‘The Masked Singer’s Macaw Talks Second-Place Finish: ‘I Had Been There Before’ (Exclusive)

Macaw was unmasked during 'The Masked Singer' finale, and the singer revealed it felt 'nostalgic' to be back in the finale of a singing competition.

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David Archuleta
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The Masked Singer’s Macaw was revealed as American Idol alum David Archuleta. After stellar performances throughout season 9, David was named the runner-up to Bishop Briggs’ Medusa. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with David about coming in second place.

David Archuleta
David Archuleta during ‘The Masked Singer’ finale. (FOX)

“I feel like it was kind of funny because I had been there before [on American Idol],” David said. “A lot of times people are like, ‘Oh, you came in second.’ I’m like, well, for me I made it all the way to the finale and that was way unexpected, especially with the people that we have on our stage. We had the California Sushi Roll. I was just like there’s no way I could have advanced farther than them because they’re one of the greatest entertainers that exist. I wanted to see them perform one more time, and I think everyone did. So I was like, you know what, I’m just going to make sure that I do a great job and give my best so that people still have a good time. It’s all for fun anyway, so I wanted to have a good time and with me having a good time, a lot of people and the panel thought that was worth seeing to the finale. I’m really happy about that.”

The singer, who came in second place to David Cook during American Idol season 7, admitted he had a little bit of deja vu on The Masked Singer. “It was crazy, like being mindful of the camera, the studio, the audience, the staging, knowing that you’re gonna be watched by viewers. It was nostalgic for sure,” he said.

David revealed that the Macaw costume helped him step out from behind the shadows. “I feel like I’ve tended to shy away from louder, brighter things just because I was always intimidated by the attention that it brings. Even in my own wardrobe, a lot of times I’m wearing black, white, and gray. So being the Macaw, I didn’t feel the pressure of what will people think of me wearing all these bright colors and what if it brings me too much attention. It’s trying something new. I can do this and not necessarily be myself. I’m also getting to be the Macaw. I was able to be a character and to have those colors and to shine and just be vibrant for everybody watching, not hiding my colors, was really symbolic for me. I really enjoyed that aspect of the Macaw.

The “Crush” singer admitted that The Masked Singer has shown him that it’s okay to “go out of my comfort zone. As a performer, I feel like I’ve learned how to just have a good time on stage, but in a way, I’ve always felt reserved. I felt like I was having fun but had to control myself because, in the back of my head, I always felt like there was a part of me that I couldn’t let come forward because it was bad. Even though it’s not necessarily a performing aspect of who I am, it was a part of me that I still felt like I had to put into the shadows, which was just my sexuality and who I was attracted to. I had to always suppress that.”

He continued, “Being in a mask and being the Macaw was much more vibrant. It was a really good challenge for me to be like, well, what if I leaned into this a little more and not be shy of showing my colors? I really loved that aspect of it.”

David Archuleta performing as the Macaw. (FOX)

David has a new single titled “Up” coming out on June 2. “It’s talking about my journey of learning how to accept myself essentially, something I didn’t think I would ever be able to do just because of the way I grew up religiously as a Latter-day Saint,” David explained. “I was told this is not a part you are supposed to accept. And if you do, you will be miserable. I was like, I don’t want to be miserable. I didn’t realize that I was already miserable because I thought I had to despise myself for who I was. So when I learned that it is okay to love myself for all of me it completely changed how I feel about myself and gave me a new gusto for life that I didn’t even think it was possible for me to have.”

Just a few days after The Masked Singer season 9 finale, American Idol will crown a new winner as well. David revealed his advice for the top 3 contestants.

“Now it’s kind of like the end of the race. So just now’s the time to just give all of your energy, everything you have, and not hold anything back,” David told HollywoodLife. “It’s a great time to just test out what is it like to hold nothing back. Give it your all and just take it all in. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and you deserve it. I’m really excited for the people who are on I’ve been watching their clips. I’ve been getting inspired by letting them do their thing.”