I was not planning on sitting at the computer and writing a blog post tonight, let alone about a contestant on American Idol. But after finally getting through the episode I DVR'd yesterday, I have no choice.
I fast forwarded through most of the episode, only stopping when the contestants started singing, and rarely listening to an entire song. "These are the best singers in America?" I kept asking myself.
The show was almost over -- then David Archuleta took the stage. David is a tiny 17-year-old pipsqueak from Utah. He is adorable, clearly humbled to be singing in front of millions, and is without a doubt the best singer I've ever heard on that show, and probably one of the best male singers I have ever heard ever. When the lights darkened and strains of John Lennon's "Imagine" sounded from a guitar, I was wary: how can he touch Imagine? Everyone really likes that song, the pureness of John Lennon's sound and words. How could this kid ever even come close to that magic?
Friends, David Archuleta did more than come close; he sang the best, most soulful version of Imagine that I have ever heard. I liked the song before; I LOVE it now. Hearing David's tones, everything else around me just faded into the background. All I could think was how beautiful it was, and by the end I had a tear in my eye.
The judges were equally moved. Randy said it was one of the best performances he had ever heard on the show, and that David was born to do this. Paula, also in tears, said it was one of the best performances of Imagine she has ever heard, and that the kid was "destined for superstardom." Even Simon liked it, calling David "the one to beat," and adding that the 19 other contestants on the stage were likely "miserable" at the moment. Critics agree, and most wonder if Little David is a "lock" for the American Idol crown.
OK, maybe I'm overstating how good it was. I'm going to embed the video below, and on repeat viewing in a little window over my tinny computer speakers, it's not without its very minor flaws -- David is slightly flat on a couple of the notes (most notably on the final "join us"), and his transition to falsetto could use a little work. But folks, this kid just turned 17, and all of his performances have so far been stellar. I think you will agree that he has an amazing future ahead.