CCM Magazine: What were the emotions of being a part of the final