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"Idol" Contestant a Giant Phony?

2/14/2008 7:11 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Last night, 16-year-old "Idol" contestant David Archuleta said he "doubted" his talent. We're calling his bluff!

This kid's been a pro for years. TMZ tracked down one of his earlier (and chubbier) performances from the"Jenny Jones" show. Jennifer Hudson eat your heart out -- the kid killed it with a version of "And I Am Telling You ..."

"Jones" wasn't his only pre-"Idol" TV appearance and he may have even had a record deal! For the record, FOX tells us that contestants cannot currently have a management or recording contract.

Watch TMZ TV tonight for everything else we uncovered. Check local listings.


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Josiah did seem to have some definite mental instability issues. He should be on meds. Theres a reason hes living in his car. Poor kid..i hope he gets the help he needs and tries again next year.

I suspect thats why he didnt make it through. He seems too volatile.

2350 days ago


I wanted Josiah to make it...I liked the fact that he had the guts to get the band out on the last audition, even if it backfired...if u saw the show, he was freaking out, crying, and all that because he didn't feel comfortable w/the song...he had also gotten the song late in the night and by the time he 'got' the band to practice it was 3am...a lot of people were rooting for Josiah, because he was the underdog in the competition...

2350 days ago


He's not the only one with proffessional background or a record deal. Kristy Lee Cook had a record deal, so did Carly Smithson. In fact Carly (WAS Carly Hennessy BEFORE) had a 1 million dollar record put out that totally floped. Youtube her former name and you can see the music video. That Australian dude also had a record deal with a band, but he left and stole some songs with him. Kady Malloy also had an album out, but without a label. Only on some online site. FOR MORE INFO ON OTHER IDOL CONTESTANTS WITH PASTS SEE:

2350 days ago


Josiah was awesome, despite his fake accent while singing. He was great, except his Stand By Me was not good dawg.

2350 days ago


He's a cute guy. If he were 18 I'd tap that.

2350 days ago


I liked this boy, very talented. Josiah's being let go was very disappointing to me, however..

2350 days ago


I heard their are about 3 plants on the show and he is one of them. All the the plants have had records deals that did not do well. This is why I no longer watch the show.

2350 days ago


Ugh, who cares? This ISN'T EVEN NEWS. Tons of people on IDOL have musical backrounds. Read the AI rules before you go "breaking news" that isn't even news. This stuff is so boring! if you don't have anything newsworthy don't make up LAME stories.

2350 days ago


Omg leave this kid alone..stop trying to find the negative in everything..I love the show but come on..this earth sucks enough without you guys trying to make it worse..

2350 days ago


I watched him on AI. He doubts his talent because he had suffered some kind of throat disease that kept him from singing. I think he had to learn how to sing again. TMZ better gets its research right before bashing on people.

2350 days ago


He's not the only one with prior experience:

David Archuleta - Age: 17 | Hometown: Murray, Utah
Background: David won the junior singer category of 'Star Search' in 2003. The a cappella singer overcame vocal paralysis to audition in San Diego.

Joanne Borgella - Age: 25 | Hometown: Hoboken, N.J.
Background: The plus-sized model won 'Mo'Nique's Fat Chance,' a reality show/beauty pageant, in 2005.

Robbie Carrico - Age: 26 | Hometown: Melbourne, Fla.
Background: Could he be the next Justin Timberlake? Robbie was a member of the pop group Boyz N Girlz United and briefly dated Britney Spears in 1999.

Jason Castro - Age: 20 | Hometown: Rockwall, Texas
Background: Jason starred as the love interest of the title character in the MTV series 'Cheyenne.' He also majored in construction science at Texas A&M University.

David Cook - Age: 25 | Hometown: Blue Springs, Mo.
Background: David was a fixture in the Heartland music scene in the bands Midwest Kings and Axium. He released a solo album, 'Analog Heart.'

Kristy Lee Cook - Age: 24 | Hometown: Selma, Ore.
Background: The horseback-riding, cage-fighting country singer was once signed by Arista (and linked to Britney Spears' production company).

Amy Davis - Age: 25 | Hometown: Lowell, Ind.
Background: The bikini model made it to the second round of 2007's 'Nashville Star' and sang for a group including two members of the band Survivor. Davis is currently a graduate student at Purdue University where she previously earned a B.S. in horticulture.

Michael Johns - Age: 29 | Hometown: Los Angeles
Background: The native Australian fronted a band, The Rising, which was once signed to Maverick.

Alexandria Lushington - Age: 17 | Hometown: Douglasville, Ga.
Background: As a child, Alex performed at the Apollo Theater and on 'Star Search.' She also enjoys writing stage plays.

Syesha Mercado - Age: 21 | Hometown: Sarasota, Fla.
Background: The daughter of a Motown singer, Syesha appeared as a contestant on the short-lived ABC reality competition, 'The One: Making a Music Star.'

Carly Smithson - Age: 23 | Hometown: San Diego
Background: The native Irish singer tried out for season 5, but visa problems disqualified her. Under her maiden name, Carly Hennessy, she released a record, 'Ultimate High,' for MCA in 2001.

Brooke White - Age: 24 | Hometown: Mesa, Ariz.
Background: The nanny, who claims to have never seen an R-rated movie released an album, 'Songs From the Attic,' in 2005 and reportedly opened for Phil Vassar on tour.

Jason Yeager - Age: 28 | Hometown: Grand Prairie, Texas
Background: Jason was a finalist on the first season of 'Making the Band.'

So if TMZ is going to rat him out, they need to do the rest as well

2350 days ago

jeff in la    

He isnt a phony....he was absolutely AWFUL on that video. He's much better now.

2350 days ago


You obviously can't hear. He SAID he doubted his talent because he thought maybe people might be overstating it because he was young and little.....

2350 days ago


I cant stand this kid. I cant wait to read about him in about 5 years on how Hollywood at him alive and how is is addicted to everything. He wines and is a true pain in the ass. Makes good tv though I suppose.

2350 days ago


He shull is a cutie, though. Almost as cute as Max. *wink*

2350 days ago
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