David, Management, and the Ghosts of Idol Past

I’m a fan of David, not necessarily a fan of the man in the cap (and especially not after that massage parlor scandal – ‘member that one?).  However, I do know that David, at 20 years old, is hardly the only youngster in the music biz who has a parent for a manager.  Think Usher, think Justin Timberlake, think Britney, think Beyonce, think anyone who started in the business as a minor and, so, needed the guidance and support of someone who more or less had their child’s best interest at heart.

(And after what David revealed about himself in Chords of Strength, in which it  took his parents – both MomChuleta and Dadchuleta – to really get the Voice out there, what with his painful shyness, do any of us really think we’d be a different kind of determined and aggressive “stage parent” with a kid like David who we believe is the next best thing?)

In other words, as vilified as #MIC has been via media, there’s nothing out of the ordinary with what he has done or is doing when it comes to managing his son’s career.  What makes David’s case seem out of the ordinary has everything to do with the Idol machine and how it put out a negative campaign to discredit David’s talents and good graces through the image of an abused and scared little boy controlled by an out-of-control “Stage Dad from Hell” who was accused of doing everything from taking David’s water away from him until he got his recording sessions done correctly to the show having to ban him from backstage.

Remember that crap? 

So, the subject here, IMO, is not whether or not any of those things were true, but why the show was so invested in circulating such stories about David and his dad.  It’s because of this campaign why certain fans have learned to distrust the Dad-as-Manager (and then there’s the massage parlor scandal); somehow, even we – who have learned to not trust the media and the stories they generate – have a difficult time letting go of the bad PR around #MIC.

I still have a hard time believing that TPTB (“the powers that be” for those of you not in the know) wanted to do all this negative publicity around David just to secure a David Cook win (it’s just beyond stupid for them to invest that much more in another contestant who, if they were popular in their own right and can hold their own, don’t need their competition “kneecapped”  Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding style). I personally thought Cook could hold his own, and he obviously did, so what was up with the backstage shenanigans?

I say, and this is only a hunch mind you, that this was all owing to what I call the “Ghosts of Idol Past.” 

Here’s some historical context. 

Season 1 of American Idol.  The British producers want to expand their product, begun across the Atlantic, over here.  Needless to say, it’s an overnight success.  One of the contestants TPTB are truly gung-ho about happens to be Tamyra Gray (that contestant David was so excited about in his 11 years on this planet).  It’s not surprising that the likes of Simon Cowell would be enthusiastic about a contestant like Tamyra.  The Brits have a long history of loving the R&B/soul/blues music (in other words “black music) that has been produced here.  Unlike their American counterparts who like this kind of music “mainstreamed” – hence the popularity of an Elvis Presley or even the British band, the Rolling Stones, who freely admit the influence of soul music on their rock style. 

Why do I bring this up? Because in focusing so much on Tamyra, they overlooked the juggernaut that was Kelly Clarkson, who was most likely leading in votes.  Kelly could hold her own against Tamyra when it comes to the R&B/soul, but it was really when she sang outside that genre with the big band song, “Stuff Like That There,” that she really emerged as the frontrunner and eventual winner. So, what happened?

Tamyra became the very first “shocking elimination” during Top 4 week, and Kelly easily beat the mixed-race boy-band type Justin Guarini at the finale. 

This precedent would set the stage for Season 2, in which TPTB had to squelch very quickly the idea that American Idol is the kind of show that might have diverse contestants, but popular contestants of color will not be able to take it all. So, lucky for them, Ruben Studdard happened. Meanwhile, Kelly Clarkson, the first winner of Idol, is already quietly making plans to transform her image into a serious music star – lest folk only remember her as the “cheesy” winner of a reality show and that godawful movie From Justin to Kelly. In other words, both winner and show are moving towards trying to be taken seriously as a real “talent show” and not a “popularity contest.” So what better way to prove that than to be able to crown a heavyset black man, constantly called “the next Luther Vandross,” as the next American Idol? No Disney here, no teen votes there.  Could it really happen? It almost didn’t with the rise of Clay Aiken, the geek-with-the-amazing-voice-turned-hearthrob. How did Ruben manage to edge out Clay in the end? Just have Simon Cowell subtly remind America how “cheesy” and “Broadway” Clay really is (while making Ruben out to be the “cooler” version).  I’m sure the homophobic vote helped too.

Except, for the first time, the runner-up outsold the winner, and although Ruben did well and sold platinum, it was clear who became the more popular person from that season. Again, lest this look too much like racial discrepancy, TPTB decided to work overtime and “make a diva happen” the following season. This time with more street credibility.

Enter Season 3 and Fantasia, whose main competition was not the other “divas” Jennifer Hudson and Latoya London but rather the teenage Diana Degarmo, who was rumored to have a “Stage Mom from Hell.” Between the overbearing mom behind the scenes and the longevity experienced by the other teen John Stevens, who had the indignity of outlasting J-Hud just by being a cute redheaded teenage hearthrob who couldn’t carry a halfway decent tune if his life depended on it,  TPTB actually realized the show was openly being critized for catering to an “American racist vote.” The alternative to a Fantasia win was the crowning of a tuneless teenager with his cute looks to carry him (and the ability to turn the entire Idol franchise into a laughing stock) or a talented teenager like Diana Degarmo who came with extra baggage, a la the stage mom.  Fantasis benefitted from the racial backlash against Jennifer Hudson’s ousting, as did J-Hud herself later on in her career (for what was that Oscar about if nothing more than it reminded folks that she, like the character she was portraying in Dreamgirls, deserved a major and successful comeback after being unfairly overlooked for stardom?).

