David Archuleta became a star at age 16 after his dazzling run on season 7 of American Idol in 2008. He was the first runner-up that season, and now he's made waves on another musical competition show: The Masked Singer.
Season 9 of the hit Fox series featured a disguised singer in a macaw costume who stunned judges and viewers alike with his renditions of Ed Sheeran's "Photograph," "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction, and "Your Song" by Elton John.
In an emotional finale that also saw the reveal of season 9 winner Bishop Briggs, the macaw was finally unmasked as David Archuleta. Following the reveal, the singer remained on stage and shared a teary-eyed moment with the audience.
"Being macaw has felt liberating. Coming out felt liberating," he said. He then called himself "queer" and recalled his rocky path to self-acceptance. "It got to a point where I thought that maybe it's better if I'm not here," he continued. Archuleta came out in June 2021 after years of struggling to embrace his identity.
For his final performance before the unmasking, Archuleta sang the Eric Carmen/Celine Dion classic "All By Myself." In a statement, the artist shared that the song "is a declaration to me. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking I didn’t deserve love or to be loved ... I am done being alone though. I think it’s ok to say even if I am the way I am I don’t want to live by myself anymore. And, it’s ok to allow myself to be loved. And to love."
After finishing second place, Archuleta took to Twitter to share his joy over appearing on The Masked Singer, writing, "Never thought I’d sing a 1D song on national tv dressed up like a big bird ... and I had the time of my life!!! What a treat to be on @MaskedSingerFOX season 9!!"
Unmasked and ready to release new music, Archuleta will debut his new single "Up" on June 2.
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