By Ashley Spencer

Following his performance on American Idol this week, David Archuleta chatted exclusively with J-14 about his new hairdo, Aaron Kelly, and who he thinks will win this season.

J-14: What was it like being back on the Idol stage?
It really freaked me out! My mind left when I was talking to Ryan. I thought through what I was going to say, but then my mind totally went blank. It was pretty bad. And It was scary having the judges there – you feel like you're going to be judged too. But I was so glad to get to sing "Imagine" again. I haven't sung that song that much. I think I've performed it once out of all the tours I've ever done, and that's it.

J-14: Our readers have been tweeting about how much they like the new hairdo you debuted last night. Why the change?
I've always had it generally the same, so I just wanted to do something different this time. I feel like people always associate me with the same haircut all the time — I want to show people that I'm in a new phase right now. It's a new time for me!

J-14: What was it like meeting this season's contestants?
They were all really cool people. Lee Dewyze was so friendly! My sister loves him, and I think he's a really talented guy. I was really impressed with how cool he was and how he treated me.

J-14: What do you think about Aaron Kelly? Ryan has called him "David Archuleta" because of the similarities between the two of you.
I feel bad that he gets compared to me! No one wants to be compared to someone all the time. Aaron's his own person, and I think he has a great voice!

Which performance stood out to you this week?
I really liked Katie Stevens' performance Tuesday. It amazed me how much she connected to the song. People are always like 'young people can't connect to music,' but I think she proved that wrong.

J-14: Do you have any predictions for who's going to be season nine's winner?
Crystal Bowersox has been pretty consistent every week. I know she's been one that everyone's been looking at. I like Siobhan's awkwardness — she has a genuine sense to her that's just cool. I can't pick just one person!

Photo: Jason Imber

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