Over the weekend it was reported that David Archuleta's father, stage parent extraordinaire Jeff Archuleta, has lost his backstage pass for American Idol and will no longer be permitted at any of David's rehearsals, a ruling that will likely change nothing in a competition that's already been decided for months, even if it's still completely unfair. According to an Idol source speaking to TMZ, "Jeff has been a complete pain in the ass, interfering with the entire production. He has badgered producers, the band, vocal coaches and even other contestants" — pretty much all the things that've made him the greatest stage dad since Joseph Jackson, and David the greatest Idol finalist in the show's seven-year history.
Apparently the breaking point came last Tuesday when Jeff, David's "musical consultant," advised the front-runner to sing a line from Sean Kingston's hit "Beautiful Girls" during his performance of "Stand by Me," a move that made the song much better in our opinion (we bet Ben E. King wishes he'd thought of it!) at the small cost of "a lot of money" in publishing rights for Idol's producers, who were purportedly "beyond pissed." On Wednesday, according to sources, Jeff met with Idol lawyers who told him he's still allowed to sit in the audience during live tapings, but he's "banned from being in the rooms where David [is] learning or rehearsing his songs."
How is Jeff supposed to stage-parent effectively if he's not allowed near the stage? Sure, he'll still be able to badger David during unofficial, off-set rehearsals — but that's only one facet of his protean, multi-sided strategy for absolute victory! Who will revise arrangements and yell at band members to guarantee that David's songs are played flawlessly? And who will harass the other finalists, thus ensuring that they deliver sub-Archuletan performances, as they have on all previous shows? And isn't it totally unfair to David to change the rules of the competition at this late stage? Without Jeff's aggressive 24-hour guidance, will he still be the same David Archuleta that a plurality of Idol voters have pledged their unconditional support to? Isn't this like making David Cook sing without his toupee?