A brief timeline of David Archuleta’s journey from ‘American Idol’ cutie pie to out internet “Crush”

A brief timeline of David Archuleta’s journey from ‘American Idol’ cutie pie to out internet “Crush”

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Photo Credit: @stevenonthescene

You may remember him as the sweetie pie with smooth vocals on his own American Idol run. Or for his deep love of Christmas. Or maybe you know him from one of his recent thirst traps. Either way, David Archuleta—or “Archie” as he is known to his ever-growing fanbase—as been a part of our lives for over fifteen years. 

Ever since publicly coming out in 2021, Archuleta has been open about his struggles to be proud of his own queer identity in the face of family, fans, and religion. But with honesty, vulnerability, and his signature charm—along with his most personal music to date—the singer has brought us all along on his journey to self-acceptance—a journey that’s been fun, inspirational, and occasionally thirst-inducing.

Nearly three years later, Archuleta has been fully embraced by the queer community as an artist and a voice with an important story to tell. With his powerful new single “Hell Together” out now, while we eagerly await his first-ever memoir, let’s take a look back at David Archuleta’s journey from fan-favorite on American Idol to Gay Twitter™’s newest boyfriend.

The World Gets More Cute: On December 28th, 1990, David Archuleta is born in Miami, FL to singer parents, Lupe and Jeff Archuleta.  

A Star Is Born: In 2003, Archie competed in the Star Search reboot, beating out future fellow Idol alum Tori Kelly as Junior Vocalist champion. 

David VS David: In 2007, 16-year-old David Archuleta got his Golden Ticket to Hollywood by auditioning for the seventh season of American Idol. He was an immediate fan favorite, receiving glowing praise for his performances of “Imagine,” Crazy,” and “Angels.” Ultimately, he lost the Idol crown to David Cooke, but he did win the title of the season’s Tween Heartthrob. (The consensus says the peak of his Idol run was “Imagine,” but for our money, it’s his Top 24 performance of “Shop Around.”)

It’s Just A Little “Crush”: Hot off his Idol run, Archuleta releases “Crush,” the lead single off his self-titled debut album in 2008. The track entered the Hot 100 at number 2 and remains a swoon-worthy banger nearly twenty years later.

Gay Panic Sets In: Our little Archie—not yet out privately or publicly—goes to Club 57, a gay bar in New York City, to see Charice perform in 2010. He is “caught” by fans and heads to Twitter, claiming he didn’t know what kind of bar it was to throw folks off the gay scent. Every closeted kid who pretended to like Britney Spears for her body, not her bops, can relate.

Mission Moment: David Archuleta, possibly the country’s most visible Mormon until Bravo star Heather Gay showed up, entered a two-year mission in Chile for the Church of Latter-Day Saints from 2012 – 2014.

David Comes Out, Part 1: In a 2021 Instagram post, David publicly addresses his sexuality for the first time, coming out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Welcome to the party, Archie!

Lord Have Mercy: Heading to Ivins, Utah, David takes the lead role in Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat, complete with loincloth and handcuffs. The seeds of lust are sewn.

David Archuleta in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at Tuacahn Amphitheatre | Photo Credit: Leavitt Wells

Never Been Kissed: David revealed that he had his first kiss with a man at the age of 30. He finally got what all the fuss around “Crush” (and boys) was about: “I was like, ‘Oh, so this is what it feels like to like someone.’ Now I see why everyone relates to my song.”

Overcoming The Struggles: In a People interview a year after coming out, David shares the struggles he faced dealing with his sexual identity, including suicidal ideation, severe anxiety, broken engagements with women and, eventually, leaving the Mormon church due to their homophobic beliefs. Ultimately, he says this stage of his journey “feels like breaking free.” Despite being behind on gay vernacular due to his religious upbringing, he did know to reference the gayest Ariana Grande song, so there is hope for him.

Addressing The Haters: When “fans” left his show in Utah after David addressed his sexuality on stage, he took to Instagram: “Two years ago, I was thinking ending my life was better than admitting this openly,” Archuleta said. “If you are more offended that I say I like guys than you are that someone has felt it was better to end their life for that reason[,] I want you to think about why that makes you uncomfortable.” Drag them!!!!

Doing Macaw-some: Archuleta competes on The Masked Singer, this time dressed as a rainbow-colored macaw, yet oddly, more authentically himself than his entire run on American Idol. Despite singing the house down boots on performances like “All By Myself” he came in second place to Bishop Briggs.

Coming Out, Part 2: Starting out the new year on a strong note, David comes out again—this time as deeply hot with a Close Friends-worthy gym selfie.  

Coming Out, Part 3: David, an avid TikTok-er, posted a video revealing another critical part of his coming-out story: It seems he is a top, vers, or simply not a full-time bottom. Do with that information what you will. 

@davidarchie Replying to @Jay ♬ original sound – David Archuleta

Official Twitter Boyfriend: As David more fully embraced his queer identity and his new role as an internet hottie, social media responded in kind—and in thirst. A recent selfie caught the attention of Gay Twitter, including RuPaul Drag Race fan favorites Loosey LaDuca and Luxx Noir London. It was the most relatable Loosey had been all season. 

A Queerties Standout: Besides being a nominee at the 2024 Queerties Awards, David was on hand to present Paula Abdul with the Straight Up Ally Award, paying tribute to her with a medley of her fiercest hits (complete with choreo!), and closing out the show with a performance of his anthem, “Afraid to Love.”

Hell Together: David’s latest single, “Hell Together”—an ode to his mother Lupe—is out on all streaming services on March 28.


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