2011: Year in Review

Remember this performance of David at last year’s New Year’s Eve Fox countdown show? Now, I knew it wasn’t that big of a deal since he appearedon Fox, not on ABC’s very-big-deal Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve Countdown.  Still, I remember how it gave me so much reason to hope, back when David had signed to WEG management.

Back then, if you remember, our biggest gripes were all about Jive’s lack of promotion for David’s sophomore album, The Other Side of Down, and David’s relegation to performances on skating shows. As die-hard fans, we relished in any TV appearance from David we could get, but we had to focus on the positives, rather than on the way that such performances indeed signaled his C-list status in the business (because A-listers only appear on programs that everybody watches).

And yet, my optimism for David’s career knew no bounds. Indeed, when others were bellyaching over the news this past February that Jive had “dropped” David, I did a happy dance because it was better to sever the chains from a company that did nothing for you, IMO.  Remember my “David is Free of Jive A$$ Records” post? It had received the most views this year… that is, until I posted “Follow Your Heart, David,” in which that post broke all previous records for the most views.  Everyone comes out of the woodwork whenever David does something NOT related to music. What gives?

So, looking back at my posts this past year, I have to say: No wonder I’m getting tired of the bellyaching, the frustrations, the angst.  That’s ALL that we have been doing for a whole year!

In January, we became frustrated once again when things got quiet in Archuworld after his New Year’s Eve performance.  In February, we wrung our hands over David’s future since he didn’t leave Jive for a new label.

In the ensuing months, we waited and waited and waited for news that David had new management and a new label.  But nothing prevailed.  Then he went on tours in Asia. 

Sometime in late August, someone broke into his twitter account to “leak” the news that he was going on a mission, and pretty much all hell broke loose after that point. 

And then we had a reprieve once he announced his plans for a “My Kind of Christmas” tour. There was absolutely no question for me: if David was going to perform in a city near me and during a time that I could make it, I will be there. 

It truly is an amazing thing to be surrounded by the peace and calm embodied in David’s Voice and his overall persona when seeing and hearing him live because I do know my attitude changed about everything pertaining to his career and to his life goals afterwards.

I was strangely calm when David finally announced his plans to go on a mission for his church and even cheered him on.  Considering my attitude earlier this year, I don’t think I would have felt this way had I not seen him this month. 

Still, I think even all our frustrations and bellyaching that came from following David so closely were worthwhile.  Just on a behind-the-scenes basis, we got exposed to the machinations of how the music business worked and what it means to have enormous talent and even good looks and personality, as David clearly does, and still not get a chance to really launch oneself if you don’t have the right backing.

Unfortunately, for David, he signed to a label that could only give him “one hit” and then relegate him to the background; he appeared on a show that was just as deeply invested in not promoting him (remember our frustrations when Idol wouldn’t even say his name when referring to past Idol winners and popular contestants?).  He was managed by a “team” that really couldn’t see past their own backyard (what was with all the events mostly located in Salt Lake City or nearby) or to some other “backwoods” location overseas (most of you may not know this, but a number of celebrities go to Asia to make a few quick bucks under the radar since U.S. audiences wouldn’t notice).

In short, David was really in a quagmire, which is what our frustrations reflected, and it didn’t help that certain fan blogs refused to openly discuss the reasons for this frustration and why I openly let those discussions happen here.

Is it any wonder, with no managerial assistance and a crisis of musical identity, that David opted out of the whole messy business to find spiritual meaning?  I have a feeling the  Mormon mission, as much as he was raised to expect to do one, is an “escape plan” as much as it’s a spiritual opportunity.

My only hope is that it builds David’s stamina and his confidence.  David is already getting there, but he needs more growth. And I have to absolutely say this: as much as we all love David’s humility, he must, MUST, develop a healthy ego if he wants to make it in music.

When the news of David parting ways with Jive was spread across the interwebs, some random guy commented: “What does it say about the music business that Justin Bieber is  a star and David Archuleta is no longer signed to a label?”

Oh, that says plenty about the music industry. But it also says something else: you don’t have to really have talent. You only need enough “swag” to convince others that you do!

Maybe David will develop a different kind of “swag” once he’s completed his Mission, but as long as it gives him the independence, freedom, and the ambition to remove any doubts that he deserves his success, then I will have no regrets in supporting this latest decision of his.

Wishing David and everyone a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous 2012. Happy New Year! 🙂

Posted on December 31, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.

