I just read an interesting Idol-related tidbit from New York magazine. First let me say, I couldn’t agree more with Slezak about David Archuleta’s beautiful “Angels” on Tuesday and the fact that it was far superior to Jessica Simpson’s whiny 2004 cover (though any true Robbie Williams fan knows neither rendition can touch the RW original.) But I did get the distinct impression from young David’s introduction video that he discovered the song just for this special Idol week.

In fact, it’s clear he’s been singing it far longer, judging from this clip of a school event. The footage is completely unscandalous; indeed, it’s pretty cute how Archuleta’s pubescent tenor swims around in the deep end of his voice box trying to hit those low notes, while girls swoon and (I imagine) contemplate what a perfect theme song it would be for the future “Archangels” fan club.

The clip makes me wonder whether this year’s crop of talented Idols (or the show’s producers) think their audience would gripe if we heard an intro along the lines of, “I’ve performed this song for many years because I love it, and here it is just for you.” Because the thing is, I have no problem hearing well-honed songs from the contestants’ repertoire — do you, PopWatchers? Would it take away from the “amateur talent contest anyone can win” aura, in the same way that prior record deals have sparked controversy?