“American Idol” alum David Archuleta is coming clean about his experience in the long-running Fox singing competition.
Although many up-and-coming artists credited “Idol” to giving them their big start, Archuleta recently admitted to Variety that he was “miserable” while filming the show.
“I get afraid to blame things on ‘American Idol,’ because something in me is programmed to say, ‘I have to be grateful, because where would I be without it?'” he said. “But at the same time, I’ve talked to other ‘American Idol’ contestants about how we all have trust issues. Like: ‘You can’t trust anyone anymore, not even your own family.’ That’s what we were told.”
Archuleta described the show as “like some weird grooming process, from the very first audition, the way that they were speaking to us, kind of like, ‘You’re powerless little bugs. If you step out of line, then you’re out of here, and you’re going to lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.'”
Archuleta Felt ‘Disconnected’ During His ‘American Idol’ Run
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Archuleta, now 30, said the experience was “traumatic” to him when he made the semi-finals of season seven when he was only 16 years old.
Although he was the runner-up behind winner David Cook on season seven, he said it was a “miserable” experience behind the scenes because most of the other contestants had a nervous breakdown during filming.
Former “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson praised Archuleta after one of his performances, saying he was “born to do exactly what you’re doing.” However, Archuleta said that he mentally rejected the praise, and admitted that he couldn’t stop thinking “I don’t want to be here anymore.”
“I felt so disconnected from everything,” Archuleta continued. “Like, 13 years later, I’m piecing together what actually was going on. But it’s still a process because I still don’t understand why people were so into it.”
He continued, “I think I was just in protection mode the whole time. If anything, I was putting a wall between me and everyone else.”
David Archuleta Reveals He Is A Member Of The LGBTQIA+ Community
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Archuleta said that, while he was on the show, it was uncomfortable to have “older male fans” commenting on and guessing at his sexuality. Some fans even made bets as to whether or not he was gay or straight.
Earlier this year, Archuleta revealed that he identifies as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, but he is still taking the time to figure out his identity. Although he came out as gay in 2014, he later stated that was on a “spectrum of bisexual.” He also floated the idea that he might be asexual, but he is still not sure how to describe his sexuality.
After his time on “American Idol,” Archuleta released his first single, “Crush.” He later appeared on Nickelodeon’s “iCarly.” He has also put out the seasonal holiday hit “Christmas Every Day” in 2018.