American Idol | News

David Archuleta Sings the Crap Out of "Imagine"

There's one clear front-runner in American Idol: David Archuleta. The teenager could win the whole thing. Unless, of course, Paula Abdul gets to him first. Last night a teary-eyed Paula told Archuleta: "David, you are ridiculous. I wanted to squish you, squeeze your head off, and dangle you from my rear-view mirror. You are, no, honest to god, that is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and one of the most moving performances I've ever heard."

And here's the latest gossip on a couple of the other men:


The folks over at have dug up photos of David Hernandez slinging drinks at recently-closed gay Phoenix nightclub Burn.


And there has been some speculation going on as to whether or not rocker Robbie Carrico is wearing a rug:

Carrico"TMZ has learned the 26-year-old long-haired wannabe's mane is actually a wig and it's got "Idol" staffers flipping out. Sources tell us Robbie never talks about his matted down piece and that makes production members feel like it's the blonde elephant in the room. It seems Simon was right last night -- Robbie is a fake!"

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  1. The kid sucks.

    Posted by: Bud | Feb 27, 2008 3:37:16 PM

  2. I knew we could count on you, Andy, I've been checking to see all day if you would post it!

    The kid's musicality is impeccable. Combine that with his easy sincerity, genuine humility, and indelible presence, and you have yourself a bona-fide phenom.

    His name is spreading like wildfire already, and deservedly so. Here's hoping young David can navigate what is almost certain to be a meteoric rise to stardom--I'll wager like nothing we've yet seen from AI (whether he wins it or not)--with intelligence and grace.

    What a pleasure to have him as an entertainer in our midst.

    Posted by: rascal | Feb 27, 2008 3:47:18 PM

  3. How have you not posted about Danny Noriega yet? He's young, fabulously gay, and totally proud. He also has an amazing voice.

    Posted by: Jon B | Feb 27, 2008 3:50:37 PM

  4. He does not suck. He is a good singer, a cute boy, and seems like a nice person. Not a jaw-dropping kind of performance, but genuine. Thats what counts and it shows he has great potential.

    Posted by: Wes | Feb 27, 2008 3:53:44 PM

  5. David Archuleta = meh.

    Posted by: Brett | Feb 27, 2008 4:00:18 PM

  6. The kid is a natural born singer. His delivery is so sincere and effortless. It's like he's been singing for 30 years. He doesn't need to win Idol. He's already got a great career ahead of him.

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 27, 2008 4:05:29 PM

  7. There's no doubt that David Archuleta can sing, but I think it's funny that people like RASCAL above are so taken by his awww-shucks charm and humility. It's an act. The kid is already a pro. He won Star Search for gawd's sake. In fact, he sang "Imagine" on Star Search! I remember seeing David perform on the Rosie O'Donnel show. American Idol was supposed to be about discovering undiscovered talent. This kid was already discovered a long time ago.

    As for David Hernandez, I live in Phoenix and went to Burn a lot. It is well known that most of the bartenders there were straight so that doesn't automatically mean he's gay. However, he was a stripper too at Dick's Cabaret so it seems likely.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 27, 2008 4:11:45 PM

  8. He took every true note out of that song and replaced it with vocalizations.

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 27, 2008 4:13:14 PM

  9. That performance really doesn't show what the kid can do, really a great singer. Hernandez has had his moments of hotness, I was actually shocked when I saw the pics of him this morning online. As far as I know he has never really denied being gay, he could be out and proud for all we know. Of course there's always straight guys that bartend at gay bars all over..

    Posted by: davey | Feb 27, 2008 4:19:12 PM

  10. Mike's right. The kid can sing, but he should not be singing that song. "Imagine" should be poignant and understated, not full of pop cliche and ornamentation.

    Posted by: Chip | Feb 27, 2008 4:27:20 PM

  11. How have you not posted about Danny Noriega yet? He's young, fabulously gay, and totally proud. He also has an amazing voice.

    Maybe because he's an annoying, affected, neck-swiveling twink with way too much attitude for a teen.

    Posted by: secretagentman | Feb 27, 2008 4:36:45 PM

  12. Holy crap, Crispy, you're right! This thing is rigged! The kid not only sang songs before this competition, he actually sang them in front of other people! Sometimes there were even cameras there! So bogus. And let's not forget all that fame and fortune the winners of Junior Star Search get (you know, of course, that the only reason all the other Junior Star Search winners are not household names is because they become so wealthy on their residuals and royalties that they retired at thirteen).

    And oh, yeah, all that blushing and stammering--what a crock. The kid's a better actor than he even is a singer!

    Posted by: rascal | Feb 27, 2008 4:36:45 PM

  13. Second both your comments Chip and Mike. I would have preferred if he had had the courage/artistry to sing the song "straight," i.e., without the pop vocal inflections. He obviously knows how to play to the three judges, however. He is a pro, in that regard, with an aw shucks demeanor. As an old friend once joked, "Once you can fake sincerity, you've got it made." Nevertheless, his talent is undeniable.

    Posted by: rudy | Feb 27, 2008 4:37:20 PM

  14. Anyone who says that boy can't sing--can't judge talent. I would watch the show except they have those three stooges for judges. I hope young David wins--although I haven't seen any of the other contestants.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 27, 2008 4:38:51 PM

  15. For all of you guys who are complaining that AI isn't "real", guess what? There's also no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny.

