Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Top 9 perform

We really missed Michael tonight. Sorry, but we just don't enjoy watching the show as much now. Here’s how we ranked tonight’s contestants Kris, Adam, Allison, Danny, Michael, Scott, Lil, Matt, Anoop, Megan ... can't blame us for trying.


Speak to Michael

We have our first interview with Michael tomorrow and we want your help. If you were able to ask Michael one question, what would it be?

Although we can’t promise to ask him everything, The Enterprise will try to include some of your questions in Wednesday afternoon’s interview.

Submit your questions to DConstantine@BeaumontEnterprise.com


Welcome home party planned

A Welcome Home Celebration for Michael will be held on NEXT Tuesday, April 7 at 6 p.m. on the courthouse square in Jasper. This celebration will be hosted by the Jasper Chamber of Commerce and Harvest Church. Michael is being awarded a resolution by County Judge Mark Allen. Following this presentation and introduction, Michael will answer a few questions and sign autographs. Michael will not be performing at this time.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Elimination night photos


Happy Birthday Michael!

Michael turns 28 today! Leave a birthday message for him below.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Michael not ready to return to oil rig

By the Associated Press
Michael Sarver, latest castoff from "American Idol," isn't ready to go back to the oil rig.

"I don't think it would be a great idea to get out there and take a chance on hurting myself and not being available for the tour," he told a teleconference Friday, a day after being eliminated from the Fox singing competition.

"I'm going home, and I'm going to take some time off to spend with my family. I believe they deserve my undivided attention for a little while and that's exactly what they're going to get."

Sarver will take part in the "Idols Live" tour with the rest of the top 10 contestants this summer. Dates have yet to be announced.

He said he didn't take it personally when judge Simon Cowell told him this week that there's no way he could win. "It didn't necessarily tick me off, nor did it insult me, but it kind of made me giggle, because he knows better than that. We didn't get there by mistake," Sarver said.

And he's not just an oil worker who sings. "I am a serious writer, and I have written over 890 songs since the age of 14," he said. "There's a lot of stories, a lot of ... hard-lived life, good-lived life, and my happiness that I experience in life now all through my music and I'm going to share it."

His favorite "American Idol" moment? Shooting hoops with the guys. Danny Gokey, Anoop Desai and Sarver would play basketball to blow off steam.

"It was quite fun. I was horrible, of course," he said, adding that Desai is an intense player. "When Anoop missed, he did not like it. He would beat himself up until he got it."


Michael's latest studio recording

Ain't Too Proud to Beg


Michael interviews

Michael begins a week-long press tour today. We'll posts video and snippets of his interviews as we get them:

Quotes from today’s press conference:

Is having young kids a disadvantage?
“Actually, I would consider myself at an advantage because I have a level of inspiration from something that someone without kids doesn’t get to experience. They are rock solid and they are the core of my purpose. They’ve driven me into this and have been so inspiring in the way that they love me and support me and if anything it would be an advantage rather than a disadvantage. Without a doubt difficult and very hard to deal with at times, missing them, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

He describes the album he’ll make, “It’s definitely gonna be an R&B pop soul album. I really like the R&B pop style of Justin Timberlake, all the way across the aisle to Gavin Degraw and bringing in some of that soulful rock, just a combination of those kinds of things.”

Does Simon and Paula’s horsing around frustrate him?
“Number one, I enjoy that because what people need to understand is that this is supposed to be a fun thing. It’s supposed to be enjoyable, it’s supposed to be the time of our lives and they help make it that by goofing around–like Simon coloring on Paula’s face. That was just absolutely hilarious. It does make it complicated sometimes when, if you may feel like they’re not really listening to you, but overall the fun that they’re having on the show makes everybody smile and that’s what entertainment is all about–bringing a positive light to the TV world.”

He and Danny and Anoop played basketball the other night. What kind of player is Anoop?
“Anoop can play some ball, but I’ll tell you he’s a very intense basketball player…and when Anoop missed he did not like it. He would beat himself up until he got it. Very intense, very passionate about a sport that he loves very much.”

Michael is a songwriter, “There’s something that America does not know so much about me, but they’ll find out. I am a serious writer and I’ve written over 890 songs since the age of 14. And there’s a lot of stories…a lot of life, hard lived life, good lived life and my happiness that I’ve experienced in life now all through my music and I’m gonna share it.”


Michael's final song


Michael's final hurrah

After weeks of love from the judges and fans, the roughneck is going home, just in time to celebrate his birthday Saturday with his family.

Motown night proved to be an unexpected stumbling block for Jasper's Michael Sarver, and, coming hard on the heels of Grand Ole Opry night, his crooning just wasn't enough to keep him safe. The 27-year-old sang "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," but it wasn't enough for the fans, apparently.

The judges weren't particularly happy either. The grace Sarver has received from Simon Cowell for most of the season was gone again this week as he told Sarver he had "no chance of winning" the competition.

Sarver was on the hot seats with Matt Girard and Scott McIntyre, but in the end, it was Jasper's own singing for his life. "I think they almost decided to keep him," said Jo Helen O'Gilbert, a member at Harvest Church, where Sarver has been a praise and worship leader.

Fellow church member Rosa Mijares agreed. "I thought that was not fair that Simon just blurted out he was going to make a decision and Michael was going home," Mijares said by phone.

"The good thing was, you looked at him, looked at his face, he was so secure and calm. We're so proud of him even though he didn't make No. 1." For the judges to save someone, the decision has to be unanimous. So, though Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardia looked to be pulling for him, Simon's dissent was enough to send Sarver home.

Read the full story HERE.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

LIVE BLOG - Motown Results Show

6:49 - Alright folks, thanks for joining us again tonight! Stay tuned with us - and FOX too, of course - for the next hour as we find out if our own Pork Chop, er, Michael Sarver will stay or go.

7:01 - Seacrest kicks things off by telling us that over 36 million votes came in...the most in the history of the show.

7:03 - Seacrest, Simon and Paula...awwwwwkward! Time to revisit last night.

7:06 - BUT FIRST...we MUST have a medley! Along with some really bad choreography. The ladies look great. The guys, mostly look like they just rolled out of the frat house.

