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2/23: Is Danny Gokey being overly groomed for the big stage?

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.

What's your take on Danny Gokey?

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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?

Do you care about Nick Mitchell? The News Times interviewed him.

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.

28 comments Add your comment

harriett

February 23rd, 2009
10:29 am

Rodney, I think this one will generate more postings. I think everyone is busy catching up at work this morning.

nanassetta

February 23rd, 2009
10:45 am

Poor Danny! I wish that they wouldn’t milk his back story. It is what it is. I think he’s handling it with dignity. As for past Idols, Elliott Yamin had me…still does after his mother’s death.

JTesla

February 23rd, 2009
10:57 am

Every year people want to declare someone a winner at this stage of the competition. David A. last year, Melinda the year before etc. Danny is just the unlucky one to have that designation this year. The producers are going to do what they do, but their ability to milk the back story fades once we are in the top 12. The top 12 setup just doesn’t allow for the producers to add it in.

linny ,,,=^..^=,,,

February 23rd, 2009
11:08 am

excellent point, JT — Danny’s really good. But I’m not sure he’s the “Best” of the Best — not yet. We will have to see what he can do over weeks. I’m still P/O’d about Jamar’s elimination. I think it would have been a lot more interesting to KEEP him in the show — they’d feed off each other as well as compete against each other — just think of the soap opera the producers could have THEN?!?!?!!! He was different, i really enjoyed his vocal styling and tone. Not your run-of-the-mill-guy-singer.

It will be interesting wednesday night to see how the guys do, but more so how the girls do, because except for Alexis and *shudder* to a certain extent WhineyGiggles, the girls in week 1 were … well … weak ones.

**ducking**

sorry ’bout that…see ya later

Nana

February 23rd, 2009
11:08 am

elcome Nanassetta and I agree with you. Eliot and his Mom were for me the most heart wrenching. When she passed, I really felt his lost as I know what its like to lose your Mom. You lose your best friend. I don’t see why the producers have to take a back story and run it through the mill. A mention of one should be sufficient, as each and everyone has a sob story that can be told.

He will end up top 2, if not the winner.

Lara

February 23rd, 2009
11:12 am

Good morning my blogsters!!! Nana and Linny – did y’all have cheese dip? Please tell me you had cheese dip! I love some cheese dip. Oh, maybe I should have had a snack before posting this morning. I just had to sit througha long boring meeting – snoozefest if you will.

I still think Elliott’s story hits me the most in the heart. But I sure hope Danny does well in this competition. He certainly has done well so far!

linny ,,,=^..^=,,,

February 23rd, 2009
11:33 am

Yes, lol, well, Nana’s grandaughter did, and sort of had some too. Yikes! Nana, i shoulda helped pay for the cheese dip!!! LOL!!! I’ll pay for it next time!

I know the snoozefest feeling, Lara … been there, done THAT! i just love our “staff meetings” at work — the Office Manager will tell us a few things (which we usually already know) and then ask if there are any questions. A couple of people ALWAYS have questions. Most everyone else just glares. But … the OM **DOES** ask if anyone has any questions or comments… so she sets herself up!!! And resents it when anyone does speak up! go figure. why not just send a freaking e-mail to all the staff with her announcements, and be done with the having to stop work, take a pad and pen “just in case” and go to a conference room, wait for everyone else to get there, then be bored for like 15 minutes…. i quickly learned to just keep my li’l ol’ trap shut!!!! yeah. honest. i did. really!

JTesla

February 23rd, 2009
11:39 am

You know of all the physical limitations that people have had to overcome I empathized the most with Elliot. Sure there was the kid with the tracheotomy, sure there was the kid with the paralyzed vocal cord, but it is the kid with the jacked up teeth that really got my sympathy. I mean his teeth were messed up. I’ve never seen a grill so jacked up in my life. That took some heart for him to get on national TV like that. The power of a back-story!

Linny: don’t get me started on work meetings. 5 minutes of substance 50 minutes of time out of my life that I can never get back.

Harm

February 23rd, 2009
11:41 am

I had a good weekend, took both the girls out to dinner for their birthdays!

