‘American Idol’ notes: David Archuleta interview (City Winery Atlanta 12/10), Kelly Clarkson, Lauren Alaina, Simon Cowell

Originally posted Friday, November 29, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

David Archuleta, about to turn 29, has a birthday planted right between two major holidays: Christmas and New Year's.

That was just fine with him as a kid.

"I didn't want to make a big deal about it," Archuleta said in a recent interview to promote his City Winery Atlanta Christmas tour appearance December 10. (Tickets sold here  but looks sold out) "I didn't have to get as much attention."

He also admitted that decisiveness was not his strong suit:  “I didn’t know what I wanted for my birthday.”

But Christmas itself remains a joyous time for Archuleta, which is why he has released a deluxe version of his second Christmas album "Winter in the Air" with three extra tracks.

He added "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole, an a cappella version of "Still Still Still" and a cover of N Sync's "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" with help from members Lance Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick in the video. His "aw shucks" sweetness has not changed from his time on "Idol" in 2008.

“It’s meant to be cheesy,” he said.

Archuleta has done multiple Christmas tours in recent years and it works for him. “It’s become a thing I do and I love it,” he said. “I like to provide a place where people can gather and have fun and sing along while also having some more sacred moments as well.”

He has plans for an album of originals in 2020 he has largely finished. But he said he has struggled with indecision, a major bugaboo of his.

“I get paralyzed,” Archuleta said. “I have these mental walls I run into. Why does this keep happening? Sometimes I go and do some therapy to understand why I keep freezing. I left my fears get to me. I worry too much. I would get frustrated. I’m an adult. Why does this keep happening? I’ve always been a worrier, very self conscious.”

He realizes this causes him to miss opportunities. “I want to live my adult life the fullest, he said. “Try new things, push myself forward.”

This issue not only affects his professional life but also his personal one as well.

Archuleta, currently single, wouldn’t mind having a family at some point. “I just think it’d be beautiful,” he said. “Once again, fears come up. Uh oh. If I get close to someone, something wrong or bad will happen.”

He has not gotten onto dating apps, though his sister met her husband that way. “I have set up profiles,” he said. “But then it gets to the point where I need to put up a picture. I stop.”

He worries that someone wants to meet him merely because of his fame. “To be honest, I’m often more afraid of the people who like me than than those who don’t,” he said. “I worry I will disappoint them.”

He said his next batch of songs address this.

Archuleta is also happy that Kelly Clarkson has found success with her talk show. "She has the right personality for that," he said. "She's personable and herself."

When he was just 11 years old, he attended the “American Idol” season one finale that Clarkson won six years before he came in second. “Before the results, I met and got to sing with her,” he said. “It was a fun moment.”


David Archuleta

8 p.m., Tuesday, December 10, 2019

City Winery Atlanta

650 North Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

www.citywinery.com (you may have to go on third-party sites to get tickets because it appears sold out)


“The Kelly Clarkson Show” opened strong in September and two months later, it remains a top 4 show among syndicated daytime talk shows, ahead of “Maury,” “Rachael Ray” and “The Wendy Williams Show.”

It’s the first big daytime syndicated hit since “The Steve Harvey Show’ In 2012, which she effectively replaced on NBCUniversal, which distributes the show.

Amazingly, WSB-TV chose first to place her at 2:05 a.m., the only major market station to not give her a daytime slot in America. The ABC affiliate changed its mind quickly after strong initial reaction and by mid-October, she was on at 10 a.m.

According to Variety magazine:

The "American Idol" alum's strong start is adding more fuel to the renewed fire in the first-run syndication business. After a few fallow years, distributors are slowly but surely taking bigger swings with boldface names in an effort to seed a new generation of personalities. Drew Barrymore and Nick Cannon are among the notables set to segue into the daytime yak pack in the fall of 2020.


Credit: NBC

Credit: NBC

Gabrielle Union, was was let go from "America's Got Talent" after just a single season, and Variety magazine did an extensive piece detailing issues she faced with management and how they dealt with her various complaints. New York magazine's Vulture added more fuel to the fire soon after.

For one, "AGT" creator and judge Simon Cowell would smoke in the neighboring green room and Union - allergic to the smoke - would complain. But nothing was done. It's against California law to smoke inside any workplace, ignored with aplomb by Cowell.

She also complained about a joke guest judge Jay Leno did when he was taping an interstitial in front of a photo of Cowell with his dogs, noting that it looked like a "menu at a Korean restaurant," according to four people at the show. She asked it be reported to HR but it was simply cut from the show itself.

There were other race-related issues detailed in the Vulture story.

The story also said she and the other judge fired Julianne Hough had been subjected to excessive hair checks.

In general, Union was let go because producers perceived her “difficult,” the Vulture story said. She had a three-year contract with the show providing options each year. Love B Scott broke the story about her firing.

“AGT” didn’t address the allegations specifically but provide this general statement:

"America's Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT's enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously."

"AGT" has seen ratings declines since Howard Stern left and the finale drew 10 million viewers, down from 13 million a year earlier.


Credit: David Livingston

Credit: David Livingston

Lauren Alaina, who just finished fourth on "Dancing With the Stars" this past season, is holding a benefit concert to raise funds for St. Jude's Children's Hospital on Friday, December 13 at the Atlanta Coliseum, which is actually in Duluth right by the ghostly Gwinnett Place Mall and the 24-hour Korean spa Jeju. The concert hall used to be Wild Bill's and I interviewed Alaina before a concert she had there many many years ago.

You can buy tickets here starting at just $17.

Alaina is also doing a regular concert at Buckhead Theatre Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets here. 


Not surprisingly, Layla Spring from season 16 won the ticket to Hollywood after competing during the "AMAs. The results were revealed by Lionel Richie on the "DWTS" finale this past Monday.  Shawn Robinson of Duluth was one of the three finalists.


Mediabase 24/7 airplay hit check on “Idol” alums

Maddie Poppe "Not Losing You," 35-32 Hot AC

Adam Lambert "Superpower" 40-40 Hot AC

Kelly Clarkson "Underneath the Tree" 33 Holiday music

Scotty McCreery "In Between" 33-31 Country

Gabby Barrett "I Hope" 39-36 Country

Carrie Underwood "Drinking Alone" 46-43 Country (by far, by the way, her least country-sounding song ever released to country radio)

Fantasia "PTSD" 25-20 Urban AC

Danny Gokey "Wanted" 37-38 Christian AC


Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke of the week.

Covering “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith.

Covering “Bittersweet Symphony” The Verve

Kelly with Garth Brooks: “Ain’t Going Down Til the Sun Comes Up.”