It seems every season of American Idol has it shocks and the May 13 results show provided this season’s biggest shock. A staggering 88 million votes sent Kris Allen and Adam Lambert into the season’s finale, leaving fan favorite Danny Gokey as the third man standing. “I was surprised throughout the show that I kept going,” Danny tells In Touch after being eliminated. “It showed that I had strong support out there.”
The competition may be over but the show isn’t quite over for Danny. After the Idol summer tour, he plans to devote his time to the foundation he set up in memory of his wife, Sophia, who passed away 10 months ago, and get to work on a CD. He may even release a line of signature glasses.
Next week, Adam and Kris will battle it out (over two nights) for the Idol crown at Los Angeles’ NOKIA Theatre.
For more with Danny, click here.
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wis.
“I hope I made glasses cool for kids”
Q: What did you learn about yourself on Idol?
Danny: One thing I learned was a lot about myself. I learned about how pressure has an affect on a person. I learned to overcome things in my life - doubt and insecurities. Sometimes there were times I didn’t want to go out on that stage, I felt unprepared or will anyone like what I am doing? I overthought the process, but when I had good performances, like this past week, I was so thankful, because even though I didn’t want to go out there, I made myself do it and did good.
Q: What’s interesting about Kris and Adam to you?
Danny: Kris is really artistic. Adam has a way on the show of capturing the audience. I admire that Kris is very mellow, I always wanted to be like that. I have an intense personality at times. Adam is a great guy, I really can’t fault him. Adam is who he is on and off stage. He’s very creative. He lives creative, dresses creative and talks from that perspective. People need to vote and don’t automatically assume –- if you want a person to win, vote. This competition is not over yet, and it will be a very tight race.
Q: What would you like your music to do in the future?
Danny: My dream is to mix my music with my foundation, Sophia’s Heart Foundation. That is everything to me. I don’t want my career to be all about me. I want it to be about people. I’d like to see the foundation impact kids. I want to entertain, but have people come out of their zone and get a perspective on other people's problems and how they overcome them. My whole testimony is overcoming things in life, and I want to tell people if I can -- then you can.
Q: What happened between Simon and Paula on Tuesday's show. We didn’t get to see everything on the show.
Danny: He was like suffocating her, and it was the funniest thing. She was on the ground, and I talked to her after the show and she said, "I couldn’t breathe." To me it was the funniest thing as I’d never seen that. It was the funniest thing, they were almost wrestling on the floor.
Q: Went through your head when Kris was called first?
Danny: I knew that was it for me. I was very confident in that. Actually the whole day I thought that. Did I want it -- no. I wanted to go for the gold like they did and it didn’t work out that way. I am a competitor by nature and I gave it what I gave it. Would I have done things different -- absolutely –- but I am proud of my accomplishments. From where I came from 10 months ago, from losing my wife to where I am today … I kept my head and not only had to deal with losing my wife, I saw a strength in me I didn’t know I had.
Q: What’s next for you after the tour?
Danny: The first thing is during competition I haven’t been able to attend to Sophia’s Heart Foundation, I have been focusing here. But I will meet with my team and get our focus laid down for our first agenda. I want to define our goals and then want it to grow. It means so much to me as it’s my wife’s legacy. I have a lot of open doors and I want to walk through them. I’d love to design a line of glasses, as funny as that sounds. Hopefully have the glasses support the foundation. There is a lot I want to do. This competition has catapulted me towards my dream. I hope I made glasses cool for kids, and I heard that kids were excited to wear glasses again. They can have a reputation for being nerdy but maybe some of the proceeds from my glasses can help the foundation. I want to do anything glasses-wise.
I was surprised through out the show that I kept going. It showed that I had strong support out there.