Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What is up with all the Danny Gokey Haters?

Found this on the internet this morning! Found it interesting!! Have to admit that I am a Danny Gokey fan!

"American Idol" has baked up some fresh heroes and villains for your consumption this season, but many fans are already rejecting the star-making machine's attempts to package 28-year-old Danny Gokey as the frontrunner. And some bloggers have gotten downright mean about it. Gokey's biggest mistake? Offering up his real-life personal tragedy (the death of his wife) for producers to weave into an emotional back story about overcoming obstacles and keeping the dream alive.

Over at EW.com, Michael Slezak and Kristen Baldwin came out swinging in their online video show "Idolatry." "He is pimping the memory of his dead wife to get votes. It's disgusting," said Baldwin. "It's really appalling the way that he has used her to get on the show and now to get votes. I'm not saying he didn't love his wife. I'm not saying he's not sad that she's gone. But he's clearly using his grief for his own advantage, and it's gross." Slezak agrees that Gokey is exploiting his tragedy. "You don't need to keep her memory alive for 25 million viewers who don't know her," added Slezak. "When you start showing a picture, pointing to heaven, talking about inspiration, it seems to me a sort of clear effort to get people to vote for you."

In a conference call with press last Thursday, Gokey responded openly about this type of reaction. "It's only been seven months since she's passed. This is who I am. It's not that I throw it in people's faces, but I get asked about it all the time, especially like right now. I'm talking about it at this point. It weighs on my mind a lot, though, because honestly, this is a sob story I don't want," Gokey explained. "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. I didn't want to live any more after she passed."

Why is all of this animosity being directed at Danny Gokey instead of "Idol" producers, who are clearly fanning the embers of this emotional back story to create a more engaging show? My best guess is that they feel that he shouldn't have fed the beast in the first place. Message boards are buzzing with "Idol" fans comparing how former contestants handled the telling of their personal stories. David Cook kept a fairly tight lid on his brother's illness, but remember the focus put on Elliott Yamin's ailing mother? The lesson here is that when it comes to sharing information about your personal life, less is more.

"Idol" expert Jeffrey Christian explains his frustration with Gokey in his American Idol Report Card blog. "I'm beyond irritated at this whole 'The Chosen One' verbiage that surrounds him. Perhaps I could comprehend it if his performances displayed even a scintilla of greatness, but for what we've been allowed to see so far, Gokey is an adequate vocalist, with some interpretive skills, has yet to blow anything out the box, but has a damned juicy/sad back story."

Gokey acknowledges that he's gotten some extra support from the show, but hopes that people won't hold that against him. "Honestly, I do feel that I was highlighted. There's no getting around that. I didn't do anything to get that. I can say this; I'm grateful that they would do that. I have no control over it," he said. "I know everyone's not going to like me -- that goes without saying. But it's a bummer when people are just real mad about it. I had nothing to do with it and I hope people can see past that and just see that I genuinely just love to sing and that's what I want to do."

The heat on Danny Gokey won't relent anytime soon, but after losing the most important person in his life, I'm guessing that he's got this whole "American Idol" experience in the proper perspective. It's just a TV show.

No comments: