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Naomi Judd: 'Idol' finalist David Archuleta has 'the worst stage dad'

By Christopher Rocchio, 04/21/2008 

Naomi Judd knows about being a stage parent and thinks David Archuleta's dad might be the worst.

The Can You Duet? judge said she first encountered the American Idol seventh-season finalist and his dad Jeff when the now 17-year-old David was a Star Search contestant in 2003 and she was serving as a judge on the show.

"I want to give a shout out to his dad. Leave [David] alone," said Judd during NBC's Today broadcast on Thursday morning.  "His dad is like the worst stage dad... They had to put him in the security guard's little box."

Similar statements about Jeff's demeanor when David was a Star Search contestant have been circulating since he became an Idol seventh-season finalist and have included rumors that Jeff was banned from the Star Search set for attempting to intimidate another contestant.

In addition, Jeff reportedly brought David to tears after yelling at him about his son's arrangement of "We Can Work Out" during an Idol recording session.

However not everyone agrees with Judd's assertion that Jeff is "the worst stage dad."

"There's no way I would feel comfortable being around this man if I felt he was a bad person to his kid," singer Diane Gordan, David's friend and mentor, told People.  "Jeff is a very loving and supporting dad. It's easy when you hear one person say something about someone, taking it and blowing it out of proportion, and then it just spirals out into a whole different story and keeps escalating."

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