American Idol: What’s your story?

As Danny Gokey and Tatiana Del Toro stood together on the American Idol stage tonight, only one able to move on in the competition, I knew the winner was going to be Danny.

Danny Gokey. Photo by Frank Micelotta | Fox.

Danny Gokey. Photo by Frank Micelotta | Fox.

OK, I wouldn’t have written that if I had been wrong and Tatiana had been reduced to tears of joy — you knew the waterworks were coming either way.

But here’s why I knew Danny would be moving on: Yes, he has a really good, tres Idol voice, and that is important. But at this stage, as national voting begins, is that enough? Um, no. Danny seared himself into our collective consciousness during the Kansas City auditions when we heard the heartbreaking story of his wife’s death, including those hopeless moments when doctors told him there was nothing they could do for her. As he sang Hero Tuesday night, you couldn’t forget that, and obviously a lot of Americans want to see his story continue.

The thing that made me sure Danny was going to win was the other dude picked by voters in this round: Michael Sarver. His story isn’t as dramatic, and frankly, his performance of Gavin DeGraw’s I Don’t Wanna Be was simply good. But how many working stiffs can relate to his story of  the dad trying to win one for his wife and two kids? Plus, he has been the consummate nice guy. Good will is a good thing to generate at this point in the contest, and it put him in the final 12.

Alexis Grace. Photo by Chris Cuffaro | Fox.

Alexis Grace. Photo by Chris Cuffaro | Fox.

The Louisville auditions put the first contestant in the final dozen with Alexis Grace, whose performance of Aretha’s Never Loved a Man made you momentarily forget she’s the young mom who’s been raising her little girl alone while her husband’s been in military school. It was a somewhat humble reminder that while stories are good, to still be in competition in May, you’ll have to bring a voice, which Alexis surely has. (We humbly remind you your first chance to see Alexis was in our Louisville audition video.) Now I’m off to my guitar, because that Memphis singer made me want to play some blues.

Make sure to read Phil Stacy’s Idol blog.

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4 Responses to American Idol: What’s your story?

  1. TC says:

    I personally think that Danny Gokey would have made it without America hearing his tragic story and he was a better singer than Michael Sarver and anyone else that performed on Tuesdays Idol show, so was Brent Keith. As far as Tatiana Del Toro goes she wasn’t going to get the votes she needed because of her being such a DRAMA QUEEN. Now don’t get me wrong, she can sing and she may get one of the wildcard slots, but if she does I don’t think she will make it to the end and become American’s next idol.

  2. Rich Copley says:


    Certainly, Danny has the voice. Michael’s backstory helped him, I think. I sensed the judges were being kind in letting Tatiana through to the final 36, and doubt there’s much of a chance they’ll let her back in via wildcard except for the, “she makes good television,” argument.

    Anoop would be my bet for a wildcard out of this weeks round, and he could make a run, considering he apparently got strong voting support.

  3. coffee says:

    the producers of American Idol are obviously singling out Danny Gokey as a favorite, but he’s good so i don’t much mind

  4. Payday Loans says:

    I was SO HAPPY when they kicked off Tatiana. I didn’t like her at ALL. She wasn’t a great singer and she was way too emotional. She kept crying at EVERYTHING! So yay

    I really like Danny and Alexis. I think they’re the two best. Their backstories definitely help, but their voices are amazing as well. double threat!

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