It seems that David Archuleta’s happy-go-lucky demeanor may be hiding a struggle with his pushy "stage dad".
In the past weeks we’ve heard that Jeff Archuleta yelled at the Idol so much during a rehearsal that David broke down in tears, and last week Simon Cowell even seemed to have a dig at Archuleta Sr. overbearing influence live on air.
Now it has been revealed that producers of another TV talent contest had to ban Mr Archuleta from coming backstage after he intimidated some of the children competing against his son.
David appeared on the Star Search show in 2003 when he was 12 years old, winning the Junior Singer Champion category – along with a $100,000 prize – but missing out on the Grand Champion title.
A CBS executive who worked on the show has told the New York Post that producers decided to remove Mr. Archuleta, 46, from the show to protect David and the other children.
"Some parents were happy to be there and happy that their kid was on national TV," the unnamed official told the Post. "But Jeff is a stage dad. He insinuated himself into the process and had to be removed."
"We got some complaints that he was trying to subtly psyche out the other kids," they said.
The exec said that because of child labor laws, they were not allowed to stop Mr Archuleta from attending the filmings of the show, but added, "at a certain point we did limit his access to the entire process. Jeff denies it to this day, but we did limit his access."
It has been reported that Mr Archuleta has been up to his old tricks again while David has been on American Idol.
During a March 10 session in L.A., Jeff was reportedly so hard on David’s vocal that he brought the 17-year-old to tears.
Both the show and other contestants have refused to comment on the rumors.
But Jeff’s forceful influence over his son’s bid to win Idol even seems to have come to the attention of Simon Cowell.
After a below-par performance of an obscure song by Australian pop singer John Farnham on last week’s show, the judge said: "I’d be amazed if you chose the song yourself."