7:14 - Oh Lord...now we have to sit through this heinous commercial/music video.

7:15 - Give it up for Ruben Studdard! It was nice of him to top by "Idol" before going to party at the Playboy mansion later...Sorry...we're being told he's actually wearing a suit and not fancy pajamas. Our bad.

7:19 - Time for the bottom three...dim the lights, please. No rejection in brightened hues, please.

Adam...is safe!
Matt...is NOT???? Whoa!
Kris...is safe!
Lil...is safe!
MICHAEL...is NOT!!!! YIKES!!! Not good folks.

7:27 - Smokey Robinson and Joss "Shoes are not my thing" Stone sing "You're the One For Me" and the sound great, but OH MY GOD WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH SMOKEY'S CRAZY EYES??? Seriously.

7:35 - Time to find out who else is in the bottom three.

Allison...is safe!
Anoop...is safe!
Danny...is safe!
Scott...is NOT!
Megan...is safe!

7:38 - Scott, Micheal and Matt are in the bottom three. Randy doesn't think Matt belongs. TOO BAD DAWG...because SCOTT is safe...it's now down to Matt and Micheal.

7:44 - Simon says that they judges will decide to use The Save based on their final performance. BUT FIRST...and Motown medley featuring Stevie Wonder! Who...we have to say, sounds a bit off key...he's probably still traumatized from performing with The Jonas Brothers at the Grammies. Still...Stevie rules.

7:50 - This just in...Stevie loves Barack Obama. Despite being finalists, contestants lack rhythm while dancing.

7:56 - Who will sing for survival tonight...it's Michael! NO! Now he's got to sing to stay. Let's see how he does...don't think this was the performance that would win the judges back. But...if they didn't like this the first time around, why would hearing it again change their minds?

7:58 - Looks like Micheal Sarver's time in LA has come to an end...WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU MICHAEL AND ALL YOU'VE ACCOMPLISHED!

Seriously man...we've had a lot of fun on this blog, but are in awe at what you've accomplished. You should be proud of yourself...WE are ALL proud of YOU!

8:00 - With sadness and pride for our hometown boy...Enterprise out.


A dire predication?

Ok, we've got DialIdol's prediction of who will leave us tonight. Click "Read more" below if you want to see.

So it doesn't look good for Michael. DialIdol puts him at the bottom of their list behind Scott and Megan. BUT there's been some confusion during the past few weeks about what DialIdol's prediction means. DialIdol does NOT predict the exact order the contestants will finish in that week. If you look at the last column, you'll see a range of numbers that predict what placeS (more than one) they might finish in. This is where they are usually very accurate. So they predict Michael will finish in places 8-10. They also predict Scott and Megan could finish 10th. So don't despair. He's not out yet.


Michael's Ain't Too Proud to Beg


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Michael's church cheers

Friends and family of Jasper's Michael Sarver gathered at Harvest Church on Wednesday to watch him sing on "American Idol."After he hit the bottom three last week, Sarver needed a big comeback to stay in the competition, and those watching from his hometown think he got it. But the judges had fewer assurances.

"I think Michael did a good job," said Jo Helen O'Gilbert, a fellow church member from Jasper. "This week, the judges, I think they were a little bit harsh on everybody.

Read the story here.


VOTE NOW 1-866-436-5706

Let those dialing fingers loose. Voting is open from now until 11 p.m.


LIVE BLOG - Top 10 Performance

6:52 - Awww yeah Southeast Texas! It's almost time for our LIVE BLOG EVENT! Tonight the "Idolaters" are singing songs from Motown. We think Micheal should do well - the boy's got some soul, after all. Adam...let's just say we're curious about the spectacle he turns out.

7:00 - THISSSSS...is Seacrest being a massive tool. Seriously. We can't wait until he falls down the stairs. Simon says the singers have to make the songs original. Let's see how they do...!

7:05 - Or...we can pause for a Motown Montage. Time for a ROAD TRIP TO DETROIT!

7:08 - Let's just get this out of the way...Smokey Robinson is a legend. But what's the deal with his eyes? Is he part Lynx?

7:09 - Matt Giraud starts if off with "Let's Get it On"...wow. BIG song choice for him. He slows it down at first with the piano - good choice. Than he brings it home with the mike at center stage all while wearing Mr. Rogers' sweater.
JUDGES - Randy dug it. Kara liked the piano and than when he stood up. Paula thought he was classy and spot on. Simon thought he cemented his frontrunner status.

7:14 - Kris Allen is up next. He's also going with Marvin Gaye and "How Sweet it Is." Let's see if he's got the soul for this performance...he does a fine job, but our thing with him is that when he sings, he kind of looks like a toddler trying to form words for the first time...just saying.
JUDGES - Kara says he did everything right. Paula is proud of him. Simon thinks he needs some more confidence. Randy thinks he hit his zone.

7:30 - Next up is Scott McIntyre...singing "You Can't Hurry Love"...in pink pants. OK we're not so in favor of this version starring Happy Peppy Scott McIntyre and the Crazy Giddy Peppettes.
JUDGES - Paula thought the backup singers brought something different. Simon thinks he's better than that performance. Randy thought it was average. Kara thought the execution was imperfect. Than Paula gave Simon colors and a coloring book...?

We just decided to make this a drinking game. Clearly the judges have.

7:42 - Here's Megan Joy singing "For Once in My Life"...and, sure this song might have actually been in a Carnival Cruise line commercial once...but she didn't need to interpret that literally. She sounds like the afternoon entertainment on the Lido Deck.
JUDGES - Randy thought it was a train wreck. Kara thought it was all over the place. Paula thinks she's stunning, but agrees. Simon thought it was horrible.

7:50 - Next up is Anoop Desai...and he'll sing "Ooo Baby Baby."

(PAUSE - OK...seriously, Smokey's eyes are CRAZY, right?)

Back to Anoop...He sounds really good...yet he's dressed like a Math-lete.
JUDGES - Kara thought it was pretty good. Paula wants to see more confidence. Simon liked it, but wanted more showmanship. Randy liked his lil' "Anoop Dawg."

ONE HOUR WRAP-UP: So far, we think they break down like this: Matt, Kris, Anoop, Scott, and Megan. BRING IT ON PORK CHOP!

