Archuleta, Aiken, Gokey, and Hicks Do Battle on Day 5 of Idol's Greatest Performance Tourney

Brace yourselves for some tough choices, Idoloonies! Day 5 of’s American Idol All-Time Greatest Performance Bracket Tournament has arrived, and we’ve got a lot of vocal adrenaline on display.

Yes, folks, we’ve returned for the second half of the Power Vocalist/Soul Males division in our 64-player tourney, which is composed of the most electrifying moments in the 10-season history of Fox’s ratings juggernaut. It’s your job to vote in these single-elimination faceoffs, and decide which 32 Idol Moments advance to Round 2.

‘American Idol’ All-Time Greatest Performances (Day 3):
Bo, Blake, Cook, Lee, and More Compete!

Every day around 1:00 p.m. ET over the next few weeks, we’ll launch a new set of duels to the death that will have you joyously reliving your favorite Idol moments and weeping into your clenched fists over the fact that you have to choose between ’em.

American Idol’s Greatest Performance? (Day 4)
Kelly, Katharine, Jordin, and Pia Enter the Ring!

Before you head to the polls, you may want to peruse these memory-refreshing links to the performances entering the ring this afternoon:

David Archuleta, “Imagine
Anwar Robinson, “What a Wonderful World
Taylor Hicks, “Living for the City
Michael Lynche, “This Woman’s Work
Danny Gokey, “Come Rain or Come Shine
Alex Lambert, “Everybody Knows
Clay Aiken, “Bridge Over Troubled Water
Clay Aiken, “Solitaire

‘Idoloonies’: Paul McDonald on ‘Blackbird,’
Crazy Dancing, and…Adam Lambert Comparisons?

It’s gonna be brutal seeing four of those great Idol moments snuffed out in Round One, no? So make sure the right choice is made by heading down to our polls to vote for your favorites (Round 1 voting will be open for 72 hours), and hit the comments to justify your picks. And if you’re interested in the matchups we’ve got planned for the coming weeks, click here to check out the entire 64-player bracket (then click again for a zoomed in view), and sign up to follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

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  1. Logistics says:

    If you voted for Danny, you should be ashamed of yourself. LOOK AT YOUR LIFE. LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES.

    • t.t says:

      I’m kind of disappointed dream on by gokey isn’t on :P whats up with that slezak? that note in the end was out of this world :P

    • cjinsd says:

      I cannot believe you put Gokey in this bracket. And, here I thought you had good taste Michael. So disappointed…

      • GinaBallerina says:

        Oh please, Michael would have shown a clear, clear bias if he had not included Danny. I didn’t like him one bit but I had to admit that “Come Rain or Come Shine” was a really good performance. Especially because this bracket is so large, it absolutely belongs on it.

    • flutiefan says:

      my goodness, taking a bit of liberty there with the hyberbole, aren’t we?
      Danny Gokey is an outstanding singer. perhaps you don’t like his style, and that’s okay. but to imply that he is so bad that no one should even vote for him is preposterous. i didn’t like Mandisa, because i didn’t like the way she sang songs, but that doesn’t mean i don’t recognize that she has vocal talent.
      you need to grow up.

      • Brittany says:

        Amen! He has incredible talent regardless of how goofy he was or whatever. That boy can sing and is as nice as can be!

        • NickC says:

          Gokey was a sick many times did he bring up his dead wife?Nothing like using the dead to get people to vote for you…gross

          • LoriW says:

            Oh, c’mon man!! Danny G was just sharing his life, but it’s interesting how you turn this around. He has amazing talent, is very generous (check out Sophia’s Heart Foundation website) and has thousands of fans to prove it!

    • Randy says:

      Gokey may not be everyone’s cup of tea but success is the best revenge.
      Who was just a featured singer (first S8 alum to do so) on a prime time TV movie-oh that’s right Gokey. Who is touring with the hottest concert ticket this summer-Taylor Swift? Oh, yeah, Gokey.

      I’m sure you teenies will have fun punching button for Alex Lambert (decent voice but quite the unsavory whiner/liar post Idol), but it means absolutely nothing in the real world. But thanks for entertaining us ;)

      • kendra says:

        His success is not as big as his fans think! He is mostly still being backed by his idol fans. His album did squat, really, after being out for as long as it’s been. His movie “debut” was as lame as the movie itself, lots of former idols have made appearances on tv. Oh and by the way Kris debuted on a tv show before Gokey did, so ha! He is still a self serving, arrogant tool!

        • Joe says:

          I believe that poster said MOVIE debut with a SINGING role, not a cameo in a teen TV sit com, so their statement appears correct-in response to the “Ha”.

          His success is right where his fans think it is: Making a second album after his first debuted at #4 billboard and broke two country debut records, nominated for ACA Best New Artist, moving into movie and theatre (the Shack theatre production) roles, hand picked by Taylor Swift to open, endorsement deals for WI Vision and also Online Purity Organic supplement products, appearing at the Opry every other month and making a good living for himself in music-of course he’s successful. He just sang the NA for 30k at the 12th annual Country Music Marathon today in Nashville.

