We haven’t even seen 24 of the 36 semifinalists live and it already appears Danny Gokey is going to go far in this competition.
He’s got the three things “Idol’ producers salivate over: likable personality, a heartwarming back story (his wife Sophia had just died!) and decent chops. You can win with only two of those but three makes him irresistible.
On Thursday, he said she died so recently after suffering from a chronic heart condition, he can’t help but talk about her and he has no control over what the producers do. (Fair enough to me) He told reporters last week he will lighten things up during the competition.
Personally, I don’t think he is deliberately milking his story. I think it’s the producers working it (e.g. focusing on the photo of him and his wife Danny’s brother in law held up last week). At the same time, I don’t think his back story alone will get him much further. He’s going to have to rely on his personality and his vocal skills to get him into the top 5. Sure, Fantasia suffered a lot and became a teen mom but most folks voted for her by sheer force of personality and her powerful pipes.
Actually, which finalist over the first seven seasons has the most heart-tugging back story, ya think? Phil Stacey missing the birth of his baby to be at an audition? Elliott Yamin’s sick mom and half deafness? Kellie Pickler and her jailed dad and mom who abandoned her? Anthony Fedorov and his vocal cord problems as a child? David Cook’s ill brother?
And Carrie Underwood, Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest stopped by part-time Atlantan Elton John’s annual post-Oscar shindig to raise money for his Elton John AIDS Foundation ($3,500 a ticket!). Kiefer Sutherland, Natasha Bedingfield and Elle MacPherson were some of the others who showed up.