It has been almost three years since David Archuleta was voted first runner up on Season 7 of “American Idol,” but it’s a part of his life he will never forget.
Today, Archuleta, 20, has transferred his success on the popular TV talent show into a professional solo singing career. His most recent album, The Other Side of Down, was released by Jive Records in October 2010.
Currently, Archuleta, who is of Honduran decent from his mother’s side, is helping promote the new season of “American Idol” (Season 10), which premiered last week with 26 million viewers tuning in.
During an interview with me, Archuleta talked about the type of changes he anticipates now that longtime judge Simon Cowell is no longer on the show and why he has always embraced his Latinos roots as a performer.
“American Idol” airs every Wednesday and Thursday on Fox at 7 p.m.
How do you think the tone of “American Idol” will change now that Simon Cowell is no longer a judge?
I think having a rock legend like Steven Tyler and a Latina like Jennifer Lopez is going to bring a different audience to the show. I think the chemistry these new judges are going to have is going to have a more professional vibe. They’re going to work more together instead of arguing. I think they’re really going to work to help these performers.
When you were on the show during Season 7, what was it like to perform on stage each and every week?
It was sometimes very overwhelming. At the same time, it was amazing because music can say so much. Having the opportunity to share that with so many people was really neat. I don’t even know what a million people looks like, so to think about that many people watching me sing, I couldn’t believe it. It was a huge blessing.
What do you think about these new rule changes for Season 10? Now contestants can audition for the show online instead of in front of the judges.
I think they’ll be able to get a lot more people because there are those that aren’t able to afford going to auditions in different cities. Sometimes their schedules don’t work for them if they have jobs. I had to quit my job to go for my audition. I think it’ll allow the show to find a whole new group of talented singers.
You’ve been singing your entire life, so I’m just wondering, did you wake up one day freaking out when you’re voice started changing?
(Laughs) I think my voice has gotten a little lower, which is a good thing. But I just naturally have a high voice. I used to sing probably an octave higher when I was 13 than I do now. I think part of the way I sound is because of the paralyzed vocal cord thing I went through, but it’s part of the reason that I sing the way I sing. It’s been a blessing in disguise. But I never really noticed a big change to my voice. (Laughs) I think I’m still waiting for it to get a bit lower.
You sang at the Tejano Music Awards last year and also for the Somos El Mundo Haiti relief benefit. When did your Latino background become something you embraced as a performer?
I think it’s something that I’ve always felt close to. I’ve always felt close to my mom’s side of the family and that culture. I love how the Latino culture is family orientated. Everyone has big hearts and is very emotional. Plus, I grew up with that music (Archuleta’s mother is a salsa singer and dancer from Honduras). I’ve always kept that in my mind since I was little. The first language my mom would speak and sing to us was Spanish. I wish I was more fluent than I am, but I always take pride in my roots.
Will you be participating in the new season of “American Idol” in some capacity?
I would like to. In the last two years they’ve invited me to come back. It’s always been unexpected. I would love to come back. It’s always fun to see the people who work on the show. It’s fun to reminisce and let the new contestants know they can talk to someone who knows what they are going through.