During the finale show, identical commercials featuring Archuleta and fellow finalist Cook mimicked the Tom Cruise scene from Risky Business where he dances in his underwear playing an air guitar; they were promoting the game franchise Guitar Hero.
Archuleta's first appearances on music ranking charts were with the three songs he performed in the American Idol finale; "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", "In This Moment", and "Imagine", debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of June 7, 2008.
A May 2008 Associated Press article reported that Jeff Archuleta had his son add a lyric from the Sean Kingston song "Beautiful Girls" into an interpretation of "Stand by Me" (from which "Beautiful Girls" samples its bass line), increasing the costs for licensing, and that this had resulted in Jeff Archuleta being banned from American Idol backstage rehearsals.
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The song was featured on the soundtrack Hannah Montana 3 and also appeared later on the compilation Best of Hannah Montana.
On May 16, 2009, Archuleta and David Cook performed in the Mall of Asia: Concert Grounds for their Back-to-Back Concert in Manila, Philippines.
He refused, and sat down on the floor of the stage, much as Melinda Doolittle had done the previous season.
In the finale he sang "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "In This Moment" and "Imagine." Judge Simon Cowell declared that Archuleta won the evening and even David Cook, who ultimately won, thought Archuleta would win: "I have to concede it, the kid came out all three songs and nailed it," said Cook.
In September he won the Year in Music – Rising Male Star award at the ALMA Awards and performed a cover of the standard "Contigo en la Distancia".