Whatever Happened To David Archuleta From American Idol?

American Idol‘s first run spawned a lot of incredible stars. There was something special about the first few seasons’ contestants. They were wholesome, real, endearing, and messy all at the same time. To their credit, most of them had the talent it took to work in professional music beyond their time on the show.

David Archuleta was one of those special, talented young contestants. He was just 16 years old when he competed in the reality singing competition’s seventh season, according to USA Today blog, Idol Chatter. As a minor, David had to have a parent on set with him. That proved to be a problem when tensions arose between the show’s crew and David’s dad, Jeff Archuleta.

The drama that took place on and off camera stayed with David for years. He doesn’t look back at his time on American Idol fondly, though he’s admitted he doesn’t exactly regret it either.

David Archuleta has been open about his trauma from his time on American Idol

In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, David Archuleta opened up about having PTSD from his time on the series. “I think that there’s something about reality TV shows that’s a very interesting, unique experience, and it has its own kind of PTSD that comes with it,” he said. 

“You’re basically a character on a TV show, and parts of it are worked so that it fits the TV show — but they’re using your personal life. So you become this character, but it’s with your own name, parts of who you actually are, but other parts that are portrayed in a way that you’re not actually. Then everyone feels like they know you, and they know what you are, and they know how to treat you, and have certain expectations … This was years ago, right? But there’s still certain things about us that we still had certain little tics that we’re paranoid about certain things. … Eight, nine, 10, 11 years later, we’re still kind of stuck in some of those patterns of thinking.”

David Archuleta hasn't let that stop him from enjoying music

David Archuleta worked out some of the mental health struggles he experienced as a result of his time on American Idol through music. In 2020, he released his eighth studio album, Therapy Sesssions, per The Tampa Bay Times. He feels like the reflective album will help a lot of people through everything going on in the world right now.

“I was just writing about my own therapy sessions,” Archuleta explained. “A lot of that had to do with uncertainty, fear, having courage, feeling down, feeling lost, like, What do I do now? And now everyone is going through that.”

He says that the pace of his career today eases some of pain from old American Idol wounds and even those that predated the show. He’s content with where he’s at and how he’s handling himself. “I’m a happy person, even with all the frustrations, even with all the anxiety that has never gone away,” he said. “Here I am 12 years later, and I’m still here, and I’m alright.”

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