March 17th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Top 11: Oh Danny (Gokey), boy

Danny Gokey
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Audition city: Kansas City, Missouri
You naughty “American Idol.” How you do like to fake me out.

Danny Gokey

Watching Danny Gokey’s rehearsal of the Carrie Underwood hit “Jesus Take The Wheel” had me completely freaked out. “He’s going to forget the words, he’s going to forget the words,” I yelped. Randy Travis was worried too.

Gokey started a little rough and I grabbed the edge of my remote control. Then he managed to pull it out.

That white jacket? Not a great look.

-Lisa Respers France, CNN.com Writer


Filed under: American Idol judges • television

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. D.j.

    What was the name of the song Danny Did tonight?? March 31

    March 31, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lisa

    I really liked the White Jacket that Danny was wearing . I was wondering what brand it is and where i can buy one for my friend?

    March 23, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Linda

    Being a die hard Doobie Brothers fan–I do detect a similar sound to Michael McDonald. I'd buy Danny's CD's–but I'd wait in a line a mile long for Adam's.

    March 20, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Katmandu

    Danny rocks...he just has this wonderful raspiness in his voice. I think he is going all the way.

    March 19, 2009 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sadie

    Danny and Kris Allen were my favorites that evening. Kris Allen is very contemporary and current.

    March 19, 2009 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin

    I'm confused: Taylor Hicks won, but no one bought his album because he isn't very good. Danny Gokey sounds EXACTLY like Taylor Hicks, yet everyone swoons over his over-singing/yelling during every song. In my opinion, he is horrible, and is only in the top 11 due to his back story. If his wife was alive, he wouldn't be around today.

    March 18, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. oldstyle

    I chose Danny & Matt from the very beginning during audition time. Both Danny & Matt are both going to sail through. In the end, Danny will be the next American Idol–He is Amazing!! Matt if you're reading this: Not to worry a deal will be right around the corner!! You have an awesome gift!! 😀

    March 18, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jan

    Loved the song tonight. I thought he was nuts to sing Carrie U. at first but he really pulled it off. I liked the new glassess too...but that coat has got to go.

    March 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. SharonW

    I really don't care about his Story, he's the one to beat.
    I think Danny and Matt will stay for a while...........

    March 18, 2009 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Amy Jo Johnson

    Get a new stylist for sure! Get a better song! Vocals are great when he uses then right! Anoop and Adam are on your heels! As Randy told you last night " Support what you are singing"!

    March 18, 2009 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. Themuddman

    I've really only heard the story about his wife twice, once the first night and then the next time it was brought up by the Idol producers and not by Gokey so this listener doesn't think he's using it for any sympathy votes. The guy sure can wail... he's just gotta focus on the song choices and some dynamics and he'll do just fine. He certainly does have the "likability" factor.

    March 18, 2009 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. caroline

    he brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart. i love him.

    March 18, 2009 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kitty

    Bad jacket and I was not impressed with his performance. I think it was a poor song choice for him.

    March 18, 2009 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Heather

    I'm pretty sure he messed up the lyrics and no one questioned it.

    March 18, 2009 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. terri

    GO DANNY! he's the best! I love him, and I'm voting for him!!!

    March 18, 2009 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  16. Anna

    He's who I'm rooting for!!!!!

    March 18, 2009 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  17. LisA

    Danny's voice is terrific! I'd like to never hear him sing a song that starts out boring again. It's one thing to start off slow and intense and another thing to bore the audience to sleep until suddenly bringing the funk in the second half. So I'd say pick better songs – maybe not so much of women's songs, and put something into everything, not just the banging parts. Good job Danny – you should be around for many weeks.

    March 18, 2009 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  18. Jonille

    The beginning of his song was not on point, but good lord once he started in on it, it was great!! I really enjoyed his singing last night.

    March 18, 2009 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  19. billie

    That tune was difficult – very wordy. However, it was a good song choice because it was in a key that was in his strongest range.
    Good luck Danny...our family will keep voting for you!

    March 18, 2009 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  20. Scout

    I have called him Hokey Gokey since the beginning. What with the hanger on black friend, (was a bromance brewing) the coke bottle glasses and thrift store wardrobe. The evangelicals couldn't get McCain elected, so hopefully they'll fail on Idol also. He's just too cutsie to be taken seriously.

    March 18, 2009 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  21. aurora

    I do not get what people like about Danny. He sounds like any other guy on a night out at Karaoke, but boring...

    March 18, 2009 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  22. rundmc

    I think he is good but not great. I'm not seeing the talent that others are saying he has. He has this awkward Robert Downey Jr. look going on....with the glasses and white jacket. What's up with that?

    March 18, 2009 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  23. Stephanie

    P.S. Visually, I think he was trying to symbolize heaven with the white jacket and shoes, his clear glasses (not the heavy black ones) – they were transparent like a ghost or spirit, and all the light on stage....and "Jesus Take the Wheel." Did it have something to do with losing his wife????

    March 18, 2009 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  24. Stephanie

    I don't think Danny is getting any votes for his sob story. When they first showed him crying I thought, oh God, a wimp in a sob story. Then he sang, and the rest is history. He has always been my #1 since then. He is awesome!!!

