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Exclusive Interview: David Archuleta's 'Crush' tops charts

August 21, 2008 |  2:27 pm

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“All my friends keep saying, ‘You should try to hook up with Shawn Johnson,’” confessed “American Idol” runner-up David Archuleta with a giggle.

It was 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, and Archuleta had managed to squeeze in a quick chat between signing autographs and walking a press line in Tampa, Fla. 

Our topic of conversation –- Archuleta’s real-life crushes – was prompted by the outlandish success of his first single, “Crush.” Not only was it the top-selling digital download of the week, but “Crush” also hit No. 2 on the U.S. pop singles chart today; the best chart debut in 18 months, according to Billboard. 

So, I just had to ask: Does Archuleta have a “Crush” of his own? “I’m just afraid to mention anything now,” confessed Archuleta.  And he’s right to be afraid.  Recently, after one of Archuleta’s female friends attended his show, she received a deluge of hate mail from Archuleta’s fans. “They said, ‘You’re not good enough for him, and you’re ugly,” Archuleta said, shuddering.  “You can see why people want to keep things to themselves.”  Despite the fact that his rabid fans harassed his guest, however, Archuleta continued to defend them. “They’re just really protective,” he concluded.

It was one of Archuleta’s loyal fans, in fact, who first informed him of his chart-topping success. “She told me and I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ ” Archuleta recalled.  He never dreamed his first single would debut at No. 2.  “I was like, maybe it will get to the top 40. I just can’t believe it.”

The single came about somewhat serendipitously. “It was actually the first song that the label played for us to listen to,” Archuleta said. “They played just a rough demo of it, and I was just like, ‘wow.’ ” After singing so many mature ballads on “American Idol,” Archuleta was drawn to “Crush” for its youthful edge. Above all, Archuleta wanted to avoid coming off as too adult; or, as he put it, as “some cheesy version of Josh Groban.”

In his upcoming album, too, Archuleta is looking for a young sound. So far, he knows the album will be pop-based, and that it will hit stores in late fall. “We only have a month and a half to work on it!” he said. “We're just looking for the best songs we can find in the shortest amount of time.” Plus, since he’s still on the “American Idol” tour, Archuleta is recording the entire album in his nonexistent free time. “I used to have days off, but now when I have a day off, I have to just work on the album,” he said. Somehow, however, he isn’t stressed about his grueling schedule. “I don't feel overwhelmed or anything. I’m finally living my dream.”

Archuleta couldn’t reveal much about his music video for “Crush,” except to say that it involved –- you guessed it –- a “crush.” “I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it,” Archuleta said of the video shoot, adding, “I can’t wait to see how the end product comes out!” One of the reasons Archuleta enjoyed shooting the video so much may have been his affection for the actress playing his crush.  “She’s really funny. Like, she acted a lot like me,” Archuleta said, laughing. Note to Archie’s small-screen crush: Expect hate mail.

-- Stephanie Lysaght

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