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David A. Coach Denies Dad Rumors

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May 12 2008, Published 12:00 p.m. ET

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A friend of the Archuleta family and member of David's coaching team has denied that the teen's dad has been banned from American Idol because of his troublesome behavior.

Dean Kaelin is in almost daily contact with the family and has acted their unofficial spokesman during the controversy surrounding Jeff Archuleta.

Since Saturday it has been reported that Jeff had been given the boot from backstage because his interference in David's performances had become unacceptable.

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Today he told the Early Show on CBS that Jeff had been removed from rehearsals because his presence was giving David an unfair advantage over his rivals.

Sources inside Idol have told the Associated Press that things came to a head when producers told Jeff that David would not be allowed to insert lyrics from Sean Kingston's Stand By Me-sampling 2007 hit single, Beautiful Girls, into the original.

But when David sang the words on air regardless, raising legal problems for the show, producers snatched Jeff's backstage pass.

Today Dean, who has worked with David for six years, denied that version of the story.

He told the Early Show: "I just spoke to Jeff yesterday and he was on a photo shoot with David.

"And so he hasn't been banned from American Idol altogether.

"What I have heard is that it is more of a fairness issue.

"That they have decided that since David is required to have a guardian there because he is younger, as a fairness issue, they have decided not to have Jeff there in the rehearsal area where he's working on the arrangements.

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"But as far as the other contestants, I'm sure they receive a lot of help on the phone from friends and music experts.

"But Jeff is actually on site."

In the past weeks Kaelin has admitted to OK! that Jeff from Murray, Ut., shortlisted songs for David to choose from and worked out arrangements for him.

But he denied that Jeff had made David cry in practices and that he had been banned from the backstage of David's last TV talent contest, Star Search.

American Idol has declined to comment on the controversy.

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