Former American Idol fan-favorite reveals how the show traumatized him

David Cook and David Archuleta on American Idol
David Cook and David Archuleta on American Idol. Pic credit: Fox

One of the best seasons in American Idol history came in the seventh.

This was the season that the finals came down to 26-year-old rock singer David Cook against 17-year-old David Archuleta.

In the finals, Cook sang I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Dream Big, and The World I Know.

Archuleta sang Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, In This Moment, and Imagine.

The fans chose David Cook as the winner, but those finals showed two amazing singers.

David Cook went on to release four studio albums, and two EPs, while also headlining four tours.

Archuleta had a much bigger career, with eight studio albums. However, it wasn’t easy on him.

David Archuleta talks American Idol trauma

David was a teenager when he was catapulted into the spotlight thanks to American Idol.

In an interview with Variety, he said he wasn’t ready for this.

“I felt so disconnected from everything,” David said in the interview. “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.”

David said what really threw him back was that people were saying he should come out of the closet. This shook him up as a 17-year-old lifelong member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.

“I think I was just in protection mode the whole time,” he said. “If anything, I was putting a wall between me and everyone else.”

David said that the fame and comments people were making made him “miserable” and that he considers it a “traumatic” experience.

“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?'” Archuleta said.

“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.”

He compared it to grooming that started with the first audition.

“I had a wonderful time working with David and was totally unaware of his grievances,” American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe said. “I’m so sorry he has a bad recollection of his experiences on the show. He did so well in the competition, and his battle with David Cook provided an extremely exciting Finale.”

David Archuleta comes out as asexual

David finally took a step to reclaim his life this year when he came out as asexual to the world and offered his representation to the LGBTQIA+ community.

“I’ve been open to myself and my close family for some years now that I am not sure about my own sexuality,” David wrote on Instagram. “I came out in 2014 as gay to my family. But then I had similar feelings for both genders so maybe a spectrum of bisexual.”

“Then I also have learned I don’t have too much sexual desires and urges as most people ?which works I guess because I have a commitment to save myself until marriage ?. Which people call asexual when they don’t experience sexual urges.”

David also talked about this announcement as part of his religious beliefs.

“I don’t think it should come down to feeling you have to accept one or the other. For me to find peace the reality has been to accept both are real things I experience and make who I am,” David wrote. “I’ve yet to figure out what that means but I appreciate you listening to this personal matter.”

“Again I don’t feel comfortable sharing it, but felt I needed [sic] to bring more awareness to people in my same situation and let you know you’re not alone. You can be part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still believe in God and His gospel plan.”

American Idol will return to ABC on February 27, 2022.

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