So, once Idol received their two black winners back to back, the racial drama can be put behind them, and they can go on to searching, without any guilt, for the next contestant who would best make them the most money (even if that meant looking for mostly white winners), now that they see that folks like Kelly Clarkson were selling platinum and that their black Idols were only selling moderately well (but only in the R&B niche market). How best to really sell tons and tons of albums? Why, let’s look for the most mainstream contestant out there.

Enter Carrie Underwood, Season 4, who Simon Cowell predicted from her auditions round, that she would be the biggest selling Idol winner of all time. And the rest of course is history!

Then, Season 5, often considered the most talented and strongest Idol season, presented them with another big seller in the guise of Chris Daughtry.  But something unexpected happened. Soul Patrol happened! And it did not matter that there were real soul singers like Paris Bennett and Elliott Yamin competing, along with another Southern country gal like Kellie Pickler, Taylor Hicks provided the most entertainment on stage, and his gray hair made him stick out among the youngsters. He, and not Daughtry, took the crown, and TPTB have become more controlling and more manipulative of the results of the show ever since.

Up until that time, who they wanted to win usually did (and even if they didn’t the alternative was always acceptable). This time, they weren’t going to let that happen again.

Enter Season 6, and Melinda Doolittle, who at the time was so humble and nice and could sing like nobody’s business, who Simon Cowell could turn to as a way to shame the more successful Idol alumni like Kelly Clarkson (who the show took issue with when she forgot to thank their franchise when she won her Grammy) and Jennifer Hudson (who essentially did the same thing when she didn’t acknowledge Idol when she won her Oscar).

As an aside, let me just say: if their experience on the show and the “opportunities” provided to them really were tied to the people on this show, I have no doubt in my mind that neither star would have “forgotten” to thank Idol.  And what should they thank them for, really?  If David should ever be so lucky to win such big awards, should he really thank Idol by the time that happens?

Moving along.  Despite the ability to use Melinda to shame previous Idol alumni (particularly Jennifer Hudson) to remind viewers that they can still attract better singers who can out-diva previous contestants, around this time Paris Bennett revealed in an Internet interview that no way, no how were TPTB going to allow another “older” contestant, like Melinda, to win, since they blamed Taylor Hicks’ underperformance of his album on his age. 

Next thing you know, Jordin Sparks won. And while she wasn’t the best singer her season, she was a respectable alternative who was only 17 at the time. 

Now, we’re getting into the present era that is Idol and their issues and manipulations around their teen contestants. It took forever for Jordin Sparks to sign with Jive after winning, and that had everything to do with her dad, a former NFL player, who believe it or not, was rumored to be a major serious “Stage Dad from Hell.”  Up until that point, all Idol winners were signed to RCA, but Jordin’s father was having issues with the contract, so they eventually turned her over to Jive, a label that has more experience working with minors and their stage parents (think Justin, Britney, Usher, Chris Brown).

That experience, however, probably made them extremely sensitive to the potential of teen Idol winners bringing all their baggage with them. It almost happened with Diana Degarmo in Season 2, which is why they could ignore her after the season, but with a winner like Jordin Sparks, their air-tight contracts would create conflicts and tensions. (See, I’ve always felt that folks who resent stage parents only do so because they want to be dictators, and they can’t do this when another authority figure holds the reins.)

So, by the time Season 7 rolls around, and they think they’ve found the perfect teen Idol in David Archuleta (He’s cute! He’s sweet! And he can sing! Not just carry a tune! He can saaaaaaaaaang!! No more John Stevens! No more Sanjaya Malakar! Woohoo!! Ka-ching! Ka-ching!! And yes, that was the early buzz around David when he started off), suddenly they’ve got the Ghosts of Idol Past showing up in Jeff Archuleta (oh no! Another Diana Degarmo! Another Jordin Sparks! But this teen could actually be bigger than that!).

Once David Cook provided an alternative winner, they just found a way to slow down the momentum or even neutralize whatever terms David’s stage dad could throw at them.  Never mind that, had they managed David’s career more astutely they could have had a teen star who created Bieber Fever before there was such a thing.

So, what’s the point of this long narrative? It’s a reminder that a lot of our misgivings about who is presently managing David just might be media-driven and relying quite heavily on the Ghosts of Idol Past. After all, shouldn’t we wonder why David’s dad was painted in such a horrible way when he clearly wasn’t the first “difficult” stage parent the show had to deal with?

I myself get concerned because I’m not sure if #MIC is a hindrance or a help. I can only keep the faith that the Voice will triumph, no matter what shenanigans are thrown at him or whatever ghosts from seasons past keep popping up to frame him in unfair ways.

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Posted on May 15, 2011, in American Idol, David's career. Bookmark the permalink. 88 Comments.

  1. Wow, HG, what a trip down memory lane & I love your perspective on the past idol seasons!

    For me MIC back front & center in the picture (literally) makes me very disappointed. If he is the manager, given all the troublesome past, he should STAY OUT OF PICTURES! That does not help David. For God’s sake stay in the background & do what you think you must do quietly.

  2. As far as MIC’s involvement as a possible manager for David I think that Peter said it best for me:

    “He doesn’t have the skills and connections that professional managers have and that are needed to make things happen. For this reason, David’s career will continue to dwindle.”

    Love your take on past idol seasons,hg. Nice job.

    • I agree, yes, that is the main reason why MIC should not be the manager. He is not a professional & in addition he never looks or acts professional either. He has no class. David is the epitome of class.

    • how in h— do you and peter knows this,are you personal freinds,where is the proff that he doesen,t have connections

      • Ray, no one who is a “newbie” has connections in the music business. This isn’t about just Jeff. There are people who have made this their career and it has taken years to cultivate professional relationships. Jeff may have great intentions but he doesn’t have years of experience in the biz. I don’t know why you don’t understand that. Even if Jeff is the best businessman in the entire universe, he may not have the connections David needs to succeed. You are not looking at David’s career in a realistic way whatsoever.

      • Ray, it’s nice that you are a cheerleader for David and for Jeff. However, unconditional support isn’t always the best thing in my opinion. If David ends up busking for cash outside a subway station, do you still believe unconditional support without criticism is the right thing? I don’t.

      • Maybe because it’s been 3 years now and that we didn’t see anything proving us the contrary ?

        David achieves a lot of things in 3 years. 3 albums, a NY best-seller book, many tours (sorry for the use of the word “many” but I don’t want to count them all), I don’t know how many TCA awards, etc… But to be honest, except the Motab concert (they said they were trying to get him since AI) and the new year eve performance (thanks to WEG), the great part of gigs he had were either for charity or radio shows. You know something is wrong when we’re exciting just because of the potential launch of a good OS which is a given for any artists (even those less known than D) or that David finally has a new band that seems more permanent than the previous ones.
        The only thing that I found really exciting lately about D’s career and that made me think that perhaps things are gonna change for the better is when David said that he parted ways with Jive. But it’d have been cool at that time to have someone advising him about doing an official announcement immediately after the press started to relay Melinda’s tweet. The problem for me is that those working with David seem always late in their decisions, they don’t react quickly and sometimes there are missed opportunities. For example, what was the plan behind having David touring with McFly in the UK. Why wasn’t he promoted there (only one TV interview) during that time ? Why didn’t they push the release of his album when things weren’t in place ? As fans, we saw the TOSOD fiasco coming so I believe that all those people who get him and who know what best for him saw it too, but no real reactions. If the label is not there for you, you should count on your management or the persons you trust to help you stay present in people minds.

        David always delivers his best on stage or just as being David lol, but those surrounded him never achieve to get him the treatment he deserves IMO. It’s often amateurish or mediocre, not at David level of talent. Did you see Jordin’s intro for her AI performance ? They treated her like a star. She always has a huge TV performance that coincides with the release of her first singles. Her team seems to have a plan and a real plan is something I never really saw for D’s career. Are they going the teen route or not ? They just didn’t do things completely, it just seemed to me that they didn’t have a clear vision for David’s career.

        After watching the last interview (a really good one BTW), I’m glad that David is taking a break and that he’s trying to focus on what he wants to do now that he’s label free. If his dad is managing him during this pause, so be it. If he’s his permanent manager, so be it. It’s David career, it’s his decision. I just hope that they have a clear plan for David’s future career and that they learned from the past mistakes. Something I’m really glad about and that I can’t ignore is the reapparition of “SOUL” david. And just that is enough to make me still appreciate being a fan. And if I concentrate only on David, it’s really fun to be his fan lol.

        That probably doesn’t make much sense (it’s almost 3 AM here) and I didn’t really want to keep on commenting on this topic but I couldn’t help lol

      • raelovingangels

        c’moi- well said! even if it was early am in France 🙂
        Certainly missed opportunites, Maybe some of those are the things that David was reflecting on when he first tweeted about reflecting on his past to learn from ( paraphrasing)

      • cmoi says: “…those surrounded him never achieve to get him the treatment he deserves…”

        my sentiments exactly!

  3. hell0g0rge0us

    The picture doesn’t bother me. But if he starts appearing on stage where David is performing, we’re going to have problems…

    • HG, I’m a bit confused how that would be different from his mother who has not only appeared on stage with him, but has been in photos everywhere, played in a “celebrity” basketball game with him, and has now launched a solo career? Is it that she is not in the roll of “manager”? It can’t be because of Jeff’s indiscretion, fans were rejecting him way before that happened. Does he just make a good scapegoat for David not becoming the “superstah” so many fans want him to be? Is it that she’s good looking and he’s not? Or are mothers untouchable? I actually don’t have a problem with either parent doing what they do for and/or with their son. Please don’t throw tomatoes, I just want to know why one gets a pass and the other gets vitrol.

  4. Great article HG! I think your theory might be correct. I always wondered why Jeff was so vilified. It didn’t help his reputation when he got caught at the massage parlor. That was pretty much the straw that broke the camel’s back. Since then he has tried to mostly stay out of sight. As I said before I guess we will just see how this all plays out. I’m just going to enjoy David’s music.

  5. Great article HG! wow thanks for the historical perspective. I have faith in David even more since hearing that ASCAP interview and admire him for leaving a “safe route” to take a step back and follow a course he feels suits him better. He looked so happy and relieved and seems to feel more creative. Like you and Grammy I’m excited to hear his Voice and see what’s next. I don’t think David wants to get locked into a stringent contract without creative freedom anytime soon. I trust his judgment and hope for the best. Things seem calmer when Jeff stays in the background,out of pictures and yes by all means OFF the stage.

