Is Danny Gokey already a favorite to take Idol?
By April MacIntyre Feb 20, 2009, 12:28 GMT
Danny Gokey, courtesy of FOX
Of all the B Roll and backstories shown on the American Idol contestants this year, the story of young widower Danny Gokey has captured the most media attention.
Accompanied by his friends, the Church music director Danny Gokey, who lost his wife only a few weeks ago, closed out the show Tuesday night with a performance capping rendition of Mariah Carey's "Hero."
It was Gokey, Alexis Grace and Michael Sarver who were selected by voters to be the first three season 8 contestants to make American Idol’s Top 12.
FOX arranged a conference call for the press with the finalists and Danny Gokey spoke candidly about his late wife saying she would have been “so happy” to see him on the show.
Grace was effusive in her love for daughter Ryan Elizabeth and about how she would balance her new found fame with the realities of having a small child. “She watches the show with all of my family and when I come on TV, she points at it and she screams for me and says, ‘Mommy!’” she said during the conference call.
Tennessee native Grace, 21, admitted to being nervous about juggling motherhood with the demanding show but said, “ I know I can get it done because I have the best family in the world and they’re going to help me out with whatever I need.”
Texas native Sarver praised Simon Cowell for helping him land a spot in the top 12, he too has small children. Only 20,000 votes separated Sarver from another contestant, Anoop Desai. Sarver said, “Simon making a plea on my behalf, I don’t take that lightly at all. I take that as a compliment,” he said. “I have no doubt it had an impact and I appreciate it.”
Milwaukee native Gokey told how he lost hs wife Sophia four weeks before he auditioned. Gokey says he is “emotionally stable now,” his wife is never far from his thoughts.
“I apologize to everybody if they feel like it’s shoved down in their face but it’s so fresh in my mind. It’s only been 7 months,” he told reporters. “Honestly, this is a sob story I don’t want but it is shaping my life, and it’s causing hope for a lot of people. Now I have my mission set in stone.” Gokey continued. “My wife would be telling all her friends, and she would be going to the store, buying clothes and trying to get herself all cute,” he said. “She was spunky and so cute and she had a little attitude to herself. She’d just be so happy.”