By now, if you live anywhere near Sonoma County, you know that
American Idol runnerup David Archuleta is coming to town on Sunday (Nov. 29) for a concert at the Wells Fargo Center.

So far as Idol Chatter knows, Archuleta will be the first AI graduate to perform locally.

Following is a story advancing his visit and during the weekend we’ll add in subsequent posts some of the other “Archie” tidbits we gleaned from a 20-minute interview that couldn’t be included here,

And, of course, we’ll review his concert on this blog Monday (Nov. 30th) morning.

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By BILL PINELLA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
David James Archuleta.
At age 10, he won a children’s division of the Utah Talent Competition.
At 11, he was performing an impromptu song in a Los Angeles hotel lobby for “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson.
At 12, he became the Junior Vocal Champion on the TV show “Star Search.”
At 17, he received 97 million votes and was the runner-up on season No. 7 of Fox’s “American Idol.”
At 18, he released his first single, “Crush,” from his debut self-titled album. As of June, it had sold 900,000 copies worldwide.
And on Sunday, exactly 28 days before his 19th birthday, Archuleta will visit Santa Rosa for the first time and perform at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts on the fifth stop of his holiday Christmas From The Heart Tour.
“The ‘American Idol’ thing seems like a lot longer ago than just a little over two years,” Archuleta said last week from Los Angeles, where he was working on his new record.
“Especially this year, it has gone by so fast,” he added. “It’s like I really can’t believe that I did all that in two years. It’s amazing how it just hasn’t stopped since July 2007 (when he auditioned for ‘Idol’ in San Diego). It has just kept on going and going and going.”
While dubbed as a holiday concert tour, Archuleta isn’t naive enough to think he can skip doing at least some of the songs that accelerated his rapid rise in an industry that can take years to master.
“Yes, I’ll do a few of those pop songs that I do,” he said. “I’m kind of known for ‘Crush,’ so you have to put that one in there. It’s always fun for me to be able to sing that song.
“But the main focus will be on the Christmas music. Since it is the beginning of the season, I want people to be able to leave that night in the Christmas spirit. Hopefully, they will.”
Halfway through his run on ‘Idol,’ judge Simon Cowell declared him as the one to beat, and after his performance on the season’s finale, Cowell said he won the night. But Archuleta only received 44 percent of the official vote and bowed to winner David Cook.
“Oh, we are very good friends and we still talk on the phone a lot,” Archuleta said of Cook. “I really love David Cook. I have been trying to see one of his shows for the longest time but it never seems to work out. After ‘Idol,’ we did get to peform together in Manila and that was so cool. I have no idea how many people were there for those concerts.”
As for “Idol” itself, Archuleta still watches, and he has some advice for runners-up like himself, Blake Lewis from Season No. 6 and Adam Lambert from last year.
“I watched it from time to time last year, but it was really hard to just find the right time,” he said. “It’s fun to watch it after you have been on it because you know all the things they are going through that the people at home never know. There is a lot of work that goes into it. But it is neat to watch and know that they are doing all this other stuff.
“But my advice to anyone who doesn’t win and wants to continue in music is to be true to yourself. Don’t try to impress people by being something else. Be who you are and show people that.
“Sometimes I just sit down and wonder how I’m going to get through all this. But you just keep going anyway. You have to enjoy it.”
He said he was sorry to see Paula Abdul go as one of the “Idol” judges, but at the same time he has high hopes for Ellen DeGeneres, who has been added.
“I hope that (Paula) does well,” he said, “but it’ll be fun having Ellen on there. She is so funny.”
And while “Idol” evolves, so does Archuleta.
“I think where I have changed in the past two years is learning how to speak up for myself,” he said. “Of course, management helps a lot. I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to set up a tour. It is amazing how many people you have working for you.
“But I’ve learned how to ask for things. To tell people I want this or that. You have to or you would get walked on. You realize that it is a business.”