.’ ”

Archuleta’s naive, somewhat fragile persona helped endear him to Idol viewers, even if he was bested by the edgier, older David Cook. But discussing his debut, Archuleta is savvy enough to emphasize that he worked under certain restrictions, even as he expresses gratitude.

“We didn’t have a lot of time,” Archuleta says. “People were expecting it to come out before we got started. But it was humbling to work with these producers and writers who have had such success.”

Those collaborators include Andreas Carlsson, Desmond Child and new Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, as well as ‘N Sync alum JC Chasez, who was taken by Archuleta’s “strong grasp of his identity. He was always intelligent and professional. I think the world of the kid.”

Blender editor in chief Joe Levy points out that Archuleta is “both young and poised, innocent and capable. Those are good combinations.”

And, as the Jonas Brothers and others have proven, potentially lucrative ones. “When you sell records made by teenagers to teenagers, you can sell a lot of music. David has shown himself to be a people-pleaser.”

Not that the tender star has avoided controversy. There was the flap surrounding his father and manager, Jeff Archuleta, who was banned backstage in Idol’s waning weeks.

“That was rough,” the younger Archuleta says. The uproar was “rude and weird, because my dad is so laid-back. There are still people who think he’s abusing me or something. I don’t think they realize I’m almost 18.”

Archuleta’s more ardent fans recognize his youth, but in a more “respectful” way. When he performed on the Idols Live tour, “there wasn’t any underwear thrown on the stage, though that happened to some of the other kids.” At least not until the final show, when his former rival and buddy Cook lobbed panties at him, Archuleta says, giggling.

Fame hasn’t had a profound impact on Archuleta’s love life, either. “I’ve gone on dates, but nothing serious,” says the devout Mormon. “If you rush into going steady, you don’t meet other people.

“It’s like, you may think this one ice cream place is the best in the world, but then you try Graeter’s or Cold Stone, and you think, ‘My God, what have I been missing?’ ”

Source: www.usatoday.com

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~ by archuletafanscene on November 7, 2008.

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