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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Michael Sarver: "I want to rise from the ashes"

I missed the first part of Michael Sarver’s interview, but from the minute I picked up the phone, it was obvious that we were dealing with a sweetheart. And it wasn’t long before he had won over all the reporters listening. He’s incredibly well-spoken and he’s a reporter’s dream because he talks in soundbites.

Here are the highlights of his interview…

On Kara being added as a judge: “It’s really incredible…She has an incredible mind for music…It’s easy to understand what she’s trying to get across.”

As an “Idol” fan is there anything about the experience that has surprised him?: “How close you get to the other contestants…You really do grow as friends.”

What about his children?: “I have an incredible wife who never drops the ball on our family…[We’ll] take it one step at a time.” Michael said his three-year-old daughter is already talking about going on “Idol.”

What’s been surprising to him about Hollywood?: “You see it as flashy and fancy…But it’s very simple and beautiful…It’s real people with real lives.”

Did Simon’s public plea help him?: “I can’t deny that I think that could have had something to do with it…I don’t take that lightly…Complimenting the person that I am means a lot to me.”

On his blue collar appeal: “The hard working American is part of the appeal…with the economy and the day that we live…I want to rise from the ashes…People relate to that.”

On his large amount of airtime: “You definitely can’t deny it helps…It got people a little closer to me.”

What other contestant’s story resonates with him?: “When you see the incredible person he is…I have mad, mad respect for Danny Gokey.”

At this point, Matt M. from tried to push Michael to reveal whether he was the top male vote-getter or if it was Danny (He said he didn’t know.), but Matt kept calling Danny David. Finally, Michael had to respond, “Who’s David?” (his only slightly rude moment). And then Matt couldn’t remember Danny’s name. I’m glad I’m not the only one that happens to…

On his Christianity (He’s a worship leader in his church.): “It has everything to do with my step forward. It has everything to do with my tomorrow and believing that there are better things ahead.” Michael said that he and fellow worship leader Danny pray together.

Michael said he began singing during a time in his life when things were really tough. He didn’t go into details, only saying that he had a family situation when he was 11 and he turned to music. Unlike Alexis, Michael has not performed in clubs or bars, but he has performed in arenas at youth conventions.

Michael also wouldn’t bite when the same reporter that asked Alexis asked him who in Group #1 should get a shot in the Wild Card round. “I’d be doing myself a disservice by naming anyone…I would not be disappointed with anyone [from Group #1 making it to the Wild Card].”

So why did Michael finally try out this year after watching the show since season one? “I never felt the gumption to go…I still had a lot of growing up to do.” His sister-in-law wanted to try out and he decided to go with her. “It was the right moment, the right time in my life.”

On his performance: “I couldn’t be more proud of myself that I sold out on that stage…It wasn’t perfect…but I gave it everything I had.”

To oblige a reporter from near his hometown, Michael told his fans, “I love you guys and what you did for me this week…It means you get something out of what I bring.”

On his song choice: “I completely stand by the choice of song…I’ll probably begin to flirt with my roots, which are R&B and soul.”

What will he be doing for the next three weeks? “Lots of interviews, rehearsals…They’ll keep us busy…plenty for us to do.” When the reporter pressed (needlessly, by the way), he added, “They’ve not made it clear what’s next.”

When Michael was given the opportunity to give closing comments, he jumped all over it telling the reporters, “You are part of our success.”

Photo Credit: Frank Miceletta/FOX