Archuleta dad mired in accusations of being horrible stage parent

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 22nd 2008 11:23AM
David ArchuletaIs Jeff Archuleta, father to American Idol wunderkind David, a supporting father figure or the "stage dad" from hell. There have been quite a few reports simmering all season that he's been very heavy-handed in steering his son's fate on the show, from dictating song choices to bringing the young crooner to tears backstage. Reports are that Jeff was banned from the backstage area during David's Star Search tenure for attempting to "psych out" the other contestants.

Now, former Star Seach judge Naomi Judd is coming out backing up the claims that at least on that show, Jeff Archuleta was a horrible "stage dad," who at one point had to be put in the security guard's box to stop him. The last report to come out about Papa Archuleta's antics came during a recording session of "We Can Work It Out," the Beatles song that David infamously flubbed the lyrics to during the live performance. Supposedly, Jeff wasn't pleased with David's performance and brought him to tears with his criticisms. Maybe that means the Idol staffers have managed to shush him.

There's a lot more out there about him harassing the eventual Star Search winner Tiffany Evans with late-night phone calls and physical intimidation. I always feel bad for kids with stage parents, be they beauty pageant contestants or talent show contestants like we have here. It's just so pathetic that these people will push their kids so hard to try and either realize their own dreams or cash in on their children's success.

The Idol platform is a pretty big public stage to be making an ass of yourself on so maybe that's why Archuleta Senior just sits quietly in the audience now. Or maybe he's been unfairly judged by the media. The family won't comment on the accusations either way at this time. Or maybe he's being good now because he realized that these Idol contestants are just too big for the kind of intimidation that worked so well on the Star Search contestants. Personally, I think Carly could take him.

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shawn d. morris

I personally know David Archuleta's dad and was a roommate of his before he met his beautiful wife and started his family. I ran into him in the airport last week on their way from Andrew Lloyd Webbers tutoring and I spoke to Jeff Archuleta in person and can reasure you that all of the negative comments are nothing more than media hype to try to add some drama which in turn will help them make money and sell gossip. None of the claims can be substantiated by any of the sources either so I think everyone using common sense would understand the accuracy of any negative comments about Jeff Archuleta. Jeff is nothing but a down to earth good hearted, loving guy and father. His son is 17 and the only under aged contestant on the show and therefore Jeff travels with the group as the "token parent" as he calls it and he gets along great with all of the contestants. He devotes all of his time to being with his son during this process and has an extensive musical background for which I can personally atest. He is a talented Jazz musician and helps advise his son from his immense musical knowledge. No other contestant has a Dad as involved as David Archuleta does so the media chooses to target who is available and make up anything they can to try to gain attention. All common sense people just laugh at your hype and recognize it for what it is. Concentrate on the point of the program which is the contestants performances and you will see "by their fruits you shall know them". David Archuleta has an amazing voice for his age. I never watched the show until about 2 months ago when I found out that David was my old buddy's son. Then coincidentally running into them both in an airport within the past 2 weeks and meeting David I can tell you he is just a nice kid who is really humble , like his dad, and is learning how to deal with all of the attention he gets everywhere he goes. Wouldn't you if you were 17. He is a great kid and comes as a product of his enviroment, a loving and caring home and parents and family. Wish all of america could be so fortunate. Go David and Jeff!!! Your great examples for us all.

April 29 2008 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For negative comments about DavidA; does anybody ever meet this young man? If you never met him, than shut up!!! Why d u guys pick on him? What he did to you in person? If you don't like it leave him alone, watch other video or read about comments about your idol. DavidA seems like a such nice young man. Mormon has nothing to do on this discussion, why d u bring shit stuff about him? Do something positive, just like what he does right now. If his dad is a bad Dad, DavidA won't as good as now. Nice person, he just very shy, that's all! Win or not I'll always like him, buy his records and support him as a fans should do. Go DavidA FTMFW!!!!

April 26 2008 at 12:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WOW, i can see david a. many years from now, high on cocaine and meth, screwing paris hilton in the bathroom of a club in downtown LA.

god i hope david C. wins! so at least archuleta can try to regain a normal life!

look what happened to michael jackson!

April 22 2008 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Phish's comment

You such an asshole, that will be your own future! Mess up and you'll have a poor life and lonely with your s#*% head!

April 26 2008 at 12:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
R. Jones

Yeah, pretty poor writing here. Do you edit, or have editors? Fact checkers? How about your use of "quite" as opposed to "quiet" - or were you going for "quite a few" in that opening paragraph? This is like "Are you a better writer than a 5th grader" type folly.

April 22 2008 at 7:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to R. Jones's comment

I think I made it pretty clear through that these are unsubstantiated accusations. Accusations do not mean guilt. I even state "Or maybe he's been unfairly judged by the media." Regardless, it's still a story. Michael Jackson was accused of lots of things and thus it was a media story. In the end, he's officially been cleared of everything but how many people believe that? It's just the way we are.

I love how people attack my writing mistakes (which I do regret and apologize for) when they don't like the content of a story. It's a fascinating phenomenon. Is that a "kill the messenger" response?