          No one crows about Danny until others start wasting their time hating on him (which is really strange that they do so, I have better things to do with my time than hate people I don’t know on an Idol blog, lol) so of course people who are fans or just rational will defend him. Don’t want to read it? Don’t. Or don’t hate on him in the first place.

          • bjm says:

            Get off your high horse, these things have all been pre-arranged by his management trying to make him a star, its obvious to anyone except his delusional fans. They think if they force feed him on people that people will start drinking the kool-aid. So far it isn’t working the way they want. He is nothing more than a poser, I even kind of liked him on Idol, but I don’t like how he has become. He did not have an identity so they invented one for him and now he is trying to convince himself and everyone else that he is who he claims to be. Only he isn’t! Defend him all you want it makes him look even more pathetic that he needs people to build him up and make him sound more important than he is. Hand picked by Taylor Swift! LOL thats a fine example of embellishment!

          • Josie says:

            bjm, you know, what I think is pathetic is seeing people twist themselves into knots trying to spin Danny’s successes into something negative. I don’t know if you believe your own spin, but I think you’re going to have to refine it quite a bit to be persuasive on any level. Let’s take for example your statement “these things have all been pre-arranged by his management trying to make him a star, it’s obvious to anyone except his delusional fans”. Let’s think that through. A management team can’t make people buy records, and Danny did well with his sales as a newcomer. A management team can’t make people buy concert tickets, and Danny’s done well with that – I’ve seen him at several live shows now – he’s a great live performer and crowds love him. Could Danny’s management team force Taylor Swift and other big stars to take Danny on tour with them? You think so? I assume record labels have a certain degree of leverage with certain aspects of the business, but the thought of Danny’s management team being able to force these big stars to take him on is not credible. Danny’s fans have no need to try to make him sound more important than he is. No one is making him out to be anything other than what he is, which is a very talented newcomer who has made some very good strides in building a career. He’s doing fine. I really admire him for how hard he has worked and the accomplishments he’s had. I guess the fact that people who hate him don’t like it is just icing on the cake. ;)

        • Cat lee says:

          you are well…. misguided at best. You need to deal with your misplaced hate before it starts eating at you life…..You may not like his music and thats okay, but you speak as if you know him personally and I know you don’t because I have met the man and he is a wonderful, caring, giving, very nice human being. Dislike his music that’s fine you have access to that and have every right to have an opinion, however before you give a personality opinion make sure it’s not taken from thin air and made up in your head. Meet him first then you can speak about him personally. You would not like to know what i thought of you based on this little blurb. Not that it matters, but It should bother you that there are people forming opinions of you that aren’t very nice. Have a good night and I will keep an open mind.

        • musica1 says:

          Danny seems to be doing well with his career. He’s not a huge headliner, but that usually takes time. As a matter of fact, Danny, Kris and Adam all seem to be building their careers nicely, one step at a time. I think in the long run, they may be the most successful top 3 in all the seasons of Idol. We’ll have to look at them again in 5-10 years, but it’s shaping up that way right now.

      • Suzanne says:

        Danny’s doing really well out in the big world. I’m not a fan of country or really of Danny, but he’s got a nice career brewing. They all can’t win Oscars and Grammys. Any contestant that makes a living by performing years after they are off the show is doing fantastic.

        • Georgia says:

          I agree! I’m not a fan, either, but I get tired of artists’ success being judged only by record sales. Any artist who can continue to build a fan base, direct his/her own career path, love life, and make a living is a success! Good for him, and all of them who have gone on to have a career in music.

        • Jane says:

          Yes. Danny’s doing really well. He just played at a bar/ restaurant’s backyard on the outskirts of Myrtle Beach with no cover charge. Even though it was free, I didn’t walk the 300 or so yards to go watch him. I still can’t believe Allison went before he did.

          • lynn says:

            Well, I’m sure he got paid, lol. There are various arrangements on how artists are compensated by clubs, doesn’t have to be from a cover charge. Danny does some occasional dates in smaller clubs but most of his shows are in quite decent-sized venues and he sells them very nicely as a lead act. Plus he will start touring in about six weeks with Taylor Swift at arena / stadium events, can’t get much bigger than that.

          • randy says:

            Well, it is well known that Taylor is big enough to pick her acts-know your facts before you scoff. Don’t you wonder why she has a CCM band called “Need to Breathe” as an opener, lol? She could have a really great country artist open up for her to draw new fans. Because she wants it, not because they have big connections or can force it- same with Danny.

            As far as free concerts, so what? All the Idols do them, whether they are for radio shows or some other event. Danny gets paid. And yes, he does all kinds of events, from $50 on up casino type venues to stadiums opening, to little bars and fairs. He’s doing two paid back to back 1000+ seat shows in a casino venue this weekend in Oregon.

            No one says he’s a superstar, just that he is successful- he used to be a truck driver and now his is a recording artist? Smells like success to me.

            I’m sorry it was painful for you Allison went out before Danny, but she received a chance with a contract which is the important thing, and she hasn’t caught on (so far). It is up to the artist to do their thing post AI.