8:05 - Here's Mr. Chop himself...he sings "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"...and it's solid! His vocals are good. He sounds a bit out of breath, but we'll chalk that up to nervousness. This, Pork Chop, was WELL DONE!
JUDGES - Paula didn't think he dominated enough. Simon doesn't think he can win with performances like that. Randy thought he made it too corny. Kara didn't think he showed who he was as an "artist."

8:17 - Lil Rounds is next...she sings "Heat Wave." Actually she belts it out. She goes low in a couple points, which is original, but mostly she just owns the song.
JUDGES - Randy didn't think it was her best. Kara thought she should have nailed it more. Paula disagrees and also thought she owned it. Simon thought she should have chosen a different song.

8:31 - Adam Lambert is next and...umm...he looks interesting - more 1950's and less vampire. Sort of liked he's double booked for a sock hop-themed DVD release party for "Twilight." He's singing "Tracks of My Tears." Great song. Great arrangement. And he sings it really, really well. We'd have to say it's the best of the night.
JUDGES - Kara thought it he showed artistry. Paula thought it was exciting! Simon thought it was the best of the night. Randy dug that he showed his range.

8:40 - Danny Gokey is next to sing...and he's going with "Get Ready." His voice sounds great and he works the song in his favor. But his movements are a bit awkward...how's his eyesight?
JUDGES - Paula thought it was first-class. Simon didn't love it. Randy was feeling the energy. Kara thought good, not great.

8:50: - Last one to go is Allison Iraheta singing "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Perfect song choice for her gravelly, soulful voice. She's up there with Adam as the best of the night.
JUDGES - Randy thought it was blazing hot. Kara thought it was amazing. Paula thought she was awesome. Simon thought it was one of her best performances.

That's all folks! Lines are open for the next couple hours. So CALL AND VOTE! Based on the judges comments, here's how we see them stacking up: Adam, Allison, Matt, Kris, Anoop, Lil, Danny, Scott, Michael, and Megan.

Thanks for watching with us...ENTERPRISE OUT!


Mikey likes ice cream, excited about tour

From The AP
The top 10 "American Idol" finalists say they already count themselves as winners: They've earned a place on the show's nationwide concert tour. For Adam Lambert, the summer tour means the chance to buy a condo. Danny Gokey sees it as a financial boon as well. Michael Sarver fervently echoes that and looks forward to his version of a rock-star perq — ice cream, and lots of it.

"I have a major problem with ice cream. I should probably go to Ice Cream Anonymous meetings," he said. Sarver and his fellow contestants laugh when asked about any divalike demands, but they're serious about the opportunity ahead of them.

"I didn't know my situation if I had to go back home without the tour. ... things are not easy right now," said Sarver, 27, an oil-rig worker from Jasper, Texas, who's married with two children. "This says I have work this year. It's a blessing."

Lambert, 27, of Los Angeles figures it's about time he owned his own home. Megan Joy, 23, from Sandy, Utah, is looking forward to a little personal space for her and her toddler. "I get to finally move out of my mom's house," she said, gleefully.

Dates and tour locations have yet to be announced for the tour, which follows the show's May 20 finale. On this week's shows the contestants were set to perform Motown tunes. What they'll be paid for the tour is kept under wraps by producers. Even the contestants were uncertain a week after making the cut.

"I keep hearing that it's plenty," said Kris Allen, 23, of Conway, Ark. "That's nice."

Of course, there's more than money at stake — the chance to connect with fans and to build a career are the real plums, the finalists said. "It still seems like a dream. ... I can't wait to see what I learn doing it," said Matt Giraud, 23, of Kalamazoo, Mich.

The tour is "an amazing opportunity," agreed Anoop Desai, 22, of Chapel Hill, N.C., calling "American Idol" the "biggest stage and best stage of all." The typical "Idol" concert swing lasts more than three months and includes 50 or 60 concerts, including stadiums. The contestants travel by bus.

"That's what I've been dreaming about since I was a little kid, is going on the road and playing night after night ... to share my music with whoever will listen to it. That's what I'm here to do," said Scott MacIntyre, 23, of Scottsdale, Ariz.

The finalists have bonded as housemates during the course of the TV show and expect the camaraderie — and the fun — to continue on tour, Lambert said.

Asked if he expects to be the demanding pop star, he laughed. "No, I take what I can get. I only like to play the part of the diva when I'm actually performing, but I don't like to act like that otherwise," he said.

Most expect to travel light, with cell phones and computers among the items mentioned as must-haves. Gokey, 28, of Milwaukee, whose wife died shortly before he auditioned for "American Idol," says his computer has "all my pictures on it. Basically, my whole life's on it."

The youngest finalist, 16-year-old Allison Iraheta of Downey, Calif., will be bringing along her schoolwork and maybe a parent.

"My mom might be going on tour with me, so it will be interesting," Iraheta said.

Lil Rounds, 24, of Memphis, Tenn., is hoping her husband and three children can visit her when the tour is close to home. "The babies understand what I'm doing and they're proud," Rounds said. She and her fellow contestants are just beginning to grasp their sudden shift in fortune.

"I went from singing at a church in front of maybe 70 to 80 people to a national tour. It's absolutely amazing," Rounds said.

For all the excitement the concert tour promises, the contestants want to believe it's just the start of something big.

"I'll definitely be sticking around, I hope, after all is said and done. I'm not stopping," said MacIntyre.

Gokey wants the same.

"It's so exciting to be on the road and fulfilling the dream that I've had. I'm hoping it's just the beginning," he said.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Top 10 tour golden for Michael

From The Beaumont Enterprise
Although all aspire to be the next "American Idol," making the top 10 is no small accomplishment. Making it that far on the show gives contestants the chance to go on a national tour, and Michael Sarver of Jasper is no exception.

No matter what happens in the coming weeks, Sarver will still be a part of the tour that made 53 stops last year with the 2008 Top 10 singing to more than 490,000 fans. The 2008 tour was the 24th highest grossing tour of the year, making more than $29.9 million, according to Billboard Boxscore.

