David Cook calls Jeff Archuleta “a caring, loving father”

Notorious stage dad and American Idol 7 villain Jeff Archuleta was neither of those things, according to the show’s winner, David Cook. “I’ve never seen Jeff be anything but a caring, loving father, so for me it’s much ado about nothing,” he told People.

When the two finalists appeared on The View last Tuesday, Jeff was in the audience, and had a few seconds to defend himself. In response to a question from Elisabeth “Is now more famous for being The View’s token dolt than for appearing on Survivor” Hasselbeck, Jeff acknowledged being protective. But he said that, on the show, “there wasn’t really that much to protect him from.”

Jeff also said that his son was such a little musical angel that “everyone just thought this can’t be for real. … I think they couldn’t find anything bad to say about him, so I guess I was just there, and I became kind of like the person to—yeah, see what they could say.”

Neither he nor David Cook talked about how Jeff’s loving and caring got him banned from American Idol’s rehearsals, which producers said was to take pressure off David.