Monday night, onstage at Salt Lake City's Abravanel Hall in his home state of Utah, Season 7 "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta made the shocking and emotional announcement, in front of 2,000 fans, that he is taking a two-year break from music. And yet, all of those fans were more elated than disappointed, cheering on the news and giving David a standing ovation.
While performing the second-to-last date of his "My Kind Of Christmas" holiday concert tour, David told the audience: "I would like to make a special announcement--that I've chosen to serve a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."
"It's not because someone told me I was supposed to do it, and not because I no longer want to do music anymore," he continued, once the screams finally died down. "But it's because it's the feeling of what I feel I need to do next in my life. It's just the same feeling that I've always tried to follow in my life. It's the feeling that has allowed me to have the opportunities I've had--the challenges I've overcome, and the blessings too. And I've learned to trust that feeling and learned to answer when it calls. That's the reason why I know I have to do this in my life."
While David said he is not quitting music for good, it's likely that his one last remaining "My Kind Of Christmas" tourdate will be the last we hear from him for a while. (The holiday album he recently recorded with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Glad Christmas Tidings, is his last album before he serves his LDS mission.) Mormon missionaries have to follow strict rules, which include extremely limited phone communication with family (letter-writing is encouraged instead), conservative attire at all times, early waking and bed times, and a total ban on television, movies, the Internet, and most secular music.
But judging from the response David received from thrilled fans in the audience when he made this announcement, it seems the supportive Archies will be willing to wait for his return while he does what he has to do.