'Idol' Stage Dad Steps Over the Line

Is Jeff Archuleta, a musician, living vicariously through singing son David?

ByABC News via GMA logo
May 12, 2008, 10:22 AM

May 12, 2008 — -- Jeff Archuleta, the father of "American Idol" contestant and fan favorite David Archuleta, has reportedly been banned from the show's rehearsals.

The stage dad has been accused of meddling with his son's routines during rehearsal, and "Idol" producers have apparently had enough.

The "Idol" judges praised David's rendition of "Stand by Me," but the audience may not have realized that he altered the lyrics a little. At his father's urging, David used an embellishment from another song called "Beautiful Girls" by Sean Kingston.

That was apparently the final straw for producers; Jeff had already been given a warning not to use the lyrics because the show would have to pay publishers of the song for rights. That warning was obviously ignored.

"His dad is definitely very involved. 'I want this drum beat, and have you heard this version, can you call up this thing on YouTube?'" said Entertainment Weekly editor Jessica Shaw. "He doesn't try to dispel the rumors that he is a stage father."

It's not the first time Jeff has been accused of being a demanding stage parent. He was reportedly banned from the set of "Star Search" after reportedly harassing some of the other contestants during David's run on the show in 2003.

"I will say that there were things going around and things that he was doing," said Tiffany Evans, who was a contestant on the "Star Search" with David.

Experts say stage parenting is often a chance at redemption for moms and dads who have failed in life.

"This is their chance to live vicariously through their kid, for better or worse. Often, it's for worse," said "Good Morning America" parenting contributor Ann Pleshette Murphy.

David, who is one of the final three "Idol" contestants, returned to his hometown of Murray, Utah, this weekend, where he was greeted by screaming fans.

People who know Jeff, a professional musician, say he knows the business and he knows what it takes to win.

"He will admit he's obsessive compulsive himself,"said Dean Kaelin, a voice coach. "He's realized at an early age that David has this ability and gift."