            It gives me such pleasure to see people hating on Danny, because it means he is doing something right, lol! Jealously and being proven wrong (that he would be a failure) are powerful motivators for hate. Don’t like someone-fine. I don’t enjoy Adam’s personality or music but I realize he is talented and I wish the best for him-no need to hate on him to bolster my own ego or my favorite Idol.

      • lucys fave says:

        Amen, Randy. Success just seems to dog Danny no matter the slings you read here.

    • Suzanne says:

      Come Rain or Come Shine was a fantastic performance by Danny Gokey. Really magnificent.

    • Rhama says:

      I don’t get this. “Come Rain or Come Shine”, as a performance, was in the top 10 of season 8. Nothing to do with Gokey as a person.

    • Blair says:


    • Carrie #2 says:

      Heehee, Sassy Gay Friend reference that no one else seems to have caught. :) That said, I didn’t like Gokey either but I haaaaaated Alex Lambert. Never understood the appeal.

  2. JayK* says:

    I’m having so much fun voting! I really hope Taylor Hicks beats Micheal “Check Me Out on iTunes” Lynche. I didn’t think “Woman’s Work” was that great, and Taylor really is owed it after Seacrest was so unnecessarily rude on Thursday!

    • Suzanne says:

      Aren’t we supposed to be comparing the performances and picking the better one? It doesn’t matter if Ryan Seacrest was rude last week (which he totally was) or if Michael Lynche said something arrogant (which he totally did). Compare Living for the City and This Woman’s Work. No contest–This Woman’s Work. (which sux for Taylor since he was better on several other songs in Season 5–Something, Try A Little Tenderness)

      • Nat says:

        I dunno, I’d still say it’s legitimate to prefer Taylor’s performance, which is far more energetic and enjoyable, over Michael’s smug self-entitled take on ‘This Woman’s Work’, which frankly just makes me cringe to watch it back. Vocally speaking, they’re probably equivalent, so my vote went to Taylor.

        • blingedup.susan says:

          Picking Taylor’s Living for the City over Michael Lynche’s Woman’s Work might have been the easiest choice for me in the votes so far. I get much more enjoyment out of Taylor’s performance — no contest imo.

          • kai says:

            I watched Taylor Hicks Living for The City, and realized how much I miss watching him sing. He was entertaining and has a lot of soul. Got side tracked and just started watching his performances. I agree, there were other performances that were better. You Are So Beautiful, Something, Try A Little Tenderness. Got to love him!! The boy has SOUL!

      • JayK* says:

        I was joking about Taylor being “owed” – I would vote for almost any of Taylor’s performances over any of Michael Lynche’s!

    • Juliegr says:

      No comparison — Taylor Hicks all the way for singing ability, charisma, and entertainment.

  3. Marianne says:

    “Come Rain Or Shine”?? That was only 2 seasons ago? I can’t even remember it. GO TeamAlexLambert!! You know EVERYBODY KNOWS!

  4. Cecily Gonzalez says:


  5. L says:

    Thanks for including Alex Lambert. Can’t wait to hear an album from him. Great voice!

  6. Baqinardo says:

    Go Alex! Alex FTW!!!!

  7. AJ says:

    I hate the Taylor hate. Taylor was a great great contestant. Sure, he didn’t become a big time recording artist, but he opened the door to all the quirky, non-Mariah, non-Whitney type of singers that have done well on the show. Taylor Hicks made Season 5 what it was (Great TV).

    • jwgeist says:

      Agreed. He gets way too much hate, and shouldn’t be the punchline to Idol jokes like he was on Wednesday. And all the people who think he’s a bust, I work in a chain restaurant that uses a satellite music service. Our station is sort of Adult Comtemporary/Acoustic kind of stuff, and there are THREE Taylor Hicks songs on there. So the dude is making money, even if it isn’t something you’re hearing on the radio.

    • Suzanne says:

      You know–I think most of the picks for the 64 performances are really good–the best performances by the best people. But Living for the City really sold Taylor short. In the Ghetto or Try a Little Tenderness were stronger performances. (And yet, Living for the City is winning in that race, which is crazy, because Michael on This Woman’s Work is a much better performance.)

    • Jane says:

      He was great on Jimmy Fallon a few weeks back. Looking back on season 5, who should have won? After Daughtry was eliminated, he was the best choice left. I never cared for Catherine McPhee.

  8. Rachel says:

    Alex Lambert vs. Gokey?? No contest!! Thanks Slezak for making it easy. ALEX FTW!!

  9. gregk says:

    This tourney is a great idea! Reminds me of the “battle of the bands” in the mid-1960’s on the AM stations I listened to in Cleveland. The “final four” was usually the Beatles, the Stones, Elvis, and the Beach Boys, with the Beatles winning more often than not.

  10. lynn says:

    Danny and Come Rain or Come Shine? Awesome, hands down great song & singer.

  11. jane says:

    Why now? We are working hard on Q102 poll for our beloved David!

  12. jazzy says:

    Anwar Robinson was totally underrated, saw him live, beautiful.