  6. P.S. Anxious for the upcoming concert @Myrtle Beach and so excited to see and hear about the new band ,what songs David sings etc.

  7. HG, I think a lot of your theory is correct. Things were probably overblown to a great extent. However, I do have to say I can’t let MIC off scott-free. I can’t help but think he was probably an aggressive stage father during David’s years of television singing contests.

    In addition to the idol accusations, I recall Naomi Judd stating on the Today Show that Jeff was the “worst stage father” during Star Search and to “leave David alone” during Idol. If it was just Idol saying all this that is one thing, we know how sneaky they can be. But, with Naomi Judd’s comments, as well as others (wasn’t there an infamous Arsenio video?), mmm, I just don’t know.

    Of course this is all just my opinion!

    Just think David deserves to do well and doesn’t need the baggage. But hey, he certainly knows his Dad better than us so, idk…

    It’s a complicated situation for sure.

  8. I remember hearing that interview with Naomi Judd too. Arsenio Hall, the emcee of Star Search, also did not have good things to say about MIC. I saw that video on you tube. Diana Degarmo did have an overbearing stage mother while she was on idol. I heard that it did hurt her career.

  9. It seems to me the lady who interviewed David in the picture seems to really like his dad. Her body language says a lot and she seems very happy. lol

  10. non of you have oroven anything.

    • There is nothing to prove. There are just subjectives opinions by fans of David (just like you). You can take a look at David’s career and you can beleive that all the things done and the decisions made were great (woohoo !!!) or you can take a look at D’s career and believe that some things went wrong and for some of them, his past managements are responsible. That’s all.

      But like I said in the previous thread, I’d love to read your point of view, I’d be more interesting if you share your arguments too.

  11. Ray, David is lucky to have you. When his career is reduced to local Utah gigs, you can be his biggest cheerleader. Gimmee a D-gimmee an A-gimmee a V-gimmee an I-gimmee a D! Goooo David!

    • bella ,at least i don,t pretend to be a fan ,he was in a contract and neither his dad could do just whaty they wanted,jive only wanted him to be a jb,so they didn,t help him at all even though has made lots of money for them,and fans like you he doesn,t need you know notheing what is going on and yet you put him down and don,t so you don,t nuff said

      • Okay Ray, whatever you say. Hmm I must be a very good pretend fan then considering I voted for him all through idol, bought all his music, bought his book, voted for him on polls and paid good money for his concerts and VIP’s. Guess I’m the best pretend fan evah!!! 😀 Apparently to be a REAL fan you have to love absolutely everything David does, even if it means his career might disappear into oblivion because of those decisions.

    • Bella. lol

      • Been here, done that. The argument about REAL fans is old and I hope doesn’t become a divisive tool here. You both have an opinion – great! But all the arguments about who is a REAL fan is childish, old, tired, and uninteresting. We are all real fans.

    • Bella, that is very harsh & disrespectful to David. OK to be funny, but that is going too far I think.

      David IS lucky to have fans who will stand by him no matter what. Will you?

      • Yes, I will. And I don’t see anyone giving Peter a hard time when he has nothing positive to say about David and his decisions. Everyone finds his comments hilarious apparently. I am fine with people having different opinions about David’s career- it’s Ray who doesn’t think that’s ok. I don’t feel I’m being disrespectful at all. I have always been supportive of David.

      • It is disrespectful to say that David’s career might disappear into oblivion? Wow. TBH, he’s halfway there already.

        “Real fans” are often a little scary.

  12. That being said, I trust the confident and mature David I’ve been seeing lately to make his own career decisions.
    Looking forward to recaps and videos of his upcoming performances. There is nothin’ like David singing in a live setting. 😉

  13. A lot of comments here are bemoaning Jeff’s probable inability to get David’s career back into the stratosphere, but I’m in the camp that thinks that David’s recent interviews show that he doesn’t want that. If he wanted to walk on the red carpet and go to movie premieres, and continue in the whirlwind of the past 3 years, he would have stuck with WEG.

    David has clearly chosen to step back, and as I said in the last thread, since a more professional manager works for a percentage of the artist’s pay, they would be driving David to get back on that crazy ride so they could get more money.

    Only David’s dad can allow him to still work enough to “keep a toe in the water” and earn just enough to get by, while allowing him the time to take stock and reinvent himself.

    • you are so right there

    • raelovingangels

      What you have said makes sense. Wow. HG- way to pound out a fascinating post on a quick turnaround. If your first career as a professor and author does not work out- you could work for the newspaper- with it agressively daily deadlines~

      • hell0g0rge0us

        Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind in case all the universities start shutting down due to these budget cuts of late. 🙂

    • There are many music management firms that would have a more relaxed style that would fit David. It is very hard to believe he could not find the right fit and that includes the financial end of it. Let us hope that he has.

      • I doubt a management firm would be happy with 2 non-charity performances in 7 months, not counting national anthems.

      • It’s my understanding that the management firm is hired by and reports to the artist. Both would discuss expectations of one another (eg, visibility, # of performances, etc.) prior to the hiring. Also, can we assume that artists aren’t compensated for their charity work?

      • I just mean that there wouldn’t be much money in it for them to manage someone for so few events, assuming that charity appearances don’t pay–except maybe for transportation?