  1. Happy New Year to all ! Its 3 hours to the 2012 over here !

    As I am settling down to watch the countdown on my local TV, I was wondering if David is going to appear on TV in US on any count down show, I guess not.

    HG, thank you for your blog and all the postings and all the best in the new year !!

  2. Great post, hg Very nice year in review. You captured it all. I agree with every word of it. Happy New Year to everyone.

    • Well, I did not agree with David leaving his label and to be honest I still do not. So I guess not every word but isn’t that what makes things interesting. lol

  3. CC Halo, I was touched by your post in the last thread and wanted to bring my reply over:

    Thanks for telling us about your family. Your daughter and son sound amazing and are also lucky, I think, to have you for their mother. I imagine you’re a very determined and passionate advocate when they need one.

  4. Another great post, HG. I agree with all of it. I have learned a lot about the music industry because of David. I truly think that the big successes in the music industry today are mainly there because of luck. For some reason only a small handful are promoted, and then there are a couple every year that are overexposed. This year it is Justin Bieber. I think most adults are sick of seeing him on every show. Of course, tonight he is on the ABC New Year’s Eve show. A few years ago it was the Jonas Brothers and Miley. I have no idea what the future holds for David, but I’m sure he didn’t want that kind of fame and overexposure. I just hope that he will be able to tour after he comes back from his mission.

  5. Happy New Year!

    (My only hope is that, after his mission, he will still have the financial freedom to decide what he wants to do.)

      • I share that concern peter. I am not so sure what will happen if and when David returns to the music industry. It is a big question mark for me. I really wish it was the biebs going away for 2 years. lol The J bros are not as popular and IMO neither will JB be in another few years.

      • Yes, someone please make the Biebs go away…

      • Amen to that. The Biebs has to be the most over-exposed celebrity out there today. Her sure must have a lot of little girl fans. I hope he takes an extended break now that the holiday season is over so he doesn’t have to support his Christmas album any longer. I wonder how many CDs he sold. It should be millions with all the promo he got.

      • Just give credit to JB, he loves to perform and there are no strings attached. That has to be worth something. He is not all over the place.


      • Justin Christmas album sales were for Charity, in Canada (World Vision)and New Schools Programs in US. , so from that view i glad he had good sales . You would be surprised what kind of people support Justin. David success depend only of him, even if in the future he needs to share the place with Justin, he still the one to decide what kind of career he wants in two years.

      • IMO, the problem is that he has no talent whatsoever.

      • lol Peter. I will agree with the no talent.

      • Well Peter that proves that your talent is just a part of the formula , talent should come with desire of success at least with the desire to have one Hit, confidence about your talent and charm and of course good team….. Justin voice talent is limited , but tbh he ”exceeds” in other aspects so he has been able to maintain his status for three years , can be different next year , that look like his make it or break it , but who knows , he’s playing well his cards at least a la Justin T. (who i think don’t have voice either , but still successful) 🙂 …… Saying this, i guess David still needing to work his confidence .

  6. Not watching too much tv and such, are the J bros and Miley still as popular as they were or has JB put the damper on that? You are so right it is not the talent anymore, it’s the backing and the gimmick or the outrageous antics that people like. I so love the talent and David does have it all!

    • The J Bros are not as popular as they once were. The oldest one is married and the other two have tried solo albums that didn’t sell very well. Nick is doing some acting.

      I haven’t seen much of Miley lately. She must be on a break or making movies.

    • From an Oct 2011 article:


      We hate to say it, but the facts speak for themselves: the solo career of Joe Jonas is off to an abysmal start.

      In its first week of sales, Joe’s first-ever solo album, “Fastlife,” sold just 18,000 copies, landing him in 15th place on the Billboard 200. By comparison, the last CD Jonas compiled with his brothers, “A Little Bit Longer,” moved 525,000 copies in the same time period. Ouch.

      Nick Jonas, meanwhile, also jumped into a solo career last year (with his band, The Administration, that is) and sold 82,000 copies of “Who I Am.” Double ouch.

      “Transforming a charmed teenhood career into a viable adult one is possibly one of the entertainment industry’s most difficult feats,” wrote Julianne Escobedo Shepherd in Billboard last week. “For every Justin Timberlake, there are 10 former boy-band members whose post-group disinterest led them to hang up their hats.”

      Can Joe rebound from this rough opening week? Or will we next see him on stage with his siblings? Stay tuned, THGers. Stay tuned.

    • You don’t have it all unless you have it in your heart to perform. It’s just not enough to be talented. You have to want it.