Figures differ as to how much the Idol Top 10 make on tour - estimates run from $2,000 to $5,000 per appearance, a range that will put Sarver earning in the six-figures. Although those numbers aren't official, the not-so-tangible gains are as good as gold for mostly-green participants.

Read the full story HERE.


Michael sings TOMORROW

Just a reminder that American Idol is on Wednesday and Thursday this week due to President Obama's speech tonight.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Alexis on Regis

Alexis Regis
by krunkyou


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Motown artists

Michael's already sung from Motown's catalogue this season with songs by Michael Jackson and Boyz II Men song. Here's a list of some of the more popular Motown artists that Michael could choose from this week.

Commodores, Four Tops, Funk Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Jackson 5, Rick James, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Teena Marie, Marvelettes, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Diana Ross, The Supremes, Temptations, Stevie Wonderj, Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie, Billy Preston, Boyz II Min, Queen latifah, Erykah Badu, 98 Degrees, Ashanti, Nelly, Shontelle, Brian McKnight, 702, India.Arie.

Or see a list of Motown singles that hit No. 1 in U.S. here. Have a song suggestion for Micheal? Let us know.


More on church support

By Corey J. Hodges, pastor of New Pilgrim Baptist Church in Utah
In a recent article, MTV.com highlighted the Christian singers on this season of Fox Network's "American Idol." The piece pointed out that a number of the contestants are either worship leaders or have strong affiliations to their church. The story was ridiculed by some for its suggestion that the contestants' faith will resonate with viewers and affect the final outcome of the show.

For world-renowned singers such as Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston and Amy Grant, the church was their initial exposure to public singing. Houses of worship have always been a training ground of sorts for up-and-coming musicians; choirs, worship teams and church bands afford artists a unique and invaluable opportunity to hone their skills. There is of course mutual benefit -- the musician is seeking experience and most churches do not have the money to hire professional musicians and are happy to accommodate aspiring artists.

But opportunities for religious musicians outside the church are even scarcer than in the secular industry. Incomes are considerably lower and thus many religious-bred artists opt to pursue their careers in more mainstream genres. Not surprisingly, some of these aspiring singers end up on shows such as "American Idol."

Previous "American Idol" success stories such as Academy and Grammy award winner Jennifer Hudson, who began singing in her church choir at age 7, seemed considerably more polished than her peers not only vocally but also with her stage presence throughout the competition. What usually allows such individuals to break away from the pack is experience; the typical church vocalist sings in front of audiences each week and has had plenty of practice. Not only are majority of this year's finalists church singers but three of the seven "American Idol" winners -- Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Jordin Sparks -- were all known to have started singing in church.

In a follow-up article, MTV noted that some readers did not believe that a contestant's faith had anything to do with their singing or their ultimate standing on the show. This is debatable. For some contestants, their religious influence is evident during their performance either because they choose a Christian song or because of their musical style. When watching Barrino, the season three winner who began singing in her church at age 5, it was clear her singing was influenced by gospel music.

Fox also occasionally highlight's the finalist's personal lives, which sometimes reveals a commitment to faith. Some readers responding to MTV's column criticized Christians for voting for a contestant simply because of a shared faith, but this is a reality of human nature; last season most Utahns were rooting for the runner-up David Archuleta of Murray.

If "American Idol" was strictly about technique, then the singer with the best combination of talent, experience and training would always win, but popularity plays a big part. Were the stakes higher this may be problematic, but in this context, a person of faith rooting for another person of faith is natural and has no real consequence.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Michael's church support grows

The LA Weekly is reporting that Michael and his wife Tiffany attended a service at Los Angeles megachurch Angelus Temple yesterday where Mike Huckabee was the guest speaker. During the service Pastor Matthew Barnett brought Michael Sarver and his wife to the stage, urging worshippers to vote for Sarver. Now we know how Michael is getting so many votes in California!


Elimination night photos


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ain't Goin Down studio recording

Here's Michael's studios recording of this week's performance. Sounds great!


Michael's sick

The Detriot Press is reporting that 8 of the Top 10 arrived in Detroit today to film video for next week's Motown theme. Megan and Michael didn't make the trip. Both are sick. Michael missed a mentoring session inside the Motown museum by Smokey Robinson. We're told Megan, who had a bad case of the flu last week, had been quarantined in a room next to the kitchen. We can only assume they'll be keeping Michael a safe distance from the other contestants too.

Get well Michael!


Photos from Tuesday night


Next week's theme: Motown

Next week is a Motown theme, with a focus on the 50th anniversary of Motown. The Detroit Press reports that Idol cameras will be at the Motown Historical Museum Thursday to shoot footage for next week. In Motown’s old Studio A, Detroit icons Berry Gordy Jr. and Smokey Robinson will mentor the show’s 10 finalists through a series of Hitsville song selections, sources said. The taped segments will air next week before the contestants perform the songs live on the show’s Los Angeles stage.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Idol dinner and Michael speaks to daughter


LIVE BLOG - Michael survives! .. barely

7:55 Here we go again. :) Good luck Pork Chop!

8:10 Ryan says the results tonight may shock us – FINALLY, maybe we won’t fall asleep this week. Oh.. this is American idol. (almost forgot that). Ryan hints that the judges save could be used tonight (but he’ll say that every week). And now a reminder of how boring last night was. And now the group number! AH, they put Scott at the piano…lol. How come Michael and Danny are always standing together in the group numbers? Ok, this song is horrible. Hasn’t anyone heard of “harmony”.. surely a group this talented can sing more than one note. Sorry, but Scott needs to leave. We miss our cheesy Disney Channel choreography.

8:18 And now the Ford music video.. maybe we’ll actually get to see it this week (thanks Fox). And it’s a water balloon fight ..around a car. (yawn). And now we get to relive last week’s elimination.. can we get some results already? Some heartwarming video of last week’s “afterparty” is played.. with LOTS of snapshots of Michael and the fam! Michael tells Ryan (looks like he’s going to cry) that his daughter misses him. Ok, Michael just won a lot of fans with that!!!!!!! OK, results time. Those that advance make it into the national tour: Hokey, safe. Lil Rounds, safe. Anoop, safe. Allison and Michael up next! Michael looks NERVOUS! Allison’s in the bottom 3!.. and what about Michael? He’s in the BOTTOM THREE. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Ok, we are freaking out .. so nervous for Michael right now. When they gave Michael a chance to speak to his daughter earlier we suspected that he would be in the bottom three. But he’ll pull through .. just wait.

