David Archuleta forgets the lyrics and David Hernandez won’t talk about being a stripper

American Idol 7 has a new set, new graphics, a finalist who won’t talk about his past even when directed to talk about his past, and a front-runner who forgot the lyrics.

David Achuleta was given the sweet final performance spot again, and he bombed, at least for him, forgetting the words to his song, “We Can Work It Out,” within the first few seconds. The judges were brutal. “This week dog, it was not on point,” Randy said. “It felt very forced and it just didn’t quite work.” Paula said, “This wasn’t your best week. … Forgetting the lyrics, it gets a little tough.

And Simon said, “That was a mess. … And at this point in the competition, I expect incredible performances. It wasn’t; it was your weakest performance so far.” Perhaps that will actually help him, though. As I argued last week, consistent success will actually work against him because of the nature of the competition.

While he probably won’t be eliminated, another David might be, perhaps because of his past, his failure to talk about it, or just his performance. In the pre-performance interviews, the top 12 talked about what they did back home, and David Hernandez said, “I got fired from my job as a server at Pizza Bistro, on my day off, ironically enough. And I’m also a student at Arizona State University; my major is broadcast journalism.” Then he said a “typical day for me” is “going to school for a while and then heading to work at the Pizza Bistro. Yeah, I don’t miss that so much.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, he completely avoided mentioning his job stripping at a gay club. One could even argue that he lied by framing his life as being only a server and a student, not a stripper, but he did quit his stripping job last fall, so perhaps he was referring to the past few months.

Last week, he told the media that he wouldn’t talk about his past. “You know, honestly, I’m here to sing. I think America’s judging us all off of our voices right now. Obviously they were, because I’m still in the Top 12, thank God. So I’m not really concerned with what’s going on [with those reports]. I’m just focused on singing, because that’s what I’m here to do,” David told Entertainment Weekly

However, the way his performance went last night, he might need to go back to serving and stripping, too. Simon Cowell said his performance was “corny verging on desperate,” and even Paula Abdul told him that he “overdid it a little bit.” Ryan Seacrest obliquely referenced his past, asking, “You’ve had a stressful week over the lats week or so, do you think you over-analyzed your song choice?” David said no, and then tore off his pants, and grinded up on Ryan. Not really, but that might have actually made his segment interesting.

Humility could doom Archuleta on ‘Idol’ [MSNBC]
‘Idol”s David Hernandez breaks silence on stripper reports: “I’m here to sing” [Entertainment Weekly]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.