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Fame & Fortune: David Archuleta

Bankrate: Do you have a favorite song on the record?

David Archuleta: I don't have a favorite yet. At first, I was recording them and learning them, and seeing how I sounded and how the production sounded, and all that. Now I'm just kind of listening to see how I'd see the songs as a listener, and try to think of it as a first impression. There are a few I like. There's a song called "My Hands" that I felt sounded similar to too many other songs, but it's really growing on me now. I think it sounds like me when I sing it, and I really like that about it.

Bankrate: You were on tour with the (other) "Idols" and doing appearances with David Cook, who beat you in the finale to win "Idol." Are there any weird feelings for you when you're around him because of that?

David Archuleta: No, not really. There wasn't really a rivalry between us on the show. It was a competition, but it didn't really feel like we were against each other. At least that's the way I looked at it. He tries to look out for me and always wants to make sure that things are going well for me. I don't see how you could feel awkward around him.

Bankrate: In the final moment of the finale, it was kind of like the two of you (were) against the world.

David Archuleta: Yeah. It was a lot of fun. I know that I did my best, and I was happy with what I did. It was one of the best moments ever in my life, the whole experience.

Bankrate: Considering "Idol" history, once you're up in that top five or so, does it even matter if you win?

David Archuleta: Winning was never a big priority when I was there. I didn't even think I was gonna get past the first round when I auditioned. It was just about enjoying whatever (happened). You never know how long you're going to last, and there's so many talented people there, it's like, "How the heck am I gonna keep moving forward? There's so many people that deserve to be here." ... When you get exposure, it doesn't really matter (where you finish). If you look in the past, (Chris) Daughtry was fourth. ... I think everyone looked at this season as a way to open new opportunities, to get something out of it and learn from the experience. It wasn't like, "I wanna win, I wanna win." We wanted to become artists, and do our own stuff, and write our own stuff, and perform.

Bankrate: With all this fame happening so fast, have your parents talked to you about how to be smart with your money?

David Archuleta: Oh, yeah. I've always been cautious with money anyway. I hate spending money. It's really interesting to see the business side. ... I've performed a lot and I always loved singing, but seeing the business side of the entertainment world is really interesting. There's a lot that goes into it, a lot of people involved in making sure you do the right things with your money and don't spend too much, because a lot of people go bankrupt with these kinds of things. People think you're rich if you're well known, but (you're) not really. There's a lot of money that was put into this project. I guess in becoming really successful, writing comes into play with credits and stuff. It's really important to be smart with the way you spend your money.

Bankrate: So what is the most important lesson you've learned about being smart with your money?

David Archuleta: There are so many things. One thing I was really interested in was the different costs for songs -- how much money went to complete a song, and also promotion and advertising and production of songs, (and) how different writers and producers have different rates. I thought it was interesting to see how it differentiates, and how it comes down to management, how there are percentages for all of that, and then the label and everything it's doing.

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