    • Suzanne says:

      He got a tough matchup against Imagine. This was a good performance by Anwar–and he’s stinking good looking, eh? My problem with the performance, especially after having watched Imagine immediately before it, is that by the end of the 1:40, it had become a big huge showtune number. I bet he was great in Rent, tho.

      • Teresa says:

        Totally. I kind of forget who a lot of the idol singers were. But when I saw that video, it totally brought me back. I think he’s the only contestant I would have voted for on looks alone — but it wasn’t necessary because he had a great voice, too.

        Heh. No wonder I barely remember Season 4. It was probably over for me when he went home.

  13. flutiefan says:

    if David Archuleta isn’t in the finals (or win the whole darn thing), then i don’t know what you people are listening to!
    the single most outstanding performance on Idol, ever. IMHO.

    • Suzanne says:

      It’s been great to see these performances again. David’s performance is so . . . I don’t know . . . inspiring and unaffected.

      • Ali says:

        I agree, there’s just something so emotive and nuanced about Archuleta’s vocal tone. I’m not so sure I’d be crushed if Imagine doesn’t “win” the bracket because it never felt like a performance that belonged in a competition in the first place. And yes, I realize that’s a silly statement considering that’s the point of the whole thing to begin with.

    • AllieS says:

      Archuleta had a decent voice – but did you miss the entire next season? No comparison between his vocals or performances and Adam Lambert!!!

      • flutiefan says:

        i honestly can’t stand Adam Lambert and his screeching. David Archuleta knows all about restraint and pure vocalizing. i admit, though, i saw Adam Lambert live (he was performing with a couple others i went to see) and he did a very subdued song, just him & a guitar, and it was decent. i wish he’d stick to that.

        but sorry, i will vote Archie for pure talent over Lambert any day.

        • Irishize says:

          Ummmm, I believe it’s ALEX Lambert being voted on here, two totally different people. Mayhap you should take another look.

          • flutiefan says:

            um, yes, i realize that. i was just responding to the person above me who brought up Archuleta (who was a runner up) and the next season’s runner up, Adam Lambert. Archie IS in this bracket, so it was a valid comparison and discussion. “mayhap” YOU should take another look…

    • nevada01 says:

      To me, Archuleta always felt manufactured, like he had been singing “Imagine” for the last 5 years. Very over-rehearsed and probably created by his father and various producers.

      • Kat says:

        What was “manufactured” was the meddling father story. After learning about what went on behind the scenes that season, in my opinion the dad was just being naturally protective of his son. (Keep in mind David was a minor, and it was required a parent or guardian be present at all times.) Idol producers totally exploit and manipulate contestants as well as create “controversies” in order to achieve desired outcomes. They say or do anything necessary to generate ratings or to make the show appear legit. The Pia Toscano fiasco of the current season is a perfect example of how full of it Idol producers are.

        • nevada01 says:

          Maybe the meddling father stories were manufactured, but I personally don’t know the stories. To me, the performance FELT manufactured. I felt similarly about Katharine McPhee’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or any other overly stylized performance. It was like someone wrote out the notes and the runs and David (or Katharine) sung the notes exactly the same way over and over, without any real feeling behind it. Pia in Season 10 was the same way. She hit all the notes but many people did not feel the emotion behind it. Other contestants have been accused of this as well.

          Personally, I think Idol should raise the age to 18, instead of lowering it as they did. As it stands, parents should be present but they should not be able to give input into the contestant’s performance, especially if the parent is a musician in their own right. Not sure if that happened in David’s case but we did see an example of it in the Hollywood group rounds this season. There was a group of underage contestants and their parents were giving advice on their songs and choreography. This is an unfair advantage.

          I do agree with you that Idol manufactures controversies and other circumstances to achieve some desired outcome. That’s too bad because if they left it as a talent show and gave all contestants equal time and equal criticism, they would get a more legitimate result.

          • Amy says:

            To nevada01: “It was like someone wrote out the notes and the runs and David (or Katharine) sung the notes exactly the same way over and over, without any real feeling behind it.”

            Katherine I agree; I was never a fan.

            But that is exactly opposite to what David A. is! I’ve since seen him perform many of the same songs live and each time bring new runs and improv in the moment…it’s never the same twice! And it ALWAYS has feeling…in spades.

            I understand (even if I couldn’t disagree more) if that’s how you felt when he was on Idol…but it just isn’t an accurate assessment of David A., and anyone believing that should really open up to checking him out again with an open mind. It’s just worth doing.

      • flutiefan says:

        yes, he had been singing it for years and had perfected it. a lot of the contestants stick with stuff they know, because they have found certain songs that suit them. if their song is eligible that week, of course they’ll go with their strongest skill!

        that said, his dad really was a jerk. supposedly devoutly religious man caught cheating on his wife with hookers. class act, huh? but not David’s fault. his 2 albums (that i actually own, as a 35-yr-old woman, not some teenybopper) prove that he really does have the chops. i just wish radio would give him more of a chance.

