Today marks the final day of my rollout of Idols Live rehearsal interviews, as a sort of countdown to the big tour that kicks of this weekend (Sunday, July 5, in Portland). Up last: third-place finalist Danny Gokey.
A former frontrunner, Danny was perhaps one of the most popular--and most polarizing--contestants of American Idol season 8. And much of the controversy surrounding Danny, particularly since the finale, has been cultural/political in nature, focused on rumors regarding the fervently religious Milwaukee church music director's supposed "feud" with openly gay castmate Adam Lambert. But I must point out that my own observations during my visit to the tour rehearsals indicated there was NO beef between any of the Idols. In fact, more than once that day, I witnessed Adam and Danny chatting, joking, laughing, and sitting comfortably together.
Still, while I avoided most cultural issues during my sit-downs with contestants 10 through 4, when it came to my interviews with the top three--Kris Allen, Adam, and Danny--such a line of questioning was unavoidable. When I got my face time with Danny, I respectfully opted not to specifically, directly address any "Gokeygate" scandals, but I was still curious to hear his take on the uproar surrounding the Kris-versus-Adam showdown and his own somewhat surprising failure to make it to the top two after his very successful Idol run (up until his elimination, Danny had never even been in the bottom three). He answered such questions with poise, as if he was more than prepared. Surely he'd already expected these were the queries on interviewers' inquiring minds.
Along with that discussion, Danny revealed what musical direction he'd like to go in, pondering a possible country career (rumor has it he's been meeting with labels in Nashville), and explained why he doesn't want to go gospel. It was one of the more enlightening Idol conversations I had that day:
The Idols Live Tour starts July 5, buy your tickets HERE!
- Adam Lambert
- Danny Gokey