  7. It was quite a year!!
    So glad I got to go to the SLC and Beaver Creek MKOC VIP and Shows.
    David has grown so much as a Performer and Singer!!
    I wish him well as I do all of his followers/fans.
    Thanks HG for your review of the Year. I’m so glad you were able to see David LIVE. There is nothing like it. Wish all of his recordings were LIVE.

    Happy New Year to All.

  8. Great post HG, nice to see the balance between this and the the previous one. I agree with almost all you said, I don’t think though that leaving Jive without a real plan B was a good decision, or maybe the Plan B was to stay away from the business in some way idk. At the end of the day only him can make a career happen, hopefully an ”A”type of career, we can only wishing him that in the next two years , he can find the Peace in the Heart he needs to move on, accepting his talents and possibilities, and knowing his artistic identity in the business and that eventually the Music Industry give to him the recognition he deserve for his evident gift.

    Again thanks for this place, really sorry the circumstances made of it the place to vent many frustration with this career …… what i can say? Only Thanks and Happy New Year, Best Wishes for you and your Family in this 2012.

    Oh about my tweet, i signed at the end with my screen name, i wanted only the send you a PM , because i can’t find an email in this site. 🙂

  9. Here is a blog about David singing to two girls in the hospital recently. This is why I love David and am not worried about him any more.

    kimdfly Kim Maddox
    Yes, David Archuleta rocked my world. Merry Merry Merry!!


    christmas eve
    I’m not religious. Not at all. But I can feel awe in the presence of truth and love and laughter. And it seems I can believe (after all).

    A handful of us gathered close as a young man sang to my patients, and my two girls began to glow. The girls were slowly getting better and becoming friends but they were still in the ICU. A single, true voice rose to fill the room and the girls began to smile and heal. It’s the music. The song.

    We were blessed yesterday and reminded that a melody can carry an entire heart. A song can heal, make two sick girls giggle, help them forget where they are for a day and turn them into sunshine. David Archuleta sang ‘O Holy Night’ at my patients’ bedside, a single voice, numinous and clear. For the girls it was a private audience with our city’s superstar, a Christmas they will never forget, even in the hospital.

  10. Perhaps David leaving his label & his mgmt simultaneously and NOT resigning with others was because the plan was to go on a Mission after his 21st birthday all along. I don’t believe just because David went on AI or had a hit single or a successful first album & book in any way changed the fact that as a young Mormon boy, he was brought up to believe that regardless of what else is going on, a mission for the church should be a priority. David is and has always been a very devoted member of the Mormon church and their teachings. No one should have been shocked about his revelation. It has always been more than a probability. I would also say the last four years, especially 2011 has been very good financially to David & has given him the means to support himself & his family while he is on his mission.

    David had concrete goals, he has managed to fulfill the goals up to & including the Mission. Whether he is thinking beyond his return and what he plans to do to get back into the industry will be interesting. However, he seems to accomplish all he sets out to do, even if we aren’t aware of what “It” is. Time will tell. It’s really all up to him & what he determines to be his priorities when he returns.

    David’s life, most of his 21 years has been what could be a writer’s dream. He is complex, very talented, & beloved by millions around the world. Leaving a budding career for love of God & church is a true story which would make a great movie especially if when he returns, he explodes onto the scene bigger than ever. What an ending (or new beginning) that would be.

    Happy New Year!

    • I so agree that David is complex and very talented.

    • TooManySecrets – I like the way you think! I have often thought that the one of the reasons I’m an ODD fan of David is because his life is like a mystery/biography/reality show. I keep wanting to know what’s going to happen next. After Idol I also liked David Cook but he did not have the great fan-sites and was not as interesting. I soon lost interest in following him.

    • That is what I can to feel last year as it rolled along.. and certain choices seemed to start to make sense ( from the grandstand view lol)

      Well said TMS….

    • Well Said!! It all makes more sense now and it not such a surprise.

      Hey I like the idea of making this true story into a Movie!

    • TMS – Great Comment!

      On looking back with hindsight, I believe the seeds were sown as early as January. The visit to India was probably a “let me try it out and see” period. We had already speculated that a trip like that would profoundly change his outlook. After his return he was strangely silent for a while and after that he probably began systematically dismantling and getting his ducks in a row for a mission. Remember the Decisions vlog.

      On a lighter note – yesterday FOD posted an early AI Tour interview with David. It was so beautiful and probably one that help fan the ODD fire. David was so open and free.