    • Amy says:

      Agree with flutiefan.
      About time Archuleta showed up in this contest!
      Single most outstanding singer on Idol, ever. IMHO.
      Imagine was heartfelt and beautifully sung. But so were many others of his that Season…When You Believe, Long & Winding Road, Angels, Smokey Mountain Memories.
      Nothing manufactured about him. His “The Other Side of Down” is great, he’s fantastic in concert too. Since Idol he’s done a variety of music from pop to soul to Spanish to Christmas songs…he has that voice, and can sing anything.
      I’m a fan because I appreciate his stunning vocal ability, his passion & keen sensibility for music and his sincere nature and heart.
      Anyone who just saw a shy, “mfrd by dad” teen on Idol, should (finally!) get past that media hype already, open their minds and ears again and give him another shot; they’re missing out otherwise.
      But even if he’s just “not your thing” musically, no one can deny the guy has amazing skills.

  14. dawna says:

    Hard choice between Clay’s Solitaire and Bridge. They are both great performances.

  15. chrissy says:

    Alex Lambert is absolutely the best!!

  16. Josie says:

    Yeah, I agree it’s weird to see Danny Gokey’s name paired with Alex Lambert. I’m used to seeing Danny’s name paired with people he appears with like Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, and Keith Urban. And Taylor Swift this summer. I had forgotten about Alex Lambert but hope the kid is doing well.

    • Marianne says:

      Hey Josie! As an Alex Lambert fan, I thank you for your kind words! Alex is closing in on finishing (if not finished with) his album.

      Immediately after he was (wrongly) eliminated from Idol Season 9, he earned a very interesting gig on a 24/7 web series – If I Can Dream – which followed the lives of 5/6 aspiring actors, singers, model(s). It was fascinating, and Alex proved to be the most watched ‘character’ on the show, and the most popular (based on 2 voting contests) during the show’s run. Sadly, the show “closed” in September. Alex stayed on in L.A. and continued to work with writers and producers to get his album done. We fans are hoping for an announcement in the very near future! Check out his excellent fan site: I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

      • Josie says:

        Marianne, that is very sweet of you to give me a update. Good luck to Alex with his album. Danny is working on his second one and I’m very excited to find out what it will be like, so I know how you feel!

      • KonaKathie says:

        It’s ADAM LAMBERT-not “Alex”, people. You claim to be fans of his and you can’t even remember his name? That’s pathetic.

        • petra says:

          Re: KonaKathie – Morooon Alert!!:)

        • flutiefan says:

          what an idiot! you realize there was more than one “A. Lambert” as a contestant on Idol, don’t you?! clearly not!

        • Janet says:

          No, honey, we’re not confused. When we speak of ALEX Lambert, we know who we’re talking about. ADAM and ALEX Lambert are two totally different artists from two different seasons of AI. ALEX is my favorite new artist. GO ALEX!!!!

  17. Mary says:

    I Love love Love Danny Gokey Has a great voice, He can sing anything.

  18. jwgeist says:

    I know the Gokey hate will shine through (and trust me, I had plenty of Gokey hate during his season) but “Come Rain or Come Shine” was easily his best, and one of THE best Vocals of his season. I don’t know how it all came together for him on that one week, but he absolutely killed it. Shame he won’t at least make it out of this round, but hey, thats how it works.

    • Brittany says:

      He has a great voice and did not “pull it together” for just one week. I will admit he didn’t always have the most fantastic performances and sometimes was incoherent in the interview packages or had goofy dance moves or chose the wrong song, but that guy can sing. I never got why every one thought he was self-centered and using his late wife for votes. Ridiculous. I would like to see other people go through that kind of painful event and not talk about it or let it shine through in interviews.

  19. claudia says:

    Anwar Anwar Anwar!!! What a beautiful face. I picked him over David the lesser.

    • Jessabean says:

      Yes! Yes! Yes! I didn’t watch that season, so this was the first time I had ever seen him sing. Awesome! No wonder Slezak keeps bringing him up. :D

  20. Barbara says:

    Alex Lambert is my choice and I just went through each vid. posted , and that’s my fave…I didn’t even watch that season..I wonder if he’s putting out a CD..would be very enjoyable, based on what I’ve heard

  21. sara says:

    come on guys! I sure wasn’t a gokey-fan myself, but he KILLED that song.

    • Suzanne says:

      He royally did.

    • nevada01 says:

      Thanks, Sarah. I dislike Gokey as much as the next person but can admit that was his best performance. It was a terrific performance and I voted for it. I never got the appeal of Alex Lambert.

      As for Gokey, whatever he may have done or said, the main reason that I disliked him was that he lacked any musical knowledge or curiousity. Fine, for a regular person but extremely distasteful for a person who is appearing on a national talent show to find the next pop star. Know your musical history before going on Idol! He really paled in comparison to Kris, Adam, and even Matt.

      • Barbara says:

        I did watch that season, and have watched Danny since then. I do not get why there is a small group of people that find him unlikable. He is very enthusiastic about music, and he seems like quite a decent guy, so that’s my take on his personality.