      • I was thinking of a statement either Debbie Gibson or Tiffany made re. advice she would give Bieber. One of them said she would remind that he’s the one in charge, he’s paying everyone and that it’s ok for him to take a break if he needs one. I’m not a fan of his music but he works VERY hard and VERY long hours.

        Re. charity performances, in some instances, artists work for a lesser fee than normal by giving a percentage of their proceeds to charity.

  14. I agree cchalo . David is not about to sign an expensive mgt until he has take time to review his life,nurture his creativity. He’s putting what money he has in a new band etc etc. I don’t see David signing a record contract anytime soon either.

    Sometimes it seems some “fans” don’t give him enough crediti for what he has accomplished already.

    Give it time!

    • Yes, I think it may be quite a while for a new record label too. He talked in the ASCAP interview about originally expecting to take 10 years of preparation before getting his career started. I just hope he doesn’t plan on taking all that time now!

      In the interview, he seems a little conflicted. He expressed a distaste for worrying about making a song “hooky”, then said, well of course you need it to have a hook. He wanted to have time to grow and said he was now able to breathe, but also talked about how much hard striving it takes to succeed in the business–that you have to keep the fire in you.

  15. well said cchalo.

    • Sorry, but I have always wanted to ask you why you have a picture of another singer who has been gone for longer than I have been alive and you also call yourself a doorsfan. Why? Are you more of a doors fan than a David fan? Not questioning your loyalty to David because I know you work hard for hom on FOD. I am just curious about why you have never changed pic & name to gg_davidsfan which is so much lovelier.

      also, all this talk about David’s manager is a moot point since it will not make David change managers just because some fans don’t like it.

      I think I will go back to lurking. This is too hard.

      • raelovingangels

        I don’t have a picture of David either. Guess I just like to keep my own identity on my avi- which is likely the same with GG.

      • hell0g0rge0us

        Don’t go! Everybody’s opinion is appreciated here (and if that’s not always true, it’s definitely appreciated by me the blog owner, so I implore you NOT to go back to lurking now that we know your screen name! 🙂

      • The short answer is easy and pretty simple – because I CHOOSE to be GG_Doorsfan in cyberspace. I’m a fan of tons of artists and singers, alive and dead, so if I choose to, I could have a different avatar a week. My reasons for choosing Morrison as my avatar in cyberspace are personal, and shall remain so. I will say though that it’s possible to be fans of more than 1 artist at a time, to support them without turning it into a ”you love artist A more than Artist b”, LOL. My mind doesn’t work that way, I’m not into nor subscribe to the ”true fans would or wouldn’t do this or that” rigamarole I see tossed around a lot. I’m pretty independent, and to paraphrase what Ms. Janet Jackson (whom I also love) said in ‘Control’… ”I got my own mind, I make my own decisions, I call my own shots… Thank You” 🙂

  16. Hm. I have really strong feelings about all of this, so it’s probably best if I keep it to myself, lol.

    • Go for it VJ this seems to be the right time in the right place…

      SB

      • SB~ Are you sure? lol. OK. Well, this is how I’ve felt for awhile, but up until now had only told one person…I can’t listen to David’s music or watch his performances anymore without becoming incredibly sad. I can’t watch other new artists and AI alum do well without it hurting emotionally. It’s even hard to visit fansites now. Why? Because everything I see, hear and read just reminds me of what David once had, and how much ground he’s lost. I don’t expect him to be a superstar since that’s not what he wants. But 3 yrs into his career, I did expect him to at least be making decent strides forward instead of moving in the opposite direction.

        I know other artists hit stagnant spots, too, but I see them being able to get over the hump and move on, whereas David seems to stuck in a perpetual rut. And I truly feel that Jeff is partially responsible for that. As manager, he continuously kept David OUT of the public eye instead of IN it. He made an infamously bonehead move knowing that his rep was already bad, and KNOWING that it could negatively affect his son’s career. And he didn’t make, or want to make, positive connections with the right people so that David’s foundation would ALREADY be built. If he had made those connections, I feel that David wouldn’t have to be starting from scratch at this point.

        ..so no. If this is more than a temporary situation, no matter how positive David feels about it now, it’s going to come back to bite him in the…tush. lol. And I don’t know if he realizes that. Yes, it’s David’s choice and David’s career. But when the choice involves a family member, it’s incredibly hard to see past one’s own perception and what others might see from the outside looking in. I’m facing the same situation as we speak, & I can only hope that David’s getting input from outside the immediate family before making important decisions like this.

      • Shanny in Australia

        VJ – you have come the closest I have ever seen to giving some solid evidence as to why people should dislike Jeff as manager so strongly.

        I try to be fair and informed, and I did not know about David in the early days, so could you please give a little more detail about what you feel jeff did wrong when you said this…..

        “As manager, he continuously kept David OUT of the public eye instead of IN it. He made an infamously bonehead move knowing that his rep was already bad, and KNOWING that it could negatively affect his son’s career. And he didn’t make, or want to make, positive connections with the right people so that David’s foundation would ALREADY be built “

      • I completely agree with VJ.

      • I don’t want to answer for VJ but I sometimes questionned his dad’s motivations of being his manager. He surely loves his son and I’m sure that David loves him. But after AI, his reputation wasn’t good and was harmful to David the singer, he should have stepped back and let the management company he and D chose do the job. He could have still been there (in the background) to advise his son and to help him with his decisons.
        Then , there was the arrest. As a public person in David’s entourage, he surely knew that it was going to hurt David, but he stayed in the picture till the affair was made public. So the arrest had a double effect on David because it involved him personally and professionaly (J being his dad and his manager).