8:32 Our first musical number of the night. Tame compared to Kanye West last week. What is up with these country folks? first Randy Travis, now this guy (no, we don’t know his name).. both put us to sleep. We feel like all the energy is being sucked outta the room. Kanye West’s hand towel was more entertaining. (ok, so maybe we’re just depressed about Michael)

8:40 We’re back. Allison and Michael looking dour on the silver seats of sadness. More results: Scott is safe. Megan, safe. Matt (does the mole in the middle of his head bother anyone else), safe. Kris, safe. Alexis and Adam up last. Randy called Alexis “Allison”..HA, all those rocker girls look the same. Alexis is in bottom. And now Alexis, Allison and Michael are bottom three and.....ALLISON is safe. The bottom two are Michael and Alexis.. YIKES. Ok fans, if Michael survives tonight you better WORK those dialing fingers next week.

8:52 Of course we’re going to have to wait a bit for the results. Carrie Underwood’s up! (She kinda looks like Megan here (sans tattoos of course). Singing a duet with Randy Travis. Carrie sounds great. Randy was just background music. And now back to Alexis and Michael.. Simon says the judges would consider saving one of them.

8:55 The moment of truth.. will Michael make it into the Top 10 and get to go on the Idol national tour. DialIdol this morning predicted Alexis got the least number of votes, but they’ve been wrong before and WE ARE NERVOUS. Just breathe. Here we go. Michael is SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:00 Alexis gets one last song to convince the judges to save her. If they save her it won’t be because of this song… yikes, out of tune and bad. That said we do love her, usually, but not now. And it’s a no. Alexis is going home.


Who loves Michael? Pennsylvania and California

DialIdol released it analysis of last night's vote by state. Some big surprises: Michael won the most votes in Pennsylvania and California! Pennsylvania we can understand as they've got a large working-man population, but California, really? It must have been Michael and his family (who were in Cali last night) voting on 30 phones lines. Another shocker: Texas voted for Danny Hokey. Here's the map:


What others are saying ...

Ok, so if you're a die-hard Michael fan (or if you are Michael), you may not want to read these. Let's just say the media and blogs weren't big fans of Michael's performance last night. We think it was much better (and entertaining) than he's getting credit for. We tried to put some of the better ones up top:

It's a really hard song, fast and tons of lyrics; Sarver's actually not bad, very authentic and believable. Not my cup of tea, but the audience loves it and he just sounds like a country singer; maybe not a whole lot of range in the song, it is all kind of a monotone. And I hate it when the contestants just keep talking back--they're usually illogical, and it just seems defensive. This isn't a debating contest; and if it were, my money wouldn't be on Sarver.

MJs Blog
I like Michael the ballad soul boy better, but he’s doing OK. He lost a couple of the words. He looks real comfortable up there, rather than nervous–he looks like he’s having a good time.

From MTV
Mark 8:11 pm down as the moment Michael Sarver announced he was a country music artist. I KNEW this would happen. “If we were all perfect, we wouldn’t need this show.” Michael Sarver is a sass machine. The country folks are gonna love it.

From Fox News
With a country music theme and Randy Travis as a mentor you’d think this would have been Michael Sarver’s week to shine. But instead the welder’s version of “Ain’t Goin’ Down Til the Sun Comes Up” just made me wish the sun would come up already.
The only thing more monotonous than Michael’s performance was Randy Travis’s as a mentor. It’s like someone slipped him a memo saying that for every contestant he should just blabber on about being unsure about their song choice then act totally amazed at how brilliantly they “made it their own.”

New Jersey Star Ledger
Michael Sarver, "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)": This theme should be right in the roughneck's wheelhouse, and if this is the best he can do on the theme, he should start packing his bags. This was karaoke Garth Brooks at best. Props for not running out of breath on some of the longer lines (which is more than could be said for the very next performance), but completely unmemorable.

Associated Press
Michael Sarver, the 27-year-old oil rig worker from Jasper, Texas, disappointed judges in a genre he might otherwise have nailed. Rating Sarver's rendition of Garth Brooks' "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)," Cowell said the unassuming singer came across not as a star but "a likable guy who likes country music who is a bit clumsy."

Baltimore Sun
First up is Michael Sarver, who is going to sing a speedy song, Garth Brooks' "Ain't Goin' Down Til the Sun Comes Up," and Randy Travis warns him not to biff the words. He handles it swimmingly, though the manic harmonica player sitting on the stage is a little distracting.

Grand Rapids Press
Michael Sarver: It's never a good sign when the best thing a judge can say about you is that you remembered all the lyrics, as Kara suggested. Simon didn't have any of Kara's break-it-to-him-gently manner: "You could've been singing in Norwegian," he sniffed.

Hartford Courant
Michael Sarver seemed to be the one finalist who could really sew up the category. He's one of those guys who makes what he's singing sound like country no matter what. But he blew his opportunity to sing just about anything for the rushed garble of Brooks Ain't Goin' Down (Til the Sun Comes Up)" in which it was all he could do to keep up with the lyrics, let alone add any vocal power.

Reality TV
I just want to reiterate, for the record, that I like Michael Sarver. I have to see him deliver in a live performance the way I know he’s capable of, though. The vocals on this are something we could hear in any karaoke bar. Randy Jackson basically agrees with me. Thank you, Randy. On a positive note, Michael happens to be a really likable guy and hopefully, that’ll be enough to get him into the Top 10 and on to the tour.

From Washington Post
This season's token twangster, Michael Sarver, may be in his genre, but unfortunately, he's not exactly in key while lumbering through Garth Brooks' "Ain't Going Down." Most likely he is, come Wednesday night's results show. (Um, can we vote that hot harmonica player through, instead, please?)


DialIdol predicts ...

Spoiler alert: DialIdol is usually correct. Click Read More below if you want to know the results of last night's vote.