      Compliments of the season to everyone and a terrific 2012

    • You maybe right, i guess the true was that his fans wanted to see a different reality 🙂 and ignoring the signals he was sending , and i guess is because that many of us had/have conflicting reactions …..and maybe someones still wanting a different reality for his future avoiding the fact that clearly his a very devout religious guy ? well see what’s gonna happen in the future , if career or natural life process gonna be a priority.

      • Yeah Tibi,
        That is why the return from mission part is what hurts my heart the most. Most fans know what they would like him to achieve with his talent. He will probably have other life goals that may or may not include a much scaled-down music career with a different focus. It all remains to be seen.

  11. Many of you know by now that David Archuleta (“American Idol” and so much more!) is heading out on a two year Mormon Mission early next year. David isn’t going to have much contact, if any, with his fans for the next couple of years, so we thought it would be a good idea to show him how much we’ll all miss him while he is away by making him “good luck” cards!

    You can draw the card, use the computer to make it, or get arts and crafty! Then, send us your card to gossip@disneydreaming.com and we’ll post them!


  12. Fans are finding funny you tube videos of Mormon missionaries. We may hear from David when he is on his mission. I thought this one way cute from the Missionary Training Center.

  13. I posted this earlier. (Sorry, tibi). I laughed so hard–it’s very non-PC (but still suitable for LDS faithful). Kind of an antidote to the idealized view of missionary service and more what you’d expect from 3,000 19-year olds, like a frat house without the drinking or sex. Can’t imagine David doing any of these hilarious pranks: http://bycommonconsent.com/2007/10/24/best-mormon-missionary-story-ever-yep-its-about-enemas/

  14. TMS says: “… 2011 has been very good financially to David & has given him the means to support himself & his family while he is on his mission.”

    If he indeed was supporting his family, I bet the weight of the world is now off his shoulders.

    Re. The Bieb, I think he’s very hard working and driven. He doesn’t have the dance skills of a Timberlake, Usher, or Chris Brown. I can see Biebs more of a Jesse McCartney, staying in music and becoming involved in other areas of entertainment. Right now a lot of people have their hands in his pockets. I hope his parents are helping him to manage his assets.

  15. My guess is he has been supporting his family, and I agree that 2011 has been very good for him financially. His Asian tour and MKOC tour provided some good money along with sales of his merchandise on the MKOC tour. I think he’s made enough to support everyone for another two years.

  16. This is the video I referred to earlier. A younger, less studied David years ago.

    • David was so real and honest and open in that interview. I loved that he talked that much and shared his feelings. He seemed so happy then.

      • Yeah, he was so happy in this interview before he found out what the music industry was really like. He is so happy when he’s just talking about music. I did see that joy again when he was singing during the MKOC tour. He really is all about the music. Too bad the music industry is about a whole lot of other things besides the music.

    • Shanny in Australia

      Bwhaha! David says his sister listened to Back Street Boys and N’Sync and it drove him nuts. That must be the first time i’ve ever heard him say anything negative about a musical artist. No wonder he fired Melinda, she wanted him to open for BSB! lololol

      Tibi, thanks for your kind words to me. ((hugs)) I have often admired how you make me think about things in a completely different way. Often you provide a surprising and intelligent analysis of things.

      Happy New Year to you all! 🙂

  17. david have mentioned the philippines on his twiiter today, i wonder if charice is with him in utah or david is in califorina for NYE hmmm??? i guess the rumors are true that he is going to the philippines for soap opera show, i guess david should be going there sometimes next week and i do think david might do the missionary training while he is there too but who knows?

    • He mentioned Phillipines in response to someone from the Phillipines telling him it was New Years there. He was saying it was the last day of the year etc. which it was in the US.
      It had NOTHING to do with Charice.

  18. I’m a little confused by this blog. Wasn’t it David’s decision to leave Jive? And didn’t he get rid of WEG and Melinda, not the other way around? His decisions to not be tied down contractually by a record deal or a professional management team leads me to the conclusion he was planning a mission before he parted ways with Jive. The subsequent appearances and small time tours by mic were to provide the financial nest egg he needed to support his two year mission.

    • I agree, Marsha. I think the decision to go on a mission may have started to jell after TOSOD didn’t do well. He had been saying that music was his mission, and he may have hoped to have the same large platform he’d had with the first album. The fact that his more “secular” album did well, but his “message” album didn’t, might have been seen as a wake-up call, regardless of all the other factors, such as poor promotion.

      So many of us fans took his music-is-my-mission thing too seriously, and felt so blindsided, but he’s young and famously indecisive, so I guess we should have realized that nothing is set in stone.

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