Arts & Leisure


TV5 signs AI runner-up David Archuleta




Posted on January 17, 2012


After getting some of the most popular local showbiz celebrities leave their long-time networks to transfer into its fold, Pangilinan-led TV5 has pulled yet another surprise.

This time, TV5 formally signed up American Idol Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta to do a five-week prime time mini-series that will air next month.

Mr. Archuleta arrived in Manila last Friday to start working on the mini-series Nandito Ako, which will feature the singer together with TV5’s contract artists Jasmine Curtis and Eula Caballero in a story reminiscent of the 1953 American movie Roman Holiday.

Mr. Archuleta will play the role of a Filipino-American pop singer who visits the Philippines to learn more about his roots.

Also in the cast are Gelli de Belen, and Aiko Melendez. Mac Alejandre, who just finished directing the historical drama series Amaya for GMA Network, Inc., will direct the mini-series.

TV5 head for entertainment and creative services Perci M. Intalan said Mr. Archuleta will be in the Philippines for three weeks to do the project.

"We are very happy to welcome David Archuleta to the TV5 family," Mr. Intalan told reporters after the contract signing at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong last Friday.

The TV executive, however, declined to say how much TV5 offered the singer to convince him to do the project.

MISSIONARY

Mr. Archuleta said the drama series is one of his last projects before a two-year stint as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church).

The 21-year-old Miami native, who grew up in Murray, Utah, announced during a Christmas concert last month that he volunteered to serve as a missionary for the church in an undisclosed location.

"I am very happy to be able to do this project before my mission," Mr. Archuleta told reporters. "I have been here in the Philippines before, and I can say I really had so much fun here. So to be able to do this here is really amazing," he added.

STARTED AS A DARE

Mr. Intalan said the project started as a dare last August when Sony Music Philippines’ big boss Narciso Chan came up with the idea after Mr. Archuleta’s sold out concert last July.

Mr. Intalan said negotiations followed involving lawyers and talent representatives from New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.

"We already knew that David [Archuleta] accepted our offer last December, but we did not want to announce the project until all the details had been settled," Mr. Intalan said.

News that Mr. Archuleta would be visiting the Philippines was already circulating social networking web sites before TV5 confirmed the reports on Jan. 8.

Just before he boarded the plane to Manila, Mr. Archuleta posted a video on his blog confirming his visit to the Philippines.

Mr. Archuleta said he took acting lessons in Los Angeles to prepare for the drama series. Mr. Archuleta had previously appeared as a guest in shows like Hannah Montana and I Carly.

A HISTORY OF SUCCESS

Born on Dec. 28, 1990, David James Archuleta started singing at age six, inspired by a video of the musical Les Misérables.

He joined his first singing contest at the age of 10, when he participated in the Utah Talent Competition singing Dolly Parton’s "I Will Always Love You."

By 12, he sang on several episodes of the TV show Star Search, where he ended up the junior vocal champion.

In July 2007, he auditioned for the seventh season of American Idol at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. He won the hearts of the judges with his rendition of John Mayer’s "Waiting on the World to Change."

For a while it looked like Mr. Archuleta would be crowned the next American Idol, but David Cook became the eventual champion.

After the American Idol finals, Mr. Archuleta joined Mr. Cook and eight other show finalists for a 50-city US concert tour.

After the tour, Mr. Archuleta went on to record his debut solo album with Jive Records. The self-titled album was released on Nov. 11, 2008 and sold more than 750,000 copies in the US and over 900,000 worldwide.

His first single, "Crush," debuted at no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and no. 1 on the Hot Digital Songs charts.

"Crush" was the highest single debut of 2008. The song has sold 1.5 million copies as of January 2009, making it one of the most successful singles ever from an American Idol contestant.

A second single from the album, "A Little Too Not over You," also enjoyed extensive airplay on local radio stations.

Mr. Archuleta, who considers Stevie Wonder, Bryan Adams and Natalie Cole as his musical influences, came to the Philippines in 2010 to promote his second album, The Other Side of Down. He last visited the country in July last year for a solo concert at the Araneta Coliseum. -- Jeffrey O. Valisno