        • nevada01 says:

          I think many people felt Danny was exploiting his wife’s death for sympathy and votes. Also, many do not appreciate a contestant that attempts to use their religion to their advantage and incorporate that into their performances on tour. There were intolerant comments made by himself and his family, some rumored and some proven, that I find unacceptable.

          Although he had a good voice, he had little technique and even less musical knowledge. He often broke his phrasing to gasp for air. Some people enjoy the “shower singer makes good” illusion of Idol, but I do not. I respect people who worked hard for their craft in their own way; this includes Adam, Cook, Kelly, and many others. Danny just performed at his church. Great for him, but this is not paying your dues in the entertainment industry. For a man in his late 20’s, he had little self-awareness and admitted to observing other performers to develop his performance style. All along he talked about performing salsa and pop music, but later sold out for country, which is probably why he has had limited success. And he put his hands on Allison in an inappropriate way.

          As far as Idol goes, I only vote for contestants that I plan to buy music from (Kelly and Adam) or extremely incredible performances (Elliot, Cook, etc.). I don’t vote for religious or personal reasons or to send some message to the producers. That’s just me, though.

          Season 8 was my favorite season. I am a big fan of Adam and enjoy Kris and Allison. I try to be objective about the others. If you enjoy Danny and his voice, I won’t take that away from you. But you asked and I answered.

          • flutiefan says:

            i honestly have NO IDEA about half the things you mentioned. intolerance? religion? no technique? no dues? hands on Allison? salsa? what???!

          • nevada01 says:

            Since I can’t reply to you directly, I will reply to myself:

            Danny and members of his family made intolerant comments about Adam and his being gay, google it if you don’t believe me.

            Danny mentioned his religion on the show but more prominently during the tour performances. Maybe it doesn’t bother everyone, but it does not appeal to me.

            Regarding technique, re-listen to some of his performances with that in mind. There has been much discussion on his lack of breath control. I didn’t say he does not have an interesting voice; just that he does not yet know how to use it.

            As far as paying dues goes, many performers work the bars, clubs, fairs, talent shows, and write and record their own music. Maybe they went to LA or NY and recorded demos and auditioned for other things. Examples of this are: Kelly, Bo, Daughtry, Carrie, Cook, Archuleta, Adam, Kris, Lee, Crystal, and many others. If Danny has a history of performing outside of church, feel free to point me to it. Nothing wrong with performing in church but it is a captive, positive audience, and enthusiasm counts more than anything else. Look at the footage from Danny at his hometown visit during Idol (like Billie Jean where he forgets the lyrics). If he performed like that at a local club or other event, he would have been laughed off the stage.

            Danny put his hands on Allison in the portion of the show where they made a birthday cake for someone and a food fight ensued. His hands were dangerously close to her breasts in my opinion. Maybe this is fine if she is your sister or cousin or close friend. But Allison was the equivalent of a co-worker and this could be construed as sexual harassment. As a 28 year-old man, Danny should know better.

            There are interviews out there shortly after Idol about how Danny wanted to honor his wife with salsa-infused music and that he had been inspired by her music and her culture (I think she was Puerto Rican?). I think that would have been great, especially if he was following his heart. However, he decided to sing country music, which he rarely, if ever, spoke about as an influence. While I think country music has been fantastic about embracing former Idol contestants, country fans will only likely embrace those who have been country from the start (Carrie, Kelly P, Josh G, Bucky C, and maybe Scotty and Lauren from this season). I doubt they appreciate being second choice.

            You don’t have to agree. But this is where I am coming from. Thanks for reading.

          • lynn says:

            That’s a pretty long rehash of old attacks on Danny back from S8. Lol. idk, something about the competitive nature of the show seems to make it easy for stuff like that to persevere forever. It tends to be pretty selective, also, as in flogging the idea that Danny and Adam Lambert had some huge issues, when both of them said publicly that they were friends,and even Adam’s mom said so in an interview. Eesh.
            Danny seems to be still a source of interest if not controversy for some. I guess in the big picture, that’s a good thing for him. Better to be interesting than forgettable, haha.
            Btw, there is more than one way to be intolerant, and I’d put not accepting people with differing religious views right up there. Adam Lambert himself (who was one of my two favorites on S8) doesn’t seem to have that problem, happy to say.

          • nevada01 says:

            Hey, Lynn: Didn’t think I was attacking anyone, just presenting my viewpoint to someone said they had “no idea” about the items I mentioned.

            Some of it is my opinion based on what I have read or seen. Hopefully, Danny and Adam found a way to consolidate their differing beliefs and become friendly, maybe even friends. If so, much credit to them both.

            If a person’s religion gives them peace and happiness, I am the last person to judge. I am glad for them because peace and happiness are often difficult to find. It is when someone uses their own religion to judge others who may or may not be of the same beliefs, that I have a problem. I have always had that impression about Danny and if he has grown since then, I am glad to hear it. For example, if someone believes that being gay is wrong according to their religious beliefs, that is fine for them. But please don’t tell someone of differing beliefs what is right or wrong. If it means anything to you, I started out life as a Christian and a Catholic. It was the systematic child abuse of the Catholic priests and protection of the perpetrators that finally turned me off Catholicism, among other things which I will spare you during this discussion.