        I truly believe that he has the best intentions and that he only wants the best for David but his public image still hurts (IMO) David’s career. I just want to say that his involvement shouldn’t automatically be a professional one. He can help as much just by being his dad.

        Also, his past managements kept focusing on David’s established fanbase (from AI). His online fans are the only ones knowing what’s going on with him. Just look at all the tweets asking what happened to David since AI or since Crush. Of course, his former label had a part in that but if you can’t trust your label, you should still find the support you need with a good management.

  17. hell0g0rge0us

    Or are mothers untouchable? I actually don’t have a problem with either parent doing what they do for and/or with their son. Please don’t throw tomatoes, I just want to know why one gets a pass and the other gets vitrol.

    Hmmm, maybe b/c Lupe doesn’t seem to be competing with her son for attention, especially when David is usually the one pointing her out and inviting her in the limelight with him? I don’t ever recall David gesturing to MIC in the same ways.

    And if you think David treats his parents equally, I invite you to pay attention (as I have these past 3 years) to the way David delivers his Mother’s Day vlogs vs. his Father’s Day ones.

    • True. David NEVER mentions his dad on twitter, or anything, unless asked.

      Another weird thing I was wondering is–since he is so far out of the limelight now, is he still not feeling the need to do an LDS mission? I guess that’s (fortunately) been laid to rest.

      • raelovingangels

        I don’t think he is that far out of the limelight. Perhaps on the US radio scene- but certainly he rules Asia. And he keeps on picking up followers on Twitter. I see more and more Spanish tweets and Spanish comments on You Tube.

    • It is more than obvious how differently David behaves towards his mother and father. However, I don’t think he would condone the way his fans speak of his dad. I know where I come from if you disrespect my peeps, you disrespect me. I also believe it is David who turned to Jeff during this time of transition.

    • Shanny in Australia

      David knows that there are people out there who have beat on his dad, so like any kid who loves his parent, he obviously has chosen to protect his father by not speaking of him unless necessary. When David delivers fathers day vlogs or what not, if there is any difference to his mothers day vlogs, could it not be due to the fact that David knows that there are people out there hating on his father, even as he speaks about him. I think that would make me a little nervous too. David has said that he loves his father. Why can’t we take his word on it?

      Maybe Jeff got a little too friendly for a few fans liking in the early days (people make mistakes and maybe some people actually liked his friendliness anyway) but Jeff has certainly laid low in recent times, so I don’t really think it is still accurate to be saying he is competing for David’s attention. Sheesh, I don’t see Jeff trying to start any singing career but I do his mother. Not that I have anything against her doing so – all power to her – just that I use it to illustrate how maybe we are only looking for what we want to find maybe?

    • VJ : WOW You just expressed exactly the way I feel. Thank You.

  18. hell0g0rge0us

    Let me remind everyone here that, at Soul David, all opinions are allowed – so long as everyone remains respectful of each other. I encourage all folks, previous lurkers especially, to be bold and brave and state your opinions!

    That’s all we’re doing here: stating our opinions (mine included).

    That said, I also want to remind some of the newer posters that we here at Soul David DO NOT DO GROUP THINK!

    There is no party line here that everybody has to follow (other than to at least be some kind of admirer of David, if you’re not quite a hardcore or softcore fan).

    No one needs to prove anything when stating an opinion, as far as I’m concerned, and if it turns out that a vast majority of SDers seem to be anti-#MIC, then I just need to remind you of my blog’s history.

    Remember back in 2009, when other fan sites issued a moratorium of silence concerning David’s dad and a certain scandal, I was one of the few that said: “Bullshit! Fans are upset, and we need to feel free to discuss our concerns!” And many fans did.

    I would say, by default, this blog has attracted enough people who love David but may have reservations about the dad and suddenly felt like they could congregate at a fan site where one could freely be a Fan of David without having to be a Fan of Jeff (which seemed to be a mandate at some fan sites, not all).

    I’m reminding everyone of this because I would hate to see “mandates” issued here that expected everyone to fall in line with a “love the MIC” or “hate the MIC.”

    I don’t care how you feel about that individual here, but let’s discuss the concerns around David’s “management” without laying down the law on what makes one a “good fan” or “bad fan.”

    Peace! 🙂

  19. Soooo it is true? LOL , Oh boy, like i said yesterday fans are really adjusting their expetations to this new phase, so someones gonna go, someones gonna stay, someones gonna wait….. nothing we can do .

    David looks like he truly has an strong admiration for his dad , so i guess is safe to say that ‘Like father, like son’….and whatever interpretation each person want to give to this, is totally personal and subjetive , since everyone has a different opinion of MIC. G’night

    • Well, we don’t know if it is “true”. A description under a picture does not make it true. But pointing toward true.

      • If David had a non-family manager, there would be no reason to keep it a secret, it would be proudly announced. It seems like a no-brainer that Jeff is acting as manager.

  20. hell0g0rge0us

    David looks like he truly has an strong admiration for his dad

    Funny how people interpret things differently. Just b/c David’s got his dad on a management team (if this is indeed true) doesn’t mean he’s got a “strong admiration” for the guy.

    But that’s JMHO of course!

