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David Archuleta & Brooke White Share 'American Idol' Finale Thoughts -- From Inside & Outside

David Archuleta 2016
Blythe Thomas

David Archuleta

American Idol season 7 alums David Archuleta and Brooke White took to social media to share their thoughts on last week's series finale -- one from inside the Dolby Theatre, and one on the outside.

While Archuleta revealed that he almost didn't appear at the finale and explained how season 6 winner Jordin Sparks got him through the opening number, White is blunt about not even being invited, as well as the "high highs and low lows" of Idol.

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Archuleta did not think he would be able to attend the finale because he had things scheduled in April and Idol’s finales are typically in May. “A few days before the finale was to air, I felt something tell me to look at my schedule. I realized that even though I had already said I was unavailable back in February, I saw that my schedule had changed,” Archuleta wrote on his blog. “I asked my manager if it’d be too late to still at least attend so that I could say goodbye to so many people that had influenced my life during my time both as a viewer and a participant in the show. I was happy when I got a response that despite it being just a few days before, I’d be able to go.”

Archuleta said returning to the Dolby Theatre was a full-circle moment for him. The Utah native attended the first Idol finale, between Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, when he was just 11 years old.

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As Archuleta stood backstage ready to perform the opening number -- Barry Manilow's "One Voice" -- Sparks asked with all her “bubbly energy” if he would like to say a prayer.  No sooner did he say, “Yes,” than Sparks announced to everyone that she was going to lead the group in a prayer. “Colton Dixon and Danny Gokey came over to join us along with Blake Lewis, and Jordin started praying. During the prayer I felt my fears calm down.  Prayers usually do calm my fears. It’s interesting how that works. When we finished the prayer and said 'amen' I heard a lot more amens then I expected,” he said. “I looked up and saw that just about everyone of the group on our side of the stage had huddled around us to join us.  It was a special moment.”

White would have loved to have been a part of that moment, but according to her post on Instagram, she was not asked to attend. “I'd hoped I would be, but never got the call. Why? No idea,” she wrote. “Was I bummed? Surely."

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She added that there are positives and negatives with being involved with the show. “The Idol experience is a mixed bag: high highs and low lows, triumphs and embarrassments, moments when producers are calling you darling and giving you cheek kisses and then moments when you feel utterly invisible. Moments of pride and moments of humility,” she wrote. “You do something right, then you get it all wrong. Everyone knows your name, then they forget. One second you're flying first class, next minute you're back in the van. But that's life in the spotlight. It's on, then it's off.”

Read Archuleta's full blog post here, and see White's Instagram post below:

 

A big hug and a thank you to all of you who reached out last night. Nope, I was not at the last Finale in Idol History. I'd hoped I would be, but never got the call. Why? No idea. Was I bummed? Surely. BUT... - The Idol experience is a mixed bag: high highs and low lows, triumphs and embarrassments, moments when producers are calling you darling and giving you cheek kisses and then moments when you feel utterly invisible. Moments of pride and moments of humility. You do something right, then you get it all wrong. Everyone knows your name, then they forget. One second you're flying first class, next minute your back in the van. But that's life in the spotlight. It's on, then it's off. BUT... - With all that, what Idol was, and has been for so many of us, is OPPORTUNITY. Opportunity to be seen, to be heard, to connect and to be refined. It's was an education, a university. A place to be schooled with the best of the best, To be mentored by literal legends and to play on a stage with a well oiled machine. It was a family. Contestants and crew, and drivers and PA's and people that you grow to love. It wouldn't and couldn't guarantee a lifetime of fame and fortune and success thereafter, but it definitely gave you a shot, to see how far you could take it. It allowed you to see how badly you wanted it, and to find out what you would and wouldn't do for it. It gave you experience. - That's what it gave me and then some. And it was once in a lifetime. It was some of the hardest fun I've ever had. It forced me to face my demons. I barely survived but it was an absolute honor to play in your living rooms for a season. - So I wasn't there last night, to reunite, and hug the "family" and say my goodbyes. Would have loved to. But that's okay, because I couldn't ask for more than what I got. - So if my last memory of the finale is sitting on a stage next to THE Graham Nash singing Teach Your Children barefoot on the guitar 8 years ago, that's A-OK -- Idol brought me to so many of you. To those who've stuck with me through the years, I love you, I appreciate you. And to my idol family, I love you and appreciate you. - Thanks for everything. And the beat goes on... #americanidol

A video posted by Brooke White (@realbrookewhite) on