Seventeen-year-old David Archuleta made a major impact on “America Idol” all season long. From his tender cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to his sweet rendition of the Robbie Williams standard “Angels,” Archuleta was a heavy vote getter who was always sent to the safety seats, until last night, when America voted and named his 25-year-old competitor, rocker David Cook, the “American Idol.”
“I was already planning on Cook winning,” Archuleta revealed to Access Hollywood last night following the show’s Season 7 finale.
Even after Simon Cowell declared he had knocked out Cook during Tuesday’s broadcast, Archuleta had his doubts.
“I didn’t believe it,” the baby-faced teen said. “I’m just really glad that my performances for that night accomplished what I wanted to do. I wanted to show people that I’m giving it my all for this last final blow.”
Archuleta said it wasn’t Cook’s final performance that sent him on the road to victory, but how he impressed America throughout the entire dramatic season.
“He’s shown how talented he is and how great of a person he is through the past [weeks],” Archuleta said. “It’s not just based on that one week. That’s why it lasts so long — so people can get to know you, and how you handle yourself and how you do things with your music… He just kept going up all the way to the top It’s just been really cool to see it.”
And though he lost on the top slot to Cook, Archuleta said he didn’t mind considering what a genuine guy the 25-year-old is.
“He’s a great guy. It’s been really neat,” Archuleta said. “It’s such an honor to be able to stand next to him. It’s someone I’ve admired so much, someone I’ve looked up to both musically and as a person.”
When Cook was crowned the “American Idol,” he told Archuleta he loved the high schooler like a brother, and Archie as he was affectionately called, had some words for Cook too.
“I just wanted to let him know that I’m so proud of him, that he earned it,” Archuleta shared. “Before we were there in the winners [circle], I said, ‘You know, you’ve earned it. You’ve earned all of this.’ He just so deserved to win.”
And the teen received even more praise from his family and in particular, father Jeff, who sat cheering his son on all season long.
“I think he said, ‘I’m so proud of you.’ My whole family has just been so great,” he said. “They’ve just been awesome.”