Michael is safe! DialIdol, which measures often each contestant's phone line was busy last night to calculate how many votes they got, puts Michael with the 7th most votes (the margin of error puts him anywhere from 4th place to 10th). Here's the ranking: 1. Danny 2. Anoop 3. Lil 4. Matt 5. Kris 6. Adam 7. Michael 8. Scott 9. Megan 10. Allison 11. Alexis. Either Megan, Allison or Alexis is predicted to go home tonight (only one is eliminated today). We think there's a good chance the judges would use their "save" on any of these girls.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Michael's Top 11 performance


VOTE NOW 1-866-436-5701

You can vote for Michael Sarver as many times as you want (we logged over 850 calls last week) between now and 11 p.m. Happy dialing!


LIVE BLOG - Top 11 performance

6:45: Yeehaw! Grand Ole Opry Week is here. Ok, so we're not as excited as we were for Michael Jackson week, but tonight's show determines who makes the Top 10 and the American Idol national tour. Plus, "country" week is always .. uh, interesting, especially for the rockers. We'll be here all night, sharing our Idol expertise, or lack thereof.

7:12: T H I S S S S is American Idol. Are we doing the movie guy’s judge intro again? Why? So we’re a little disappointed none of the judges are wearing cowboy hats. Randy says this is always the tough week. Kara is wearing a silver jump suit. Paula.. actually looks nice, and Simon’s got on a …wait for it … wait for it… V-neck T-shirt (at least it’s grey this time). Randy Travis was this week’s celebrity mentor (he’s looking really bad). Michael Sarver’s first and he’s singing what we thought, Ain’t Goin Down.. CROSS YOUR FINGERS. Travis tells him to be careful not to lose the words. We find that we are holding our breath to see if he misses a word, but great start. Damn this is a fast paced song. Ok, Michael made us a believer, we were worried about the song, but great job. Too bad we couldn’t understand half the words, but we had fun watching it.

JUDGES: Randy, fun, but song choice didn’t show off voice. Kara: We got to see personality, but missed hearing the big notes. Paula: …is not making any sense. Still not. Something about a harmonica and the genre suiting him. Simon: Couldn’t understand a word Michael was singing (ok, we agree with this). Clumsy and sounded “Norwegian”?? Likable guy…Michael’s kinda sassy tonight will all the comebacks. Simon gave it a 1.2 on a scale to 10..yikes, it wasn’t that bad.

7:22: Alisson’s next. Three notes into it and we love it already… and now we’re getting bored. It was solid. But the audience loved it. JUDGES: Kara, loved it. Paula, (showing A LOT of cleavage). ..again, not making since, tells Allison to be “built”? Simon: Good but procosious (spelled right? Too many syllables for us). Simon translates: that means dope.

7:28 Kris is next. The teenage girls will love this, but it is boring the hell out of us. Sorry, fell asleep for a second. But we’re told it was beautiful. JUDGES: Paula, pleasantly surprised. Some pitchy notes. Simon thought it was terrific. Randy, loved the tender moments, calls him a “tender dawg” HA. Kara, “that’s opryland?”

7:40 And Lil Round is here.. she got a makeover. Ok, she definitely doesn’t look like a “Lil Rounds” now. Singing Independence Day, A little pitchy already. It sounds like she is TRYING to sing country and not just being herself (and she’s not a country singer). Ok, not sure what’s wrong with us, but everything’s boring us tonight (except Michael of course). JUDGES: Randy, struggled to like it, didn’t feel comfortable on her (good, it wasn’t just us). Kara not a fan of song, but liked that Lil standed her ground. Paula, who is obviously celebrating St. Patrick’s on her own, slurred through another. Simon didn’t like it, even a lil.

7:55: If we forget to post at the next commercial break, someone call and wake us up. Oh, Adam’s next, never mind. Doubt anyone could sleep through one of his performances. Singing Ring of Fire …an Indian, Middle Eastern version that left Randy Travis speechless and a little scared…ROFL. That was so freakin funny. Randy just thought the painted fingernails were the scary part. Well, it’s definitely original, not sure about the beginning, but there are some “interesting” moments near the end. Can’t wait to hear what the judges say. JUDGES: Kara called that country music??.. which country?. Says it was strange but loved the drama and smokey eyes (it’s called eye shadow). Paula loved the sitar-Kashmir-Led Zepplin sound.. uh huh. Simon ‘WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT’.. HA. Randy said it was young and fresh.. but what does he know.

Randy Travis is still speechless.

8:08 Scott is singing with his piano, again. Randy Travis liked… the piano playing. We’re gonna take a nap. Has anyone else noticed his ‘vampire’ teeth… sorry, we were trying to find something interesting. He’s going home. JUDGES: Paula, you worked hard but piano is crutch. Simon says: Paula’s stupid, bad song choice and sounded too much like last week. Randy bored. Kara, ditto (not to be confused with ditz).

Here’s our ranking thus far: Allison, Kris and Michael (tied), Adam, Lil, Scott

8:15 Alexis (yea!) is next. She DOES look like Dolly Parton (not the chest but everything else). We never noticed before. She’s singing Jolene. Hmm.. not rolling our socks up and down. It has a few nice moments, but where’s the dirty?. JUDGES: Randy didn’t enjoy it. Kara felt she lost her edge (YES) and it was flat. Paula didn’t mind pitch problems?? Why not? Simon says it’s just ok, no originality, forgettable. Wait, who just sang?

8:25 Ok, Michael’s sitting in a pretty good position right now. They need to get rid of country week in the future. Danny Hokey.. we mean Gokey is next, singing Jesus Take the Wheel. He was star struck in front of Randy Travis and couldn’t sing..really. If only.. He’s wearing a white pimp jacket.. it’s more like a pimp cargo jacket. Or a pimp cargo polar expedition jacket. Not a fan of the beginning but he sounds great later. It feels like he’s trying way too hard. JUDGES: Kara loves him when hits stride, but first half of song not so good. Paula brilliant. Simon hates the jacket (HA). Randy, pitchy but great singer.

8:35 Anoop is up singing You are Always on My Mind. Randy Travis loves it. Let’s see if we agree. Chills here. WOW. More chills. Great performance, best of night for us. JUDGES: Paula “Anoop is back”, tender, sweet vocals. Simon: Anoop “went from zero to hero” (isn’t that a line from the Hercules movie?) His fave of night. Randy: proved you could sing. Kara: amazing, biggest surprise.

