David Archuleta Surprises Viral Howling Fans on ‘Idol’ Reunion Special: ‘Sorry I Didn’t Win!’

Viral howl David Archuleta fans Natalie Blanock, Madison Shemansky, Kellie Duffey and Natalie Burchesky.  (Photo: Fremantle Media)

Viral howl David Archuleta fans Natalie Blanock, Madison Shemansky, Kellie Duffey and Natalie Burchesky. (Photo: Fremantle Media)

Not Since american idolThe alleged “series finale” in 2016 — when Fox canceled the long-running and much-loved talent show, only for ABC to pop in and reboot just two years later — had been such a bring-all-the-feels nostalgia- evening as Monday ‘Great Idol Reunion’ 20th anniversary special.

We had Ryan Seacrest in a circa 2002 striped and tipped rooster wig, joined by noticeably less hairy season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini. we had OG idol panelists Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson steal new judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan’s chairs, while Paula burst into tears at the sight of her “babies” — alumni such as Tamyra Gray, Brooke White, Pia Toscano, Anthony Federov, Elliott Yamin and Brandon Rogers — hang out in the VIP lounge off the side.

And then, just when we thought Ryan was about to release “the man synonymous with,” american idolTo kick Katy Perry out of her middle jury seat, instead of Simon Cowell, William Hung — the prankster who went viral before “going viral” was even anything — sprinted for a spirited reprise of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs”. William has did it well for yourself after that idol, first working as a statistical analyst for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and now as a motivational speaker telling people, “I believe everyone has a right to try something new without being ridiculed!” — a statement he made on Monday, which was greeted with loving applause.

But the early viral stars that used to be ridiculed, but real stole the “Great Idol Reunion” show Monday, the four Archies – as in, David Archuleta were super fans – whose video of them sobbing uncontrollably over Archuleta’s loss to David Cook in the Season 7 “David vs. David” finale , made the internet rounds in 2008. Last year, on the 13th anniversary of that famous final showdown, Archuleta tweeted a video of the collapse of the tweens’ living room, saying, “I’m thinking about these girls. I hope they’re doing well wherever they are!” And this week he found that they’re actually doing just fine, when all four fans – older, wiser and much calmer, but still proudly wearing their Archie iron-on T-shirts and listening to his music – took to the stage.

Archuleta, now 31, did not perform on Fox’s farewell show in 2016 because his booking was too last minute to rehearse, and sadly he was unable to sing at this week’s “Great Idol Reunion” as he was recovering from vocal surgery in the past two months. But when he took the stage with a new peroxidized haircut and a talk box to surprise the grown-up crying Archie girls (Natalie Blanock, Madison Shemansky, Kellie Duffey and Natalie Burchesky, aged 24-25), they were all smiling. “Thank you for creating such a fun and memorable moment for me and everyone else,” he told them through the voice assistant app on his smartphone. “Sorry I didn’t win!”

David Cook was actually at the house Monday, but it seems all was forgiven and there were no hard feelings. Cook duetted with fellow WGWG champion and recent tour mate, a very upbeat season 8 winner Kris Allen, on a beautiful duet of Cranberries’ “Dreams.” This was one of many nostalgic alumni couples, as Ryan (now wearing his regular, flatter, darker hair again) announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, the history of american idol is on this podium!”

Season 2/Season 6 winners Ruben Studdard and Jordin Sparks teamed up for a pure performance of “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”, after which we saw an adorable flashback from when Ruben’s “Alabama brother”, Lionel Richie himself, guested on Season 2 and praised Ruben’s skills. Season 10’s top two finalists, bonafide country stars Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, have proven they’ve come a long way since their green teens with their sophisticated take on “When You Say Nothing at All.” Last year’s favorites Willie Spence and Grace Kinstler mixed their powerful vocals for a rousing cover of Clean Bandit’s electro-pop banger “Rather Be”. And the most adorable duet was a Carter/Cash-esque rendition of “Islands in the Stream” by 2018 winner Maddie Poppe and runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson, who emerged in the Season 16 finale as a truly romantic couple and still are. Go strong.

Season 17 winner Laine Hardy and his compatriot Laci Kaye Booth also performed, although Laine made headlines just days ago when he was arrested on charges of allegedly placing a recording device in his ex-girlfriend Louisiana State’s dorm room. university. (One idol source clarified to Yahoo Entertainment that the “Great Idol Reunion” special was filmed more than a month ago, before these allegations came to light. It’s worth noting that while Laine and Laci’s performance was not removed from the broadcast, it was not mentioned in any social media posts promoting the special or uploaded to the show’s official YouTube channel.)

While the disturbing Laine news could have put a damper on Monday’s feel-good festivities, Laine and Laci’s raw, rootsy cover of Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks’ “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” was spellbinding, and Laci deserved this moment to to shine and just prove what a rising star she is. “I never doubted you in one day of my life,” said Laci’s biggest fan, Katy.

Anyway, as Ryan said at the end of this all-too-short special presentation, the “idol legacy live on Sunday,” when the current top seven finalists — one of whom will be crowned the Season 20 Champion in just three weeks — perform once again for the voices of America. With such a competitive season, there could be a few Archie-esque tears shed on that finale night too.

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