Archuleta loses 'American Idol,' may have won career

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Team coverageMuch to the dismay of his fans, Utah's favorite son is not America's Idol.

Even though his Utah fans are a little sad this morning, don't feel bad for David Archuleta. He's not taking the second-place finish too hard. Archuleta says he feels more relieved than anything.

"I just can't believe that I made it this far. I didn't even know I'd make it past the first round, for Pete's sake," he said.

He lost "American Idol" but won a career, anyway.

KSL Newsradio's Paul Nelson was the only Utah radio news reporter in Hollywood for the Idol finale. He reports that you don't have to win American Idol to go far in the recording industry.

Even an American Idol castoff can become an international superstar. Idol Producer Nigel Lythgoe said that's been proven by Daughtry. Daughtry didn't win American Idol and he was still the biggest-selling U.S. artist in the country last year.

Lythgoe says he thinks David Archuleta has become a star. "He's got a beautiful quality about his voice that is so melodic, and I think as time goes by he'll actually grow into his talent."

Lythgoe says Archuleta is more talented than his age gives him credit for.

Meanwhile, Fox producers plan to meet more Utahns for the next season of American Idol. Salt Lake City has been chosen as an audition city. Lythgoe says it's because of the talent he saw while holding Salt Lake auditions for "So You Think You Can Dance."

"There's so much talent, so much talent in Salt Lake City. I said, 'We have got to take American Idol there.' So, [I'm] really looking forward to coming back to Salt Lake City," he said.

In the Hollywood round of American Idol, David Archuleta quickly became a judge favorite. Just about every week, Randy went nuts.

David was sometimes criticized, but overall, he overwhelmed the judges week after week.

For many people, last night's announcement of the winner was a disappointing end to a long, hopeful Idol season. The hometown favorite lost by 12 million votes to Missouri's David Cook. Thousands of people watched the heartbreak from the EnergySolutions Arena.

A lot of people thought Archuleta had the win in the bag. There were a lot of surprised, upset, confused, faces in the crowd last night.

We also ran into David Archuleta's grandfather, James Archuleta, who, more than anything else, was proud.

"David probably has achieved the goal he set when he was a young boy, to be able to reach many people with his music," he said.

James Archuleta said his family was, of course, disappointed in the outcome, but they know he will move on. Despite losing, Archuleta's family was happy to see so many people supporting their boy.

"It's a tribute to David and what kind of a young man he is," James Archuleta said.

The EnergySolutions Arena was packed with fans hoping for a better result, but it just wasn't in the cards for Archuleta last night. His supporters came out of the arena with their posters and huge signs, disappointed, maybe a little depressed, but still cheering for their idol. Many walked out visibly upset and sobbing.

Cheyenne Marquez said, "I really don't think that David Cook deserved it. I think David Archuleta deserved it so much more. He's come so far!"

One fan we spoke to voted for Archuleta 2,000 times. Another girl voted for him 500 times. But in the end, it just wasn't enough.

Some of his high school classmates believe this could be a good thing since Archuleta could spend more time with his family now.



E-mail: ngonzales


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