April 22 2008 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jason, if you haven't seen this I thought you might find it funny:

April 22 2008 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hello people, wake up, a lot of people deal with parents who pressure them. If Papa Archuletta is such a parent, who really knows and who really cares. David is dealing with stardom and all the rest of the shenanigans that go with like all of the other stars and that's that. Personally, I think there is less truth to that star search judge's remarks than presumed b/c it has not been substantiated by anyone else who worked on star search.

April 22 2008 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

David's lack of self confidence on-stage (as evident whenever he is interviewed and all he manages is nervous laughter) is most likely due to the behavior of said dad.

David sings well, but his personality is zip compared to some of the others. Yes he is younger, but youth has nothing to do with personality. I'd imagine he has been stepped on his whole life.

April 22 2008 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trevor Carpenter

It's important to note that the vocal coach, isa Mormon, like the Archuletas. I wouldn't doubt that the diatribe a few comments back is from a Mormon too.

These folks are fiercely defensive. Trained in the arts of speech and debate, they will come to each others aid, quite rapidly.

April 22 2008 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The family can't respond at this time but here's a letter written by David's voice coach Dean Kaelin to

"I can confidently confirm that none of the accusations about David's dad from Naomi Judd or any of the other sources are true. I have known David and his dad for 6 years and have never seen anything except a concerned, supportive parent. He is definitely involved as he should be and he is very helpful since he is an accomplished musician himself, but I have never seen Jeff be overbearing or put pressure on David. There have been periods of time when I didn't hear from them for 6-12 months as David was having fun just being a normal kid and was taking a break from singing for a while.

I don't know where Naomi Judd comes off talking as the expert when I remember Jeff saying that they never even met the entire time they were on Star Search over the 2 years although they had wanted to meet her and the other judges. I know that David had looked forward to meeting all the judges and specifically her because she was very positiive and nice to him on the show, but due to circumstances like the Iraqi War interrupting the show the night he won, he never did meet her. I also know that unlike Idol, the judges and contestants were never allowed to mingle in any way when David was on Star Search and then the following year I believe they were supposed to meet her after the final show and when they went to her dressing room she had already left, so they never met her face to face ever.

Chikeze was also their roommate in an apartment for several weeks while he was on Idol and he was interviewed and he said he never saw or heard anything and was taken back by the very question even being asked. Also, the girl that was supposedly badgered by Jeff on Star Search told People Magazine that she didn't ever remember even meeting David's dad, but that she liked David, that he didn't have any "drama" and thought that he was great and is cheering for him on Idol.

I think that this clearly is just the media trying to drag up stuff on David since he is such a good kid and they can't find anything scandalous to dig up on him so they are going after his dad.

Naomi's comment on the Today show that Mr. Jeff Archuleta "had to be put in the security guard's box..." and was a horrible stage dad is totally untrue. Jeff always sat with all the families and other parents in the audience and I have no idea what she could even be referring to. I know, I was there at tapings of the show and I never saw anything like that at all. It is also odd that she would make such a bold statement about how she thinks Jeff needs to "leave him alone". Last time I checked she was not a judge on Idol or had anything to do with the show. She even admittedly stated she doesn't even watch the show!! So how could anyone believe that she had any right at all to say anything about David or his dad? I just find it very troubling that she would make such a statement about someone she never met 5 years ago, barely knew David for 5 minutes a show while he was singing and being critiqued, who she also never met, and now 5 years later she seems to feel she has insights into a show she doesn't even watch, people she never met, and is acting as though she has the right to tell his dad to leave him alone. This just doesn't make any sense to me at all.

I have further watched David and his dad interact for years and they are a very good team. Jeff is a jazz trumpet player and as such has a great feel for music in general, but more specifically in creating and building melody lines and arrangements which has been a big help to David since he first started singing. I know Jeff does quite a bit of research in helping screen songs that would be great for David since David does not have as much free time because he has 3 hours of school every day in addition to all the other American Idol activities. Jeff knows what David's voice is capable of better than anyone else, so he is defiinitely able to help him but is definitely not dictating what David should sing. I know, because they call me a lot to discuss the ideas they are kicking around. They sit down together and go through them and see which ones David likes until they feel good about what they think will work best for him. Once they decide on a few songs they start working on them together trying to come up with arrangement ideas, melody alterations and licks. We all work very well together as a team and I have been involved for several years now and have never seen Jeff try

April 22 2008 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Laura's comment

another first time poster... welcome

what does naomi judd have to gain from dissing this guy?? i dont see a whole bunch. If she is making this up i am sure tiffany evans could easily step up and say this didnt happen and kill all of naomi's credibility

this singing coach on the other hand has been on the archuletta payroll for 6 years by his own admission. I am sure he has struggled with many young singers for a long time and now that david is on the verge of making it big he has alot to lose by not backing the family 100%

April 22 2008 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, someone that is paid by the man in question is vouching for him? Wow.

April 22 2008 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

David flubbed "We Can Work It Out," not "let."

April 22 2008 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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