8:50 Megan Caw Caw is up next. Wow, another great makeover and she’s left the arm flails at home. We usually love her voice, but she sounds a little squawky tonight. OH, she’s sick (got the flu), that explains it. JUDGES: Simon, pretty good, really worked. Kara, perfect song and look. Paula tells us Megan’s been in hospital today and couldn’t make it to dress rehearsal. (great, now she’ll get the sympathy vote) Simon: You should have flu every week.

9:00 And finally, Matt G, singing another Carrie song. Is Paula smelling Simon’s arm??? Solid, no complaints. JUDGES: Kara, special. Paula, authentic, piercing hearts. Simon “you ARE a heart piercer” AWWWWWW. Out sang Danny. Randy: Favorite of night.

Our final ranking: Anoop, Allison, Matt, Kris, Danny, Michael, Megan, Adam, Alexis, Lil, Scott


Ain't Goin' Down

So we hear that Michael may be singing Garth Brooks' "Ain't Goin' Down Till the Sun Comes Up" tonight. We sorta hope that's wrong, as it's one of those songs that doesn't really show off the singer's voice and are pretty sure Simon'll say it's a bad song choice. Here's Josh Gracin singing the song in the second season of American Idol:


Tonight's songs?

Someone claiming to be at today's dress rehearsal says this of tonight's show, but we've been punked before:

Matt Giraud - So Small (played piano)
Scott MacIntyre - I recognized his song, but for the life of me I can’t
remember the name of it. (played piano)
Michael Sarver - Ain’t Goin’ Down Till the Sun Comes Up
Allison Iraheta - Blame It on Your Heart
Kris Allen - To Make You Feel My Love (sat on a stool)
Adam Lambert - Ring of Fire (very sexy Eastern-influenced version that pretty much made every woman over the age of 20 in the audience ready to jump him)
Lil Rounds - Independence Day
Danny Gokey - Jesus, Take the Wheel (partial standing O)
Alexis Grace - Jolene
Anoop - You Were Always on My Mind

"Not sure if the performance order is correct since I didn’t take notes. The first four are definitely correct, although again we don’t know where Megan is in the lineup since she didn’t perform (wardrobe malfunction). It definitely seemed to me like they were saving the “fan favorites” for the second half. Adam and Danny by far got the biggest audience reaction, both before, during, and after their performances. Right now it seems like they are the clear front-runners. Everyone else was good, but they both had that extra something."


Send Michael a birthday card

Just in case you didn't know, Michael's birthday is Saturday March 28, just time enough for you to send him some birthday wishes. We've just obtained the address for Michael's snail mail address in LA, so bombard him with support.

Send all fan mail to:
Michael Sarver
C/O American Idol
7800 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036


American Idol to release trading cards

“American Idol” fans will soon be able to trade Carrie Underwoods for Michael Sarvers.

“Idol” production company FremantleMedia and trading card publisher Upper Deck are launching a new line of trading cards featuring images of past and current contestants and the judges and host of the Fox singing competition. The 138-card line is set to debut April 21.

Six special cards autographed by past “Idols” will be randomly slipped into the five-card packs. Regular cards will feature rejected hopefuls such as William Hung and Nick Mitchell, past winners like Ruben Studdard and David Cook, and popular finalists including Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson.


What to expect

What to expect tonight (in no particular order)
Danny Gokey - Having learned his lesson about pelvic thrusting, Danny will introduce a new move: the butt shake.. or the robot, maybe both.

Alexis Grace - Will adapt pretty well to the theme, showing her voice can fit a lot of different genres.

Michael Sarver - Will offer up another solid performance and answer the age-old question: Should every Texan be a country artist?

Adam Lambert - Could get in trouble with his song selection this week unless he changes a song up like David Cook did last season. That said, the judges will still gush over him and probably credit him with re-inventing country music.

Allison Iraheta - A poor song selection will prove to everyone that she should stick with rock. (Also, she'll dye her hair a shamrock green)

Kris Allen - Will attempt playing more than one note on his guitar but will continue singing out of the side of his mouth. Paula will swoon.

Scott MacIntyre - Will give another solid but boring as hell performance. And he'll prove that he does have moves by standing at the piano instead of sitting this week.

Megan Corkrey - More swaying and less bird flapping this week (we hope), her quirky style should work in the country theme.

Matt Giraud - Will sound exactly like Danny, again.

Anoop Desai - Anoop doing country?? Really?? He's hasn't got a chance. (but maybe they'll dress him like John Wayne?!)

Lil Rounds - We predict another power ballad coming with an amazing glory note at the end, but we'll still be underwhelmed.


Vegas oddsmakers on losing end

For all you who were upset with Las Vegas oddsmakers who consistently put Michael as the underdog: Wagering on the show has been suspended because of the new "judges save" rule introduced last week:

“We were forced to suspend betting on American Idol in order to protect both the betting public…and ourselves,” says T.J. Kendrick, BetOnline.com spokesperson. One concern, says Kendrick, is the possibility of the entertainment industry version of “insider trading” - industry insiders placing bets on a contestant and later lobbying contacts within the show to have them remain, even if the public votes them off - via a judges’ veto. While Kendrick says BetOnline.com has not yet been the victim of this sort of insider trading, some competitors have. “A few years ago, several betting sites were forced to suspend wagering on Survivor and other reality series due to strong suspicions of insider trading,” Kendrick said.

We're liking the "judges save" more and more each day :)


Monday, March 16, 2009

Sarver, Idol shine light on music ministries

From the Beaumont Enterprise
Every Sunday, Matt Byars and Cameron Wolfe get up at 7 a.m., grab their trumpets and head to church. The two play with First Light, First United Methodist Church of Beaumont's praise and worship ensemble. The band is, in part, the reason why the pair shows up to service each week. "The church gives everyone the opportunity to play and sing," Byars, 19, said after last Sunday's service. "It's a great place to get experience." American Idol contestant and Jasper resident Michael Sarver, as well as several of his competitors, are drawing national attention to music ministry, sharing their church backgrounds with the nation. He and at least five of the remaining 11, including Danny Gokey, have strong church connections.