    Let’s keep it respectful, peeps, and stop assuming that fans with genuine concerns for David’s career aren’t being respectful towards the guy.

    • Hey!! I go with the flow LOL! 😉 ….at least in the first part of my post, the second part is becoming a reality for me already so never mind then …. this is one of that moments when you have not to much words to say really !! 😐

      Note : I really appreciate this blog HG…so thanks 🙂

  21. I love your thought-provoking posts, HG. This is another good one.

    Personally, I was never a fan of Idol–in fact, I had never once watched Idol–until David appeared on the show. So, the machinations of the Idol folks are beyond my ken. It’s interesting to muse, but I actually don’t have a clue.

    I do remember how VERY miffed I was when Simon went on Ellen and Leno (or Letterman?) and built Cook up and tore David down. That was extremely irritating and especially unfair right before the finale. His (successful) effort to tip the result of the show was just plain wrong.

    I don’t have any idea what Idol wanted from the Season 7 winner. My thought at the time was that Simon thought David was not prepared as the winner to be the ‘face’ of Idol coz he was soo shy, he was nearly tongue-tied at times. You remember him on stage in the gray sweater being overcome at his Homecoming (I drove 732 miles one way to be there!) and the repetitive gosh!, gosh!, gosh!, right? Another time on a results show when Ryan asked him his thoughts after being criticized by Simon for song choice (Think of Me?), he babbled on a bit before spitting out that he was happy with what he did. All of this, turned the ‘most self-assured’ Simon off and spooked him, I think. Simon worries–would David fall on his face in interviews and make Idol look bad? Hence, he tries with some success to manipulate the result (although credit where credit’s due, he did admit straight out on finale night that D wiped the floor with Cook…which he essentially took back the next night when the results were shown to him.)

    We know that David is strong and brave despite any self-doubt and will rise to the occasion no matter what is thrown at him. He would have managed pretty well at first and then began to flourish as we’ve seen him do over the years since. Even though he is ill-at-ease, as JambaJim says, though he’s awkward, he’s “adorably awkward, very charmingly awkward” and those who interview him typically end up loving him and becoming big fans. So, it wouldn’t have been a disaster, more likely the opposite.

    I’m more concerned with now and what is going on currently. I do think David is the author of the changes we’re seeing. (I just wish I knew more of what’s upcoming, what is rattling around in that pretty little head of his.) Other than missing his family and a normal life, I don’t think living life at a dead run actualy bothered him terribly. I believe the thing that pushed him over the top–in combination with living life at warp speed–was that his label and management tried to squeeze him into their star-shaped mold. On some of their requests and expectations, he wouldn’t budge.

    He’s spoken in recent months about the importance of knowing what you will and won’t compromise on. I think Jive and WEG knew what a talent they had in him if he would just do this or that…things he found either unacceptable or that he felt didn’t reflect who he was. So, he decided to walk away from a big label, known management and take a breather to decide what he wants from his career as a singer.

    I have do faith in him. However, I have my doubts about the music business and will admit that I worry coz having him in my life is important to me. I don’t know what to expect and I don’t like it. Luckily, he’s way past talented, has an exquisite, soaring, passionate voice, and is gorgeous and endearing to boot. So, chances are he’ll do well. I just don’t like this undefined, floating, amorphous spot we’re in at the moment.

    • raelovingangels

      Well said!
      “He’s spoken in recent months about the importance of knowing what you will and won’t compromise on. I think Jive and WEG knew what a talent they had in him if he would just do this or that…things he found either unacceptable or that he felt didn’t reflect who he was. So, he decided to walk away from a big label, known management and take a breather to decide what he wants from his career as a singer.”

  22. I’ve been biting my tongue, but VJ’s comments about her sadness over David losing so much ground prompted me to jump back in, even though I may get some backlash. (I’m a good fan, I promise!)

    Those pictures of the “Idol Reunion” almost brought me to tears. The vast majority at that photo shoot are not well known artists; I look at most of them and think to myself (if I even know who they are) that they are just past Idol contestants, nothing more. And David, who was more successful than just about everyone there, was relegated to the periphery in the group shots. My fear is that he’s becoming, (and maybe already is), just another Idol contestant. I wonder if that’s how he views himself; else why did he agree to do this? Although maybe it’s just another example of the stellar job his “management” is doing.

    A lot of people have stated reservations about MIC possibly managing again, but seem to be trying to be open-minded about it, trusting that David knows what he’s doing. I know this is absolutely his decision to make, and what I think means zilch. But, really, he’s just 20 years old–becoming an adult doesn’t automatically empower him with experience and wisdom. He’s been in the business for all of three years. Yes, he’s shown he can be strong-willed and has a spine of steel, but MIC, being his father, naturally has a big influence over him. I think a lot of us worry that this influence is being used unfairly, prompting David to make a huge mistake at a time when there’s less margin for error. It can be hard to break away from one’s parents, especially in the culture that David grew up in. If MIC truly had David’s best interests at heart, I would think that he would task himself with finding the best manager for him, rather than making him a family business.

    I really hope I get to eat my words.

    • Utah mom. I agree with you.

    • raelovingangels

      he may have done it regardless- but you raise good points- Not all opportunities are good opportinities in shaping the image of your client. Unfortunately, “image”, what David’s is, what it should be and what will work is IMO at the crux of much of this. I don’t have the answers- but there is likely some bright person in the business who can let David be himself- and still craft hs image in a way that sells. David likely does not like to be a prodict- but he is- his music, his persona, his message. I know Taylor Swift may not be real popular here- but I continue to be impressed with how she seems to have been able to be herself and be hugely successful. Somehow, someone got it right with her.

