Danny Gokey needs to shake it up...or else

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 22nd 2009 3:06PM
danny gokey IdolVery early on, it seemed to me that Danny Gokey was a lock to be in the finals for American Idol. He has a great voice, a compelling story, a nice personality that comes across the TV screen, and unless he completely screws it up, Danny is going to be there for the really big finale shows. However, after last night's tepid performance of "September" -- or as Kona put it, he's the "best wedding singer ever" -- I have real concerns about Danny.

Handicapping the finals now, which is a risky endeavor since I'm not a Vegas oddsmaker, I see Adam Lambert and Kris Allen singing it out for American Idol supremacy. Danny Gokey has sung himself out of the top two. He simply hasn't been interesting or creative or dynamic in the past few weeks. Kris and Adam are leaving him in the dust.

The other singers, with the exception of Allison Iraheta who is some kind of 16-year-old wunderkind but not the stuff of an Idol winner at this stage of the game, are going to be dropping like flies week after week. Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud and Anoop Desai are bound for the bottom three tonight and two of them will be axed.

Back to Danny, he still has a chance to save himself. He needs to distinguish himself from Kris and Adam by presenting what makes Danny unique. He shouldn't try to do what they do, that would be a big mistake. But Danny has shake it up, sing something out of the box, make a splash like he did at the start.

Solid performances aren't enough. He needs drama. Danny has to present a variation of himself that's as stunning as Susan Boyle singing "I Dreamed A Dream." Okay, maybe not that stunning, but something that would qualify as a homerun.

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lane

Danny never figured out he needed to work on himself instead against the other percieved threats. He just doesn't get it.Straight/gay/purple or red. It is a talent contest. Practice your craft. Clean up your look. present...

June 12 2009 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melanie

Adam will win...Danny is awesome too..he just doesnt blow it out the building like adam. His voice is awesome..just different styles...doesnt matter if he can dance...when you listen to the radio..can you see them? No...Kris is BORING!!! He reminds me of last yrs..Jason Castro..he was boring to me too!!! Matt is off key all the time.. i get so tired of the runs..whatever they are called..and that dumb hat! They got him thinking that he is Justin Timberlake! LOL.. This week the songs will be boring!!! Why can't they sing songs off the radio? Something that we are familiar with these days!?? My 14 and 11 yr old will hate these songs..LOL

April 26 2009 at 9:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

I thought Danny was a shoe in at the beginning. I was strongly rooting for him. But his performances have gone from bland to blander while Adam has made you wonder what he is going to do next. Like a poster above I believe Danny is a much better singer than Danny but he has to come out of the box. Really come out of the box. Adam's vocals have been far superior to Danny's and Adam keeps you guessing. Kris I know he will do a ballad or get or the guitar. After the last few weeks I have switched to believing that Adam is such a superior performer that Kris and Danny don't stand a chance.

April 24 2009 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TK101

I was an early fan of Danny's, but have quickly fallen away from fandom. I now see him as a cocky douche, and that's never a good package for Idol. He is typically flat, has no real skill with arrangement or stage presence, and screams too many of his notes. Put the "Go" in Gokey...as my favorite columnists at EW say.

Adam, Kris, and Allison are my weekly favs. This is the first season that I actually voted before the finals - I really think these three are ready to record.

April 23 2009 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

Adam is the best, hands-down. No one else on the show can compare. And I agree with whoever said it above that he does not need to win in order to win -- i.e., he should and will have a career regardless because he's the Real Deal. Kris is talented but boring and that's always the problem I've had with him; I think part of the reason he's come as far as he has is not just about talent but about looks -- he's a cute guy and the girls love him, so they vote for him in droves. I would not be the least bit surprised if he did actually pull out a victory in the finals over Adam (who I think would be his competition). Danny is a good singer but really does nothing for me; I do, however, wish him well.

April 23 2009 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NightOwl

Although I liked Danny from the start, I never bought into the whole "he's the one to beat" thing at the beginning of the competition. It's a long competition and stuff happens along the way. The stuff that happened this year was that Adam and Kris improved every week, learned how to play the game and to be who they are on stage. They evolved along the way and stayed interesting. Danny is the same as he was at the start, maybe a little less than he was, and has become boring. Each week there is excitement and anticipation about what Kris will sing, and HUGE anticipation about everything pertaining to Adams' performance, from what he will wear, how he will do his hair , to what will he sing and will he go uptempo do more of a slow ballad type thing. Danny has become an afterthought and I often want to fast forward through his song.
Lastly, I want to comment on Dannys' handling of the issue of the death of his wife. Danny himself has not made any attempt to emphasis this tragedy in his life. The producers of the show made the decision to put this story forward as part of the way that they "packaged" Danny, beginning during the try out phase of the show. They did this in a clumsy,heavy-handed manner, as they do most things, giving the appearance of exploiting a horrible personal tragedy in pursuit of cheap, maudlin, soap opera emotionalism. It is very doubtful that Danny was consulted beforehand about this, and, as just one potential contestant in a huge pool of hopefuls, he would have had no power to influence the way the producers presented this issue to the viewers. To me, it appears Danny was put into a bad situation, not of his making, by the producers and has handled it with considerable and admirable dignity considering the situation. He responds to questions when asked, but I have not seen h im try to exploit situation in any way to his advantage. To do so would be crass and demeaning to the memory of his late wife, and Danny doesnt seem like that kind of person.

April 23 2009 at 9:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Wow. I'm surprised Allison doesn't get more love. OK...she looks a little freaky, but so does Adam and she is a good singer. She is also very commercial and can be made into just about anything. I so want her to sing Heart :)

I also haven't heard Danny mention his wife in a long time. Granted, I am not watching the show closely (on computer at same time) but I don't think he overplayed the dead wife. They kept asking him about it. What is he supposed to say?

Kris has really grown on me, but it is tough. I want to see Allison in the finals too. Maybe a final three instead of a final two?

April 23 2009 at 8:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Danny is a good singer (not as good as Adam, but better than Kris); he just makes terrible choices.

The week he had to pick a song from the year he was born (1980), he chose ...

"Stand By Me."

The Mickey Gilley version.

Enough said.

April 23 2009 at 6:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rick

dude--the 'wedding singer" description is dead on. danny ain't the one, e.g. the ringer killer. that would be kris, or in a perfect world, my red haired darlin'.

April 22 2009 at 11:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

Danny's problem is that he's a really great singer, but not such a great performer. Plus, the ridiculous overplaying of the dead wife ("I really hate talking about this, but... here I am bringing it up again... my wife died recently... but I really really hate talking about it...") story early in his idol journey killed his appeal for me. He's also not so humble, which is a huge turnoff. So, while I chose him as an early favorite to win it all, he's lost his momentum over the past few weeks. You're right; it's no longer about just singing well, and turning in a good performance. Unless you can masterfully reinterpret these songs and deliver fresh unique mind-blowing performances week after week that don't sound like something you'd hear on a cruise ship karaoke bar (Lil, Matt and Anoop), you're not going to last.

April 22 2009 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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