    March 18, 2009 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  25. Joan

    This was Danny's worst night.....definitely not up to his prior performances.

    March 18, 2009 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  26. Leslie

    Enough of Danny. He can sing but not as well as many of the others. I'm tired of him trying to get sympathy through his interviews and songs.

    If he did something different I might change my mind, but come on, enough already.

    March 18, 2009 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  27. Judi

    Loved the voice and performance but have never been crazy about the song. Danny's performances are always so believable. As far as fashion goes remember this guy is from Milwaukee which is not exactly the fashion capitol of the world. (Sorry, but I live there too!)

    March 18, 2009 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  28. Jalyn

    The sooner Danny Gokey gets off of my tv screen, the better. He was completely out of tune for the first half, screamed the second half, and doesn't have the vocal abilities to pull off a Carrie Underwood song. Sadly, I'll have to listen to this for the rest of the season until America gets a freakin' clue. I honestly don't understand what's so special about this guy.

    March 18, 2009 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  29. Eric

    Danny is a amazing singer. I hope to see him stay up to the final show.

    March 18, 2009 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  30. Zoolite

    over rated! I feel like he is being used by the producers to bring in ratings (with the story of his wife.)

    March 18, 2009 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  31. Kaya

    Definitely one of my favorites, did not care for this performance tonight though. I think it was the song (maybe it was the jacket? lol). I love Carrie Underwood but this is one of the few songs on her CD that I don't care for.

    Also, I agree with the posters above... very safe. I'd like to see him break out a little bit, show us his range.

    March 18, 2009 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  32. danbrome

    I'm glad I took Adam over Danny in the office pool. The clip of Danny with Randy Travis leads me to think he will fold under pressure. Do you think Adam will ever fold. Not a chance.

    March 18, 2009 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  33. Tony

    I admire several of this very competitive group, but Danny is the one who gives me the goosebumps. I could listen to him all night. I agree that he needs to get with the clothes and make them passable.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Darcy

    Weakest performance so far for this talented guy. Not a great song choice at all and the jacket.....oh, that jacket should never be seen again!

    March 17, 2009 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  35. factgiver

    Sounds like the lead singer of Go West!!

    March 17, 2009 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Jen

    I literally started crying, it truly hit my heart strings

    March 17, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  37. dawgpounder

    A Bible banger, singing another AI Bible bangers song. Can't they just leave the Religion at home and be entertainers without evangelising!

    March 17, 2009 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  38. misladys

    I love Danny and that voice, it always gives me chills. The jacket looked great on him, he always looks good 🙂

    March 17, 2009 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  39. joyce

    I liked Dannys performance. It was a little rough in the beginning. Personally, I think the white jacket made me feel the cold "Of a snow white Christmas Eve. . .!"

    March 17, 2009 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Alisha

    he did so much better that carrie underwood....he is wonderful and he just goes up there and does what he needs to do...love him

    March 17, 2009 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  41. baby mama

    he's so fine! love his raspy voice! he's awesome regardless of what he wear! last time i checked it's not a fashion competition! way to go! keep it up!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Mercy Me

    Danny was off his game this week – why didn't the judges catch those questionable notes? Agree with previous posters that this song was way too safe.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Nancy

    Pretty good job with the vocals, but that white jacket was pretty bad. Keep it real, dude...stop trying so hard to look the part. Just be yourself.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  44. rj

    i agree with benhilmedia...i definitely thought it was the painfully obvious song choice considering who he seems to see his target fan base is...

    March 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  45. yourfakeplasticlove

    danny has not amazed or forced me out of the room like half contestants this year...the one thing we all know about idol is the sadder the story the longer your life on idol lasts...look at all the past seasons and those that have won or close to it...i just hope idol fans vote on merrit and not on the sob story.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Shelly

    Yummy! This guy is a great singer, has charisma and well...he is FINE! I am still thinking about last week's performance when he sang Pretty Young Thing. He has a lot of talent and is very charming. I definitely think he is the one to beat. Go Danny!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  47. maggie

    seriously, can't wait until it is down to danny and adam. they couldn't be more different, and yet they are both so incredible. plus, the fact that they both want it so much just jumps off the screen. through allison into the mix...and we will have ourselves some fun.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Nancy

    Brought tears to my eyes. He had a very emotional connection when he got on a roll. Great performance!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  49. benhillmedia

    In disc golf tournaments they call this "sandbagging", taking the easy route. "Jesus Take The Wheel" ? Come on- Danny's typecast himself as the safe, Christian-rock guy. Nothing brave or original about doing exactly what everyone expects you to do.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  50. stephanie

    his voice is so unique and he doesn't try too hard. plus the personality makes him such a loveable guy. i thought he was great tonight!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  51. PT

    Your Next American Idol .

    March 17, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  52. LC

    He's good, I just don't think he was THAT good. I don't see any artistic edge to him.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  53. stacey

    i love danny!

    March 17, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  54. S.J.

    This guy is so incredibly talented. And likeable as well. Very nice singing voice and great stage presence.

    March 17, 2009 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Carla

    Danny rocks! The best performance of the night! He sings and doesn't scream the words.

    March 17, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Andy

    Bad jacket, but the guy to beat!

    March 17, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |

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