            I would be interested in what you have to say about my other points. I certainly don’t run around other websites “attacking” Danny. But I am a big fan of Idol and do enjoy debating the show and the real-life issues surrounding it.

          • nevada01 says:

            Oh, and Lynn? I praised the original commenter on this thread for being objective about Mr. Gokey. I also mentioned that it was terrific performance and that I voted for him, whatever my personal feelings.

          • Randy says:

            Huh? I don’t remember Gokey saying anything religious during AI. Many contestants in the past like Melinda Doolittle and Mandisa have thanked God, but he never said a word about it. I assume he is religious since he was a church choir director.

            Didn’t know he had a dead wife until his sing out package, but some of us only watch top 12 on; perhaps there was more during auditions?

            I attended two AI tour shows and heard nothing religious during his speech- if I recall he said some general encouraging thing about not letting bad things or bad things others say about you get you down and thwart your ambitions- don’t remember any talk about God whatsoever- and I am pretty sensitive to that sort of thing.

            The food fight was fun- I saw only good natured fun among friends, but maybe I am just a dirty old man!

            Perceptions definitely vary-I have discovered this along this life journey.

          • Willugiveitarest says:

            Soooooooooooooooo… you dig the dude. RIGHT? It’s okay.

            Bet you are imagining his hands right now.

  22. becky says:

    Where do I see the first round of 32?

  23. Jessabean says:

    I just saw some of the Danny Gokey comments. :D
    I actually wanted to say that I think it’s big of Slezak to acknowledge a good performance, even if it’s from someone he doesn’t like. You’re a classy guy, Michael.

  24. Suzanne says:

    You know, I just want to comment that I think the song selections here are really well done. The people with two selections are mostly fair (except giving two to Jennifer Hudson is totally a suck up to the Oscar winner–she just wasn’t that strong on Weekend in New England–and David Archuleta should probably have had two by adding Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, which was outstanding, but the song is oversung, so whatever). And the picks for everyone except Taylor Hicks really is their best performances.

  25. Alayla says:

    Is no one else concerned that there is an ENTIRE website called!???!?

    • joe says:

      Why in the world would anyone be concerned, LMAO!

      Horror that there are a lot of people who like the guy? I’m not into fan sites, but i just went there, and it is a pretty well- made one. Looks a lot nicer than the sites run by the labels.

      I would imagine there are all kinds of fan run web sites for former Idol alums.

      • lynn says:

        Had to go look, lol. Yeah, that is a nice site. Most of the AI alums would be lucky to have one that nice and up to date about what’s going on with them.

  26. Jean says:

    It’s ADAM Lambert!! How did you and other commentators get that screwed up so much???? A D A M……….not Alex??? Where did you get that from???? Clay’s BOTW AND Solitaire (especially the full version of Solitaire he sang the next year when he was invited back to AI) are two of the greatest performances on AI. James Durbin’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow is up there in the greatest 5 performances on AI.

    • geeMa says:

      The singer referred to IS Alex Lambert and not Adam Lambert. Two different people.

      • Nat says:

        Yeah, it’s driving me a bit crazy that there’s these super-aggressive comments saying “YOU’RE NOT GETTING HIS NAME RIGHT!!!” when in reality, they’re just not reading things properly. Funny how people have more energy for rage than reasonable comments.

  27. Rhama says:

    Who is Alex Lambert?

  28. connor says:

    still loathe you sleaze-hack, but voted for David Archuleta.

  29. richie says:

    Alex Lambert is one very talented Singer/Song Writer. He was the main character in the If I can Dream Web Series after he left Idol Season 9.

    People need to go to his Fansite and Youtube Page to listen to some the great songs that he wrote and sings there

  30. maria says:

    Danny Gokey’s “Come Rain or Come Shine” was one of my favorite performances ever on Idol…he was amazing on that song!
    I wondered where the old time detractors have been hiding…lol
    Also glad to see Alex’s fans have found something to do while they wait for his music career to begin.

  31. elr says:

    Okay, every other one was easy to vote on but, I had to use the eeney-meany-miney-mo method to choose between Clay’s choices. Too hard to choose!!!!!

  32. Cheryl says:

    Come rain or come shine wins my vote easily hands down.

  33. Beatrice says:

    Wow I just listened to Danny’s and Alex’S song and it wasn’t even close. Danny Gokey was awesome! I don’t know who Alex Lambert is but, it was awful!

  34. Barbara says:

    You know its amazing..I totally skipped Season 9, and have now discovered Alex..Thankfully, that prompted me to check out his vids on Youtube, and some are brilliant..far and away> the best recording voice of any recent Idol alum..

  35. Katrina Ratjen says:

    Alex Lambert FTW! Love him! He’s the best! Can’t wait for his album!

  36. Brandon says:

    Gotta vote for Danny Gokey’s “Come Rain Or Come Shine.” It’s easily one of my all-time favorite “Idol” performances…Danny definitely killed it that week. Nothing against Alex Lambert, who I also like.

