I’m sorry, but the old David can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause he’s dead!
Make room because David Archuleta is spreading his wings. During Wednesday night’s finale of the reality singing competition The Masked Singer, the beloved Macaw placed runner-up after Medusa, AKA British singer Bishop Briggs. The feathered mascot turned out to be pop recording artist David Archuleta!
Archuleta spoke with editor Caitlynn McDaniel about his time on the show, coming out as queer, and how his journey inspired his new era of music.
The Face Behind the Mask
Despite the extreme levels of secrecy the show takes to keep the contestants’ identities under wraps, Archuleta said his friends and family were not shocked when they heard the news.
“I feel like people who know me and know my voice, they were just kinda like, ‘Duh, of course it’s you.'”
Imagine competing on a live television program and being unable to tell your mom about it. But mothers always know best, and Archuleta’s knew something was up.
“My mom, my sisters, everyone kept sending me like macaws and parrots,” he joked.
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Archuleta’s Return to Reality TV
After placing second in American Idol in 2008, the 32-year-old singer pursued a music career. His first single, “Crush,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold more than 2 million digital copies to become double platinum.
Though Archuleta continued to share his life through his music, internally, he was struggling with his identity. He was raised a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as the Mormon church.
“I just said, ‘I have to be honest with myself and I have to give myself a chance. He continued, “I was so devoted to my religion and my beliefs, and part of being devoted to my beliefs was kind of denying myself, denying my sexuality and who I was attracted to. I thought, you know, this is a problem that I just need to overcome.”
In 2021, David publicly came out as queer and in 2022, he stepped away from the Church.
“God told me, ‘You know what? You’re allowed to make mistakes and you are going to realize that I created you and it wasn’t a mistake the way I created you.'”
Shortly after, Archuleta underwent a serious vocal surgery which left him unable to speak for three months. It was then that he reflected on his career and purpose and knew he wanted to continue making music as an openly queer artist.
“I feel so empowered, I feel so confident. It’s a confidence that I didn’t know it was possible for me to have.”
The Macaw Takes Second Place
Archuleta performed several numbers in disguise on The Masked Singer, including powerful ballads like James Bay’s “Hold Back the River” and Elton John’s “Your Song.” But his rendition of One Direction’s “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” captured the crowd.
“That was my favorite thing to do on the whole show,” he gushed. “It was so loud I could barely even hear myself. The whole audience, you know, they all love One Direction and love that song so they were singing aloud and jumping and it was just, it felt like I was at a One Direction concert.”
At the finale, Archuleta told the world how liberated he felt after performing on The Masked Singer.
“So if anyone else has grown up, you know, feeling like they were bad just because of who they are attracted to and who they loved, I want you to know that it is worth taking the courage to show your true colors. It’s scary. But you’re worth it. You matter, and it’s so beautiful.”
If you check out Archuleta’s Instagram page, you may notice he deleted all his old posts. In their place are three new posts teasing a big announcement. Not only is the “Crush” singer a season nine finalist, but he is also releasing new music next month!
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“My first song is called “Up,” and it comes out June 2nd. That’ll be more like a segue from like this dark place that I’m coming from and it’s like now opening up, stepping into this light and like freedom.”
His single, “Up,” is available for pre-order now. Watch the full interview below and discover why Archuleta is ready for a duet with Miley Cyrus.
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