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‘Idol’ contestant’s dad booted from backstage May 11, 2008

Filed under: As Seen on TV — gervmaine @ 8:51 pm
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LOS ANGELES, California (AP)– Backstage meddling has caught up “American Idol” favorite David Archuleta’s dad, who’s been banned from rehearsals, a person working for the TV talent contest said Friday.

Jeff Archuleta was told this week by producers that he can no longer join his 17-year-old son David as he prepares for the show, the person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The person wasn’t authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The show’s action was first reported Friday by the online Web site TMZ.

David Archuleta of Murray, Utah, is one of three contestants left as the top-rated Fox show heads toward the May 20-21 finale. The fresh-faced teenager with the big voice has consistently been deemed a front-runner by the judges and been a consistent fan favorite.

Jeff Archuleta’s intense backstage involvement had become a source of concern for the series, the person connected with “American Idol” said — but it was a lyric change on Tuesday’s show that pushed producers to act.

Despite a warning, Jeff Archuleta insisted on altering “Stand by Me,” one of two songs his son sang on the show Tuesday. By adding a verse from Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls,” the father incurred additional costs for “American Idol,” the person said.

Fox declined comment. Attempts to reach Jeff Archuleta for comment were unsuccessful. A phone number listed under his name in Murray, Utah, was no longer in service, and Fox did not immediately respond to a request Friday evening for help in contacting the family.

Earlier Friday, David Archuleta was honored at a hometown celebration held at his high school in Murray, during which Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman declared “David Archuleta Day.”

The singer and his family declined to be interviewed at the event, but David Archuleta did speak with the Salt Lake City Fox affiliate, KSTU-TV. “Wow,” he exclaimed as he viewed the cheerleading squad outside his stretch limousine.

The other finalists left in competition for the “Idol” title and a record contract are David Cook and Syesha Mercado. Cook, a native of suburban Blue Springs, Mo., had his own homecoming celebration Friday in Kansas City, while Mercado was feted in Bradenton, Fla

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American Idol: One Down, Three To Go May 8, 2008

Filed under: As Seen on TV,Music News — gervmaine @ 8:58 am
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Simon Cowell once told Jason Castro that his face would save him from elimination. Not this time.

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Jason Castro started strong on “American Idol,” but faltered in recent weeks.

The dreadlocked heartthrob was voted off “American Idol” Wednesday as the show narrowed the competition to three finalists: David Cook, David Archuleta and Syesha Mercado.

Castro, 20, from Rockwall, Texas, started off strong in the show’s seventh season but lost momentum in recent weeks. He gave weaker performances, and flubbed the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” on Tuesday’s performance show.

Cowell predicted Castro’s gaffe could spell the end of him. “Jason, I’d pack your suitcase,” Cowell told the singer.

Castro took his fate in stride and didn’t wipe the ever-present grin off his expansive face after learning the result.

Earlier in Wednesday’s show, he told host Ryan Seacrest: “I think it’s just getting tough for me. I think my inexperience is coming in.”

Castro said this week he tried to pick songs he knew — “Mr Tambourine Man” and Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” — and yet he “screwed it up.”

After Castro’s cover of “I Shot the Sheriff,” a less-than-impressed Cowell said: “I don’t know what you’re thinking!”

Castro replied: “I’m thinking, Bob Marley!”

Castro had his share of spacey moments while he was in the running, like when a viewer asked Wednesday what the contestants’ biggest challenges were in the competition. Castro answered: “Just the brain being dead.”
 
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