  37. cheeze says:

    I see the same 5 – 10 danny “defenders” that you see on every blog are here! They post all their praise about the guy and what he’s up to but no body but those in that group replies or gives a crap, people just scroll and talk about the next subject! Anyway that was Danny’s only good performance, but I would hardly call it an idol’s greatest! LOL

    • Josie says:

      People just scroll and talk about the next subject? Like you just did? :)

      • cheeze says:

        Just stating an observation after reading through these comments. Just felt the urge to point that out. You are a regular on a certain blog, you know what I mean for sure. Nobody talks about him except you few!

        • Josie says:

          If that “certain blog” was representational of reality that would be a pretty good zinger, wouldn’t it. But it’s obviously not. Remember the guy who presented his assessment of how many fans Danny had (he thought 10 or 20) and predicted that his album would be a huge flop? Yeah, that was right before Danny had the biggest debut for a male country artist in 18 years, lol! And before that, remember when people predicted that people would boo Danny off the stage on tour? Did you dial in for those concerts? The crowds LOVED him and that is reflected in the many recaps that were reported on that “certain blog”. Remember people predicting that Danny would never get Sophia’s Heart off the ground? He now has a facility in Nashville to house homeless families and has launched music programs in Milwaukee and Nashville. Those kids are great, it’s fun to watch them perform. It’s true that there aren’t a lot of Danny fans hanging out on that “certain blog”. There are a lot of people who don’t want to deal with the hatefulness. I don’t mind dealing with it, so that’s what I do. :)

    • lynn says:

      lol. I thought there were at least acknowledged to be 10 to 20 Danny Gokey fans online ;)

  38. Dennis says:

    I was really tempted to take this silly poll, but figured… hell… why bother. After all, I’ve got some paint to watch dry.

    • nevada01 says:

      Thanks for taking the time out of your busy paint-watching schedule to post your comment. It was very helpful in the discussion.

  39. Tilliebean says:

    Didn’t that tool sell like 68,000 the first week? Go figure. Those 5-10 fans must be truly dedicated to purchase that many albums. Nobody likes the guy. Sure.

  40. Bobbie says:

    Taylor gets my vote, and I agree there were other performances of his that deserve notice. I would choose his powerful “You Send Me,” which even received kudos from Simon! I’ve never understood the continual vitriol from Idol and others toward Taylor. He absolutely MADE his season, and is the consummate live performer. Despite so much negativity, he never says anything rude about anyone. Far from the “failure” so many think he is, he has toured continually, starred on Broadway, worked with some of the finest musicians and songwriters, and continues to be in demand for major events such as the Masters. Clint Eastwood personally asked him to perform at a Gala in his honor.

  41. Cheezebumdeebum says:

    Something smells bad. Could be the cheeze. Probably fermenting over Gokey. Fess up. You know you want him.

  42. Georgia says:

    I’m afraid that I have a difficult time being objective. Sometimes, I just don’t like the song choice, the arrangement, and/or the style of the contestant himself, and it has nothing to do with talent. Interesting that Alex Lambert has ended up in the mix, but I still listen to that song on my iPod!

  43. drno says:

    BJM, Might I suggest a laxative?

  44. aj says:

    come on, Solitaire > BOTW any day, says this certified Claymate.

    I hadn’t heard the Gokey one, and I was very impressed, even though I was fully on board the #gokeyisadouche bandwagon. But I love my mulleted wonder too much to vote for anything else.

  45. Andrew says:

    Just watched both videos. As much as I love that John Legend song, that mullet kid had zero stage presence.
    So if we’re voting on performance, unfortunately i have to give it to pokey Gokey – no contest.

  46. 2centsally says:

    Alex Lambert is killing Gokey, and it’s deserving. “Trouble” is even better. I have that on my ipod on several playlists.

    I did not select Aiken 1 or 2, felt it was a trick question like, which pile of poo is more appetizing?

  47. Terrell says:

    David Archuleta should win hands-down imho, loved him on Idol and his new album “The Other Side of Down” is amazingly good, soulful pop at its best … and that voice, wow.

  48. blingedup.susan says:

    Oh, Michael. You’re really fanning the ol’ fan war flames here. :)

    Tayor Hicks is the contestant that really pulled me into Idol. He’ll always have a soft spot in my heart.

  49. Molly says:

    Alex Lambert is the best idol of all 10 seasons!! ALEX FTW!!!

  50. Happyhexer says:

    A lot of Danny Gokey fans have been preoccupied voting on something more important than this site — something with a real payoff for his charity. So I am not surprised that Alex Lambert is winning. I like Alex’s voice and thought he was voted of AI9 prematurely, but there is no contest that “Come Rain Or Come Shine” by Danny Gokey ranks among the best American Idol performances. I don’t have to rewatch the performance — it’s embedded in my memory. Starts out slow and mellow, then ramps up into full swagger, both vocally and performance-wise.

    Re that “certain blog”: If it’s the one I’m thinking of, I boycotted it for a long time because of the hatefulness. I post now, but try to keep my posts to a minimum.

    And yes, I’m holding my nose when I vote on this site. But, heh. What goes around comes around.