  23. Shanny in Australia

    Amen HG. I actually suggested this very thing a while back on SD. The weakly or unsubstantiated vitriol is so over the top it has to be influenced by others opinions and/or prejudice. Mostly I think people in society in general have forgotten how to think for themselves and just believe what they are told to believe.

    • Shanny That is funny you bring that up. I see that on other fansite’s of David’s but not here. That is why I love SD. On other sites if you speak your mind you are cut down. You must think the way others think there or you don’t dare to comment for fear of being put down. I think that this is the one David site that people do freely speak their mind without fear of being attacked. Good Point,

      • Shanny in Australia

        Thanks Marie, I do see what you are saying and I agree to some point. With regards to SD….I am not saying people are not allowed to speak their mind here…..just that I think some people here have been influenced by outside sources with regards to their opinion on jeff.

    • I don’t see any vitriol. Jeff is not a professional manager and has no connections (beyond a radius of approx. 100 miles from Murray, Utah).

      If the past three years are not enough proof, then nothing can be done about that.

    • Shanny- Hi. When I made my post last night, I was leaving for the night, and now I’m leaving for the rest of the day. lol. I promise I’ll get back to you, though.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Thanks VJ – I look forward to it. And may I request that you please be as specific as possible. I’m trying to understand things and generalities make it difficult to understand. Thanks again. 🙂

    • Shanny – I am a huge fan of your posts however I felt saddened at your posts on another fansite about some of the comments you felt were OTT on “another fansite”. You have joined several discussions here enough to be considered a regular SD’er and should know by now that SD has and will always be a unique fansite in Archuworld. Many times I choose to stay out purposefully when I read certain things I dislike, but people here also care deeply about David and choose to express what’s on their mind – the good, the bad, and the ugly. HG gave the history of the turning point for the site and it is true. It is like therapy because we openly say what’s bugging us about a situation. And in this fandom – there are MANY lol!.
      I post on other sites also but always try to match the tone most present which is always upbeat for the most part. This site however, can have different tones all at once because of each poster’s frame of mind at the moment of posting. Anyway this long narrative is not because I want to attack you but perhaps to make you more aware of why it is the way it is here.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Joymus, thank you for the compliment. 🙂 And thank you for speaking up and letting me know your feelings. I’m sorry my post saddened you but for some reason the issue really does bother me and I do stand by what I said in that I do think some people are too harsh on Jeff here. I guess I could say that I too am very saddened by some of the posts here. We may have to respectfully disagree with each other but I hope neither of us will hold any ill feelings towards one another because of it. 🙂

      • I hold absolutely no ill-feeling but I guess I just wanted to say that you seemed to be site-bashing a site you now regularly post on because you were perhaps unaware of how the posters came to this point. That’s all. The comments on Soul David can be a bitter pill to swallow at times but it is what it is.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Joymus, I can understand how it would come across like that. I wasn’t ‘site bashing’ but I was speaking strongly against the ill-will towards Jeff here. If there was something I felt strongly about on the ‘other site’ i would say that too. If I am guilty of something, I think it would be less of site bashing and more of the fact that I do feel strongly about this issue. I’m sure you saw my initial comments where I actually said I didn’t feel I was in the right frame of mind to discuss it respectfully and so I refrained from commenting to much until later. I recognise that even though I try to be respectful, my passion on this subject can and probably has betrayed my attempt to keep it non-argumentative and respectful at all times. Again, I don’t really intend to be disrespectful…It’s just that I guess I get weak in controling my delivery from time to time and….it’s that dogone passion of mine on this topic that I get carried away with. lol If I’ve been truly disrespectful, I’m sorry…hopefully I can do better in the future, while still speaking my feelings boldly.

    • LOL, this post make me laugh hard tbh, c’mon Shanny you can use better arguments than this disrespectful ‘people forgot how to think for them-selves’ , seriously if that is the case i guess you are not exempted…..oh wait….. yours is an honest , uninfluenced , free of prejudice opinion ……. yeah. right lol. 😉

      • Shanny in Australia

        Tibitibi, no actually I think like all people, I undoubtedly have some opinions and attitudes that others have taught to me. It is hard to be so self-examining, that we can weed all of them out, and it would surely take a whole life time to achieve it anyway.

  24. raelovingangels

    Clearly the music business is tough and can chew you up and spit you out. I really think David will be fine. It just may not be a straight path. He has expressed again & again his commitment to music and to his fans. He believes he has been called to do music. It would have been nice ( although certainly he was under no obligation) if he had been able to share the kind of thoughts that he disclosed during that APSCA interview when the news broke about him leavng his lable and leaving his mangement co. I think his close fan community would have felt- “oh yeah” we get it totally. We want David to be able to slow it down a bt, find his balance and re-direct. He has been non-stop for 3 years now- starting at an age- when you are doing alot of self -discovery. I do get it- Have never followed anyone’s career so closely- watching the ups and downs. I want David to be able to last- many years-….I believe he does also- Unfortunately, there is no blue print- so as hard as it is, we will just have to hold on for the ride, hope for the best and try to keep the faith.
    I hope Jeff is temporary- during this time of transition- or the media/music biz/radio somehow will let the past be the past.

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