I watched the Oscars while I was doing other things. I did like Hugh Jackman as the host and I liked the song that won, it was kinda catching even if I didn’t understand one word of it. I haven’t seen any of the movies yet, so I can’t really have an opinion on who won. It became more obvious as the show progressed that Slum Dog Millionaire would be the big winner. I was very happy that Kate Winslet finally received her Oscar and at the same time very disappointed that Sean Penn got another one (I’m not argueing that he is a good actor)I just don’t like him period!

Nana, are you ready to watch all the girls come back and confront Jason tonight? I am!

Does anyone else have any theories as to where our missing blogger is?

I don’t think it matters who the producers of Idol promote, we will obviously vote for who we like.

linny ,,,=^..^=,,,

February 23rd, 2009
11:44 am

oh.

to answer the question about who tugs my heartstrings, Elliott’s situation was by far the most touching to me personally. Second is probably Cookie’s brother. Federov — was glad he overcame his vocal cord problem — similar to my feelings about DOnald Braswell on AGT — the wreck that caused his vocal cord problems, totally not his fault, and coming back when told he might never speak the same, much less sing, again… awesome voice, awesome story. Fantasia being a single baby momma, and Pickler’s irresponsible parents didn’t get to me so much. And Phil missing his child’s birth…. well for YEARS dad’s were not allowed to be in the room, anyway, and i remember stories of my dad having to drive back to atlanta from arkansas when they called and told him i was in labor, and he barely got there — no cell phones, just hotel rooms (traveling salesman) and pay phones and driving like a bat outa’ #### in winter of 1948, to get there… so while it’s poignant that he missed it, it’s not tragic. would have been tragic if there had been some sort of complication and mom or baby had not been well, absolutely. but as it was…sweet/sad story but not devastating. sorry phil, LOL. Like what’s her name who’s family was virtually homeless. OK. So? you work to rise above your circumstances. Ain’t no one handing out free life passes. not yet, anyway! Alexis, for example, was married, had her baby young, but realized that her marriage was not working and decided to DO something about it, and about her future… don’t see her (or AI) making a big deal about that.

Harm

February 23rd, 2009
12:01 pm

I agree that Elliot’s story was the most heart-wrenching. I like Elliot alot.

What are we supposed to do tomorrow night? Any ideals? I won’t be watching the President.

I have another story of greed for you. At my husbands safety meeting Friday , the employee’s were told that they would not get raises this year. which is fine because if you have a job you should feel fortunate these days. The company that he works for is the biggest contracter for the state of Georgia and is set to get a very big share of the stimulas money. The president of this company is building a ten million dollar mansion in Cobb County while the employees face a wage freeze or worse, they are laid off. More of tht same old stuff,the rich get richer!

Nana

February 23rd, 2009
12:24 pm

linny – Don’t worry about the cheese dip. It was good though!!!! Gosh, wished I had some right now.

Harm – I wonder which one will bash him more. Probably Nikki IMO. Is it two hours tonight or just one?

As far as office meetings go, I can’t stand the ones with all the graphs that come with the pointers. P & L graphs, comparsion graphs, you name it, they all bore me to death. In my line of work, meetings are so much a part of my job, especially when its time to renew benefits, but they don’t have the graphs and pointers on the wall.

I didn’t fall for Fantasia’s story at all. In this day and time, there is no reason to have a baby out of wedlock and becoming a single unwed mom/dad. So no, I don’t think she had a sob story, that was her choice. Yes, she did make the best of the situation and for that I admire her. Others like Elliot, David C, Danny, Anthony, their situations were beyond their control and not something they chose. I’m sure if they were given a choice, the outcome would have been different. And as far as Phil missing the birth of his child, there again, he made the decision. As linny so obligingly put it, years ago, dad’s were allowed in the labor/delivery rooms anyway. Nope, no story there neither.

Harm

February 23rd, 2009
12:29 pm

Two hours Nana

Nana

February 23rd, 2009
1:09 pm

Thanks, Harm.

