By Jamie Sotonoff | Daily Herald Staff
As Adam Lambert proves, being an “American Idol” runner-up isn’t a bad thing.
It certainly has worked out well for David Archuleta, the smiley, clean-cut, Utah teenager who finished second to David Cook on 2008′s “American Idol.”
In his life after “Idol,” Archuleta has had three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, put out two CDs and become a teen heartthrob.
He’ll perform in Waukegan Friday, singing holiday songs from his new CD, “Christmas from the Heart.”
We spoke to Archuleta (nicknamed “Archie” by his fellow “Idol” contestants) about everything from Lambert to Christmas caroling with his kid sisters. Below is an excerpt:
Q. You’re considered a teen idol, you know.
A. (Laughs) Actually, a mix of people like my music. Older people like it, too.
Q. When did you realize you had made the big time? Was there a moment when it hit you?
A. It’s weird hearing yourself at a restaurant or a store. That’s happened to me. People don’t realize you’re there until the song starts playing. Sometimes, I start singing along. What else can I do?
Q. Who from Season 7 do you still keep in touch with? David Cook, of course?
A. Yeah, David Cook. I keep in touch with most of them, actually. Brooke (White), Jason (Castro) … everyone. I spent a good part of the year with them so we all became friends.
Q. What do you think of Adam Lambert?
A. I don’t watch TV very much. This year has been crazy. I think he and Kris (Allen) and Allison (Iraheta) … they’re all really talented people. They have great voices.
Q. What about Adam Lambert’s performance at the American Music Awards?
A. I didn’t see it, so I guess I don’t have an opinion about it.
Q. Your fans like to hear details of your personal life. Anything you can share? Do you have a girlfriend? A new dog?
A. I wrote about this in my last blog, but I have two new cats. Actually, they’re my sister’s cats. I like cats. I like animals. Their names are Tsuki and Katsu. My sister’s really into Japanese stuff. Tsuki means “victorious” and Katsu means “moon.” They fetch and play tag. They’re fun.
Q. You’re coming to the Chicago area. Can you talk a little bit about your show?
A. The first half is pop stuff and non-holiday music, and then I’ll sing Christmas music. It is a Christmas tour. I don’t really do anything (from) “Idol.” I do some new covers, though.
Q. Is Christmas one of your favorite holidays?
A. Yeah, I love it. I used to go Christmas caroling when I was little with my brothers and sisters, so it’s fun to have those songs on my Christmas album. It’d be fun to (go caroling) again, but I don’t think I’ll be home.
Q. What’s on the horizon for you?
A. I’m working on another pop album, and there’s a bit of time that I took out in October and November to just write with people. It’s been really fun. I’ve been able to show more of my personality. I’ve been able to show more of my thoughts and ideas.
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11
Where: Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan
Tickets: $35-$42.50 at the box office