David Archuleta recently shared how his experience competing on American Idol in 2008 as a teenager traumatized him. Yet, when American Idol called, the singer agreed to appear on the show’s “Great American Idol Reunion” special last spring to help the show celebrate its 20 year anniversary.
Now, David shares with PopCrave how returning to American Idol earlier this year was healing, and also a lot of fun.
David admitted, “I can’t watch American Idol, really. I’m trying to again. I’m trying to find my healing, but it’s hard for me because it brings back so much stress. It makes me kind of shaky because it was an experience that had a huge effect on my family.”
The press jumped on his dad, who was managing the 17 year old’s career at the time. “You’re talking about this person, but he’s also the father of several other kids. My mom’s trying to figure out things with him, I’m trying to figure out things with him, and my dad’s trying to figure out things himself. How do you figure out family issues when you’re having the most amount of attention on you that you’ve ever had?”
He added, “You don’t have a moment to yourself, and you don’t have privacy. I don’t know how to come to peace with that yet. Going back, it was really scary for me because I couldn’t get out of that mentality.”
In your head for some reason, you think everyone’s mad at you
Returning to the show was scary at first. David believed that people were mad at him. “It was a lot for me to take in, but going there and seeing some of the people again, having them hug me… I don’t know. In your head for some reason, you think everyone’s mad at you. I don’t know why, but just in my head, it felt like everyone who had worked there had something against me. I felt like I had to be guarded, I was scared,”
At first, he regretted the decision to participate in the show. “I was getting anxiety attacks and stuff because I’m like, “I don’t wanna be here! I don’t wanna do this! Why am I here?” I can’t watch any reality TV because of it, actually. I just can’t. It’s too much for me.”
“‘Oh, I actually have good memories as well!’ Like, I have fond memories.”
But then, meeting his fellow alums, who had the same experiences as he did, plus the warm welcome from the people backstage, helped him remember the GOOD memories. “… but seeing other contestants who went through the same thing, and seeing the producers that I worked with and realizing, ‘Oh, I actually have good memories as well!’ Like, I have fond memories. I got along with these people, these are my friends, and they’re happy for me, they’re excited to see me! It was really healing.”
“I don’t know why, but for some reason you think people hate you, and I don’t even know why! I have no idea why I was feeling like that, but it was nice to go back. The fact that they let me have a moment with those girls… They were all such good sports. It was a lot of fun!”
“Those girls” were the kids who went viral on YouTube after David lost the competition to David Cook. Only tweenagers at the time, the roomful of girls screamed and cried and freaked out for several minutes after Ryan Seacrest announced the winner. The group, now grown up, had a little Idol reunion of their own on camera. Word is, they’ve forgiven David Cook!
At the time, David was still on vocal rest after vocal surgery to repair throat damage. He’s fine now!
The new interview also delved into David’s journey after coming out as LGBT last year, his new “liberating” single “Faith in Me” and his upcoming Christmas tour. Over the summer, David starred in a Utah production of the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.