Could there be an American Idol curse unraveling this season? It's becoming apparent no one should sing a song with the word "beg" in it - unless you want to find yourself begging to stay in the competition. Last week, Alexis Grace begged "Jolene" not to take her man during Country Week, while this week Michael Sarver declared he "ain't too proud to beg" by doing the song of the same name by the Temptations for Motown week. Ironically, both found themselves up for elimination, singing for their lives, and hoping to receive the judges veto vote. After a record-breaking 36 million votes, Michael, along with Matt Giraud and Scott MacIntyre, were all in the bottom three. But the judges decided to let Michael go home to his family after belting out "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" again. "It's fine," said Michael after the announcement. "I get to go home to my family and I am on the Top 10 tour!" The show also featured a showstopping performance from Motown legend Stevie Wonder, a duet by Smokey Robinson and Joss Stone, and the return of season two winner Ruben Studdard. Next week sees David Cook return to the stage that made him a star and pop sensation Lady GaGa performs her hit "Poker Face."
For more with Michael Sarver, click here.
Hometown: Jasper, Texas
Eliminated: March 26
"There was a smile about the idea of going home"
Is your daughter excited to have you coming home?
Michael: McKenna's outlook is she excited about seeing her daddy on TV, but the one thing that a 3-and-a-half doesn't understand is why I am not home. Right now that's what I am going to focus on, getting home and making sure she knows I love her. We know when she is a little older she'll fully understand. I do know she was excited to see me everyday and I hear she replayed the DVR quite a lot. [My kids] won't be on the tour with me a whole lot, but I do plan on involving them. I'm going home and will be spending time with family. They deserve my full attention right now. There was a smile about the idea of going home. I'm not relieved. I was there and enjoyed the heck out of it. But the best part of it is I have an incredible family to go home to - and I couldn't be more excited to be on a plane headed in that direction.
What did you learn on the show?
Michael: Just how much I love my family. I have never been away from them for that long. I got a good hold on what my priorities are in life, and the number-one priority is my family. I'll always want to do music and plan on hitting it hard after this, but it really taught me a lot about myself.
What do the contestants think of the judges laughing and joking around? It's like they don't pay attention to you at times.
Michael: Personally, I enjoy it because people need to understand this is supposed to be a fun thing and the time of our lives. They help make it that. Like when Simon was goofing and coloring on Paula's face - that was hilarious. But it does make it complicated as you might feel they are not really listening to you, but overall the fun they are having makes everybody smile and that is what entertainment is all about.
Are there any words of warning to the others about not singing songs with the word "beg" in them?
Michael: [laughs] No, that has not come up at all, and it's very intriguing - I never noticed that 'til now. I don't think that's a part of people's minds at all. Week to week, the goal is to do your best. And if you rise to the occasion you are around the next day, of you don't, you go home. I don't think anyone should get anything in their heads about a curse or how many people can beg - it is what it is, and [the contestants] are all great and will be fine. I felt better about the second performance, though, because I felt better and I redeemed myself.
What kind of artist will you be?
Michael: I think I showed I am not as country as people thought and there's a lot of soul in me. I am a soul singer, and it doesn't matter what you mix it with, there's still soul and I believe I established that. I am the kind of artist that will work my tail off. I'll never give less that 110 percent when I perform - I showed that. My album would definitely be an R&B, pop, soul album. I really like Justin Timberlake's R&B pop style and that has a lot to do with how I write. I've written over 890 songs since the age of 14. There are a lot of stories I want to share, and I am glad America will get the chance to hear them.