Read the full story HERE.


Backstage with Oprah

The big O went backstage with American Idol last week. What we learn: Danny did the pelvic thrusts even in the dress rehearsal (no one told him to stop??), Simon has his own compound of trailers near the sound stage, and Seacrest knows the result an hour and a half before the show.


Moving on up

Michael's slowly but surely moving up Entertainment Weekly's weekly contestant ranking.

11. Megan Corkrey: (Last week: No. 11)

10. Scott MacIntyre: (Last week: No. 9)
9. Anoop Desai: (Last week: No. 2)
8. Michael Sarver: (Last week: No. 12) Looked like the weakest link heading into Michael Jackson week, but his "You Are Not Alone" was on pitch and heartfelt, if not particularly electrifying. Says he's not a country singer, but his Texas drawl is a better fit for Grand Ole Opry week than most of his competitors, and that may be enough to get him to the Idol Tour.
7. Lil Rounds: (Last week: No. 7)

6. Matt Giraud: (Last week: No. 8)
5. Kris Allen: (Last week: No. 6)
4. Alexis Grace: (Last week: No. 1)
3. Danny Gokey: (Last week: No. 3)
2. Allison Iraheta: (Last week: No. 4)
1. Adam Lambert: (Last week: No. 5)

Read the full story HERE


April fools? We hope not

David Cook will be performing on the Wednesday April 1 elimination show as part of the string of past American Idol winners that will be returning this season. The performance is scheduled to coincide with the release of his singles "Come back to me" and "Bar-ba-sol." Carrie Underwood will be performing this Wednesday, along with Randy Travis.


Jorge wanted Michael's song

In an appearance on Regis and Kelly this morning, Jorge said his last song "Never Can Say Goodbye" was not first song choice. He wanted to sing “You Are Not Alone” but Michael got it first. “Never Can Say Goodbye” was the only ballad left, and he sang it, even though he’d never heard it before.

Here's the video of Jorge and Jasmine's interview


What should Michael sing?

Tomorrow night is Grand Ole Opry night and we want to know what Michael should sing. Click "read more" below to see the full list of songs the contestants could choose from.. then tell us in the comments section your recommendation.

Alan Jackson - Don't Rock the Jukebox
Alan Jackson - Summertime Blues
Alan Jackson - Chattahoochee
Alison Krauss - When You Say Nothing At All
Alison Krauss - Baby Now That I've Found You
Barbara Mandrell - If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Want to Be Right
Brad Paisley - Celebrity
Brad Paisley - Mud on the Tires
Brad Paisley - When I Get Where I'm Going
Carrie Underwood - Jesus Take the Wheel
Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats
Carrie Underwood - Wasted
Carrie Underwood - So Small
Carrie Underwood - All-American Girl
Carrie Underwood - Last Name
Diamond Rio - Beautiful Mess
Dierks Bentley - What Was I Thinkin
Dierks Bentley - Come A Little Closer
Dierks Bentley - Every Mile a Memory
Dierks Bentley - Feel That Fire
Dolly Parton - Jolene
Dolly Patron - I Will Always Love You
Dolly Parton - Here You Come Again
Dolly Parton - 9 to 5
Dolly Parton - Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That
Garth Brooks - Friends in Low Places
Garth Brooks - The Dance
Garth Brooks - Shameless
Garth Brooks - More Than a Memory
George Jones - She Thinks I Still Care
George Jones - He Stopped Loving Her Today
Hank Williams - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire
Johnny Cash - I Walk the Line
Josh Turner - Your Man
Josh Turner - Would You Go With Me
Josh Turner - Firecracker
Lorrie Morgan - Watch Me
Martina McBride - Wild Angels
Martina McBride - A Broken Wing
Martina McBride - Anyway
Pam Tillis - Cleopatra, Queen of Denial
Pam Tillis - Maybe It Was Memphis
Patsy Cline - Walkin' After Midnight
Patsy Cline - I Fall to Pieces
Patsy Cline - Crazy
Patty Loveless - Blame On Your Heart
Randy Travis - Forever And Ever Amen
Reba McEntire - Fancy
Reba McEntire - Why Haven't I Heard From You
Ronnie Milsap - It Was Almost Like a Song
Tammy Wynette - Stand By Your Man
Terri Clark - Poor Poor Pitiful Me
Trace Adkins - Honky Tonk Badonkadonk
Trace Adkins - You're Gonna Miss This
Travis Tritt - I'm Gonna Be Somebody
Travis Tritt - T-R-O-U-B-L-E
Travis Tritt - Tell Me I was Dreaming
Travis Tritt - It's a Great Day To Be Alive
Trisha Yearwood - She's In Love With The Boy
Trisha Yearwood - Walkaway Joe
Trisha Yearwood - How Do I Live
Vince Gill - I Still Believe In You.


Odds still stacked against Michael

Despite Michael's success last week, Las Vegas oddsmakers still put him as the underdog. Obviously, noone in Vegas watches the show. Here's how they rank:

1. Adam Lambert 7/4, 2. Danny Gokey 11/4, 3. Lil Rounds 5/1, 4. Allison Iraheta 10/1, 5. Scott MacIntyre 15/1, 6. Matt Giraud 10/1, 7. Alexis Grace 10/1, 8. Anoop Desai 20/1, 9. Megan Corkrey 30/1, 10. Kris Allen 30/1, 11. Michael Sarver 40/1


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pool rule changes

Don't forget to join in on our American Idol pool fun. Because of the judges' save, we've made a few rule changes. Sign up for the pool HERE. Read the rule changes below:

If the judges save a contestant, points WILL be awarded as if
that contestant was eliminated, so you are always predicting who
receives the least votes. Bonus points will also be awarded as long as
the bonus answers still make sense.

If more than one contestant is eliminated, points will be
awarded for both contestants. You can still put all 20 points on one
contestant even if you know two will be eliminated.


Studio recording of You Are Not Alone

Listen to Michael's studio recording of You Are Not Alone, even better than his live performance!


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Supermodel, at least on his way

From the Top 11 photo shoot: Michael looks like he's getting the hang of it. Click "read more" to see all of this week's pictures.