Nana

February 23rd, 2009
2:49 pm

Ya’ll have a great evening. Be safe, be happy and drive carefully.

Woodpappy

February 23rd, 2009
4:21 pm

Harm,
That S. Penn guy needs to move to out of the USA as far as I’m concerned. When people like that win awards, it just turns off the real people of America. He can kiss my GRITS.

harriett

February 23rd, 2009
4:49 pm

Woodpappy, in my opinion Mickey Rourke was robbed! I think he deserved the Oscar for best actor.

I am about to get out of here for the day, folks. Talk to you tomorrow. Do wish we had Idol to look forward to on Tues.

Anne24

February 23rd, 2009
7:05 pm

Welcome back to weekdays all. They arent so bad.
To answer your question JTesla, Paula was hawkng some type of her beauty products, not her jewelry. I didn’t even bother to check out what they were because I buy all my cosmetics and lotions when they are on sale at CVS or Walgreens. I just found it interesting how much better she looked and acted compared to when she is on Idol. It’s as if the Idol producers do’t care what condition she shows up in and neither does she.

On the topic of Danny, I haven’t noticed Idol milking his wife’s death at all. My problen is with the ludicrous overhype when he performs. It starts with Paula jumping to her feet before Danny sings a word and acting like he’s Elvis through his entire performance and all but Simon’s over the top analysis. “You’re the redeemer Dawg!”- Randy…”You are amazing!”- Kara….”Sold out arenas”- Paula. No one deserves that type of hype this early in the game. Is this outrageousness going to continue everytime he sings for the next 12 weeks? I fear so! :-(

linny@home

February 23rd, 2009
10:40 pm

Anne, your analysis is pretty right on, actually. I personally LIKE Danny, but is he all *that* — um, no, not yet, anyway. at this point, after only the 1st 12, all i can seriously do is PRAY like crazy that whineygigglegirl is NOT wild-carded back in. ****shudder****

Nana

February 24th, 2009
6:43 am

Good Morning Bloggesters…. :)

Today’s Quote: “Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, OR issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.”

Just heard on the radio that in the beginning of each season, Paula will predict the winner for that season. What she does is, she will write herself a letter saying who will win, stamp and mail it to heself. When the winner is announced, she will produce the letter she wrote and show it to the other judges and producers that she had predicted the winner on the date she dated the letter as well as by the postmark on the envelope. She said she has missed only once, but didn’t say which one it was. Personally, I don’t believe this story, but……..

I also like Danny, but I don’t think he is as great as the judges think he is. He has a nice voice, but IMO, he has no sex appeal and certainly is not good eye candy. Know what I mean?

Lara

February 24th, 2009
9:14 am

Welcome to Tuesday and we have nothing to discuss? No leaks on songs…no order predictions….who is in the 2nd group anyways?

Should I feel insulted that my boss keeps misspelling my name?

Woodpappy

February 24th, 2009
9:16 am

No not really Lara, just worry if he FORGETS your name.

Woodpappy

February 24th, 2009
9:17 am

No Lara, Worry if he FORGETS your name !

Woodpappy

February 24th, 2009
9:18 am

Double posts? where’d that come from? Sorry.

harriett

February 24th, 2009
10:01 am

Good morning. I do so wish we had Idol tonight. On Danny, I loved him from the beginning, but having said that, I will hold the coronation at bay until I see who else is out there. We have not seen everyone, as evidenced by Ricky last week, so there are probably more talents out there who may be as good or better than Danny. I really look forward to hearing what’s in store tomorrown night. What I do NOT look forward to is having Lost up against Idol. Grrrrr!

harriett

February 24th, 2009
10:08 am

Lara, just for you:

SPOILER ALERT:

Joesplace has the following about song choices: http://www.joesplaceblog.com/2009/02/23/song-rumors/

Lara

February 24th, 2009
10:21 am

Thanks Harriett! I wonder, of that list of artists – which one will they say “You just don’t do a song by so-and-so, it is just not done.” Dude, then don’t put it on the list!!

Rodney Ho

February 24th, 2009
10:31 am

Good morning! I have posted a fresh blog entry and a new poll question!