'American Idol' Roundup: David Archuleta Takes A Break, Plus More Stuff To Enjoy Over The Holidays
Just a few days before Christmas -- but there's no taking a break on the Idol front. I know, that totally doesn't jive with what the headline says. Anyway, let's begin:

David on a mission: Prepare to miss David Archuleta for a couple of years or so, as he announced last night that he's going on a full-time Latter-Day Saints mission. He broke the news at the Salt Lake City stop of his Christmas concert tour. He's leaving in the first half of 2012, and there's no word on when he'll be back. Watch the announcement below:

I say, good for him on following his heart. And when he's done with his service, we can expect him to be back rejuvenated and ready to release new music. Oh, but we can dream, right?

Elsewhere in the Idol-sphere...

Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson got soul: they performed at the VH1 Divas Salute to Soul concert over the weekend (and it airs tonight!) but the videos are already out, if you're antsy to see them. They performed alongside Mary J. Blige, Jessie J, Florence Welch (without the Machine), and legends Martha Reeves, Chaka Khan and Mavis Staples. Here are the two Idols performing together -- something they apparently have never done before:

Speaking of Jennifer Hudson, she revealed to the Village Voice that she turned down the lead role in the award-winning film Precious -- the very film that catapulted Gabourey Sidibe to acclaim. She didn't like the idea of having to gain back all the weight she lost by then for the role: "I had done that with Effie [on Dreamgirls], and as much as I was moved by this film, I wanted to try a role that had nothing to do whatsoever with my weight."

NBC has released a bunch more previews of the upcoming drama Smash, starring Katharine McPhee: here's a preview of McPhee's character, budding actress Karen Cartwright, and here's an interview with the show's executive producer (a certain Steven Spielberg) and the cast. The show premieres on February 6.

The folks at The Idol Pad have leaked the names of all 300 contestants who are taking part in season 11's Hollywood auditions. I'm not good with names, but I do see a couple of familiar names, including one you wouldn't expect to hear singing...

Finally, more new Idol music to enjoy over the holidays: watch Annop Desai cover T-Pain here, and watch Kellie Pickler's acoustic performance of "Unlock That Honky Tonk", off her upcoming album 100 Proof, here. Oh, and also, you can download Adam Lambert's new single, "Better Than I Know Myself", here!

(And one song I forgot to mention: Clay Aiken's new single, "Bring Back My Love", is also out!)

And one last thing: have you seen Saturday Night Live spoof Scotty McCreery? Taran Killam (aka the glee club director on Community's recent Christmas episode) was such a hoot on this one.

More Idol updates over on the American Idol Insider on Facebook!

(Image courtesy of WENN)

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