MyIdol's Interview w/ Alexis, Danny and Michael

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MyIdol's Interview w/ Alexis, Danny and Michael

Post by GeeWindu on Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:23 pm



February 20, 2009 | 04:34 pm PT

Our Interview With Alexis, Michael, & Danny
After being selected as the first three people to secure those highly coveted spots in the Top 12, Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver, and Danny Gokey answered some questions for the media about their experiences.
At 4 feet eleven and a half, and under 100 pounds, Alexis Grace understands why the judges were shocked to hear such a big voice come out of such a small package. And she had no hesitations about singing an Aretha Franklin song, as, according to her, it's in her range, and she also feels connected to her as an artist. As far as her bluesy influence that was heard this week, she said it comes from growing up in Memphis, with a mom and a dad who both loved the blues. Kelly Clarkson was the first Idol to bring blues and soul to Idol, so it's also no surprise that Simon compared Alexis to the first AI winner this week. How does Alexis feel about it? As she said, "It's more than flattering. I mean it really just shook my world when they said that, in a good way. What it does, though, is it just pushes me to do better each time now."
Her daughter is another huge motivator in her life. Alexis admits that being apart from her for a while will be very difficult, but she sees the bigger picture, and as she puts it, "This is all to better our lives." Her father, who is in Alexis' band back home, is also a huge support for Alexis.
While some might have thought she looked like she had nerves of steel this week, Alexis begs to differ. But her ultimate goals and her desire to succeed took hold, and that's how she was able to overcome the stress:
"I was just thinking, 'You know what? I'm going to make the best of this night. I'm going to take in everything that the people on this show have been telling me and just like cherish this moment forever and just go out there and have fun and perform because that's what you want to do, right?'"
This is certainly a different outlook than the shy girl who initially auditioned seemed to portray to the judges. They told her to "dirty up her look" and come out of her shell, and that's exactly what she did to impress them this week. She said that thinking about her future and her daughter really helped her to do this, as well as talking to all the AI mentors from the show. She also said there's a bit of an "alter ego" when she hits the stage. Whoever it was up there, the judges loved it.
To say that Michael Sarver seemed giddy over his spot in the Top 12 is an understatement, and his Southern charm certainly showed through at every moment. When asked if he was glad he went in this first group or would have rather waited, he said that he's glad he went first, as he can now "soak it in and enjoy it like we should." There's little doubt that when it comes to his life, family is first for Michael. He's not sure how often his wife will bring the children out but that's something he says they will just take one day at a time.
Michael admits that there is definitely something to the appeal of the working man. As he put it, "It's very difficult for a lot of people and I see it as a chance to see someone rise from the ashes. It's not that my life is bad, but things are tough and to see some excel and succeed, I think people relate to that and it's special to their hearts." He also agrees, however, that the fact that Simon made a bit of a plea for him during the results show most likely had an effect on voters as well. As a fan of the Idol since the start, he understands Simon's impact, and has nothing but appreciation for the fact that Simon did that. From this perspective, something else also hits home for Michael:
"As a viewer, another story on the show that really hits me is Danny Gokey because my wife is my absolute best friend and I tell you; if she did pass away, I don't understand how I could wake up the next day."
He went on to say that he has "mad, mad respect for Danny Gokey." Michael also looks at the show from the perspective of the fan, and he really appreciates the idea of the Wild Card. Knowing how disappointed he would have been had he not made it, he's glad his AI peers have a second chance. He also jokes that "good things come out of 'wild things'."
As for the "Why now?" question about his auditioning for AI, Michael said that this was simply the perfect time for him. Watching the show for all those years, he always realized he had some growing up to do first. But when his sister-in-law approached him with the idea this year, he knew it was the right moment for him. As for what you'll see from him this season, Michael says he thinks he'll "flirt with his roots" a bit more and do a lot of R & B and soul.
Danny Gokey has made quite an impression already this season, not only for his unlimited supply of glasses and his uncanny resemblance to Robert Downey Jr., but for the story of his wife, who passed away from a heart condition shortly before the show. Danny said he realizes the impact his wife's story has made, and that some are even sick of hearing about it, and he even understands that to a certain extent. But, as he put it, "It's not that I throw it in people's faces..." He went on to explain, "It weighs on my mind a lot though because honestly, this is a sob story I don't want. I don't want this story, but it is shaping my life and it's causing hope for a lot of people knowing that it's causing hope for my life." When asked about what his wife would think of it all, he said that she'd get a kick out of the whole situation, and she would just be so happy for him.
Danny was also shown struggling with another issue already this season, the departure of his best friend, Jamar Rogers, during Hollywood Week. While he admits that he was extremely angry at first, he has learned to let go of a lot of what he calls "toxic emotions" he was holding on to during that week. And he also realizes how much exposure Jamar has already gotten, along with a strong fan base, so he's confident his friend will enjoy much success.
Like Alexis, Danny said that he might have looked cool on the exterior on results night, but he was anything but calm. And he realized "Anything can happen. Anything's possible." He also said that Tatiana also had a bit of the element of surprise, so he prepared himself for the worst. As far as the eliminations go, in general, Danny is very torn about the new elimination procedure. As he said, "It's never been harder to get into the Top 12, but yet also, it's never been easier because of the fact that you don't have to go from 36 to 24 even all the way down to 12."
When asked about his strategy for success this season, he said that he sees some room for improvement, as he'd like to clean up his vocals a bit. However, he's proud of the risks he takes, and he will continue to do that as long as he is on the show.
One thing that Alexis, Michael, and Danny all mentioned was the extremely close connection that is felt between all of the hopefuls on the show. They each admit that, as a fan watching the show, they didn't truly believe that people could be friends and compete against one another. But that is exactly what has happened to them. As Alexis put it, "They become your family." As Michael Sarver said, "You can't make sense of it and put it into words, but it's there. I really have been completely and pleasantly surprised by the relationships that I've experienced."


http://www.americanidol.com/news/view/pid/1570
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