    Of course it's not real! There's not a single 'reality' show on television that's real. Reality is boring.

    Posted by: wetcnt | Feb 27, 2008 4:57:31 PM

  16. Yea, WETCNT, a real reality television show would just be a bunch of people sitting around a television... watching reality TV.

    Posted by: Wes | Feb 27, 2008 5:11:53 PM

  17. I wouldn't go so far to say the show is rigged, but there are all several ringers this year with professional music pasts. I think it threatens the show's already fragile credibility.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 27, 2008 5:15:34 PM

  18. Not an AI fan, but, that bar looks packed,cute bartenders too, I wonder why it closed?

    Posted by: Sebastian | Feb 27, 2008 5:29:33 PM

  19. Hm, not any talent scouts in the comments sections, I see. You guys are harsh! lol David's an obvious star-in-the-making, and his vocals were fantastic. Yes, you could get into an argument over the finer points of the song being more "real" as sung by Lennon, but Archuleta really did sing beautifully. My gripe is...he (on his own, or at FOX's urging?) deliberately left out the controversial lyrics about religion and war. I would like to know who decided to do that, because—and this does have a lot more to do with the song's true meaning than quibbles about inflection—without those lyrics, it's just a spectacular vocal exercise and not the same, meaningful song. I'd still vote for him to win. As for the gay-bar bartender, I wouldn't peg him as gay, but he was a close 2nd last night. (Did I mention I hate this show and, um, never watch?)

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Feb 27, 2008 6:03:45 PM

  20. David A is a great singer and adorable. He's a sure top contender. Danny is also great and truly awesome for being out and proud. It's really depressing to see those that would condemn him for his demeanor. Shame on you guys.

    As for David H: I've thought he wasn't straight since the beginning. It's not only because he's good looking. Really, working at a gay club as a bartender means nothing. But it's pretty rare for a straight to work at a strip joint. I'm thinking he's not straight.

    (Oh, and "straight" guys that work at gay clubs aren't 0's on the Kinsey scale. Capiche?)

    Posted by: Rob (lrdarystar) | Feb 27, 2008 6:22:30 PM

  21. I'm sorry, but I have to agree that David is a superstar in the making -- and so what if he has been in the making for a while?

    I'm very critical of a lot of the melismatic chenanigans that go on in pop music these days, but David's interpretation worked, and blew me away. It was just enough to make the song new and not too much to obscure the original melody.

    As to not singing the religion and war lyrics... check out his version of the same song when he was 13 (it's on youtube). As he was on a stage where the floor announced "Good Things, Utah" (what is that, Mormon Martha Stewart?) I expected him not to sing "no religion, too" -- but he sang it, and if he can sing it there, I don't think the AI Hollywood stage performance of only verse 3 means anything.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Feb 27, 2008 6:32:01 PM

  22. Since when are contestants having any kind of musical background NOT allowed on AI?? That doesn't make sense. As far as I know, the only stipulations they have for those auditioning is that they be within the age range and have no criminal record.

    AI only represents itself as finding people with talent and offering them the chance to truly make it big in front of millions of viewers. And they seem to be accomplishing that with David Archuletta (and others), no matter what his background. I don't see that as being "rigged" at all.

    Posted by: Jon | Feb 27, 2008 6:32:45 PM

  23. Jon, American Idol definitely has more rules than just age and criminal records. Contestants are not allowed to have current record deals or talent management agreements. Several contestants this season have previous record deals, but are no longer under contract. That's how they got in. At least two of them have even changed their stage names. Technically, they aren't breaking the rules. But like I said, I think it makes the show a little less credible.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 27, 2008 7:11:00 PM

  24. "Once you can fake sincerity, you've got it made." Thanks, Rudy! NOW I understand why you're so besotted with the Dali Obama. :- )

    But back to the youngin’ [and, yes, I LOATHE AI, too, for all the reasons mentioned so I give thanks yet again for YouTube—I think he is sincere in his response to his performances—where is it that written knowing you’re talented and still being moved by people appreciating it must be mutually exclusive? Of course, such freshness wouldn’t last long around you cynical bitches.

    As for his performance of this song, THANK GOD someone erased painful memories of John Lennon’s monotonic, dentist drill delivery. Though Lennon wasn’t nearly as bad, Dylan proved long ago that a great lyricist does not a great singer make.

    Actually, Miss Patti had managed to to make the song more appealing that just for its lyrics with a 1985 performance that will REALLY be hated by those who dislike anyone straying from Mr. Lennon’s native melody, melisma, and glissandi. WARNING: extreme Pattifying and filling it with the Holy Ghost.

    [and for pure amusement here’s another example of a singer, however talented, foolishly trying to duet with Miss P at her peak—how do you say “Oh My Fucking God” in Italian?]

    I didn’t enjoy as much the performance below by an understandably uncomfortable Bill Clinton even if it was with 40 Jewish and 40 Arab children.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Feb 27, 2008 7:20:55 PM

  25. Blah, emotionless and boring. He took all the feeling and vulnerability out of the original. I feel bad for John Lennon.

    Posted by: JLS | Feb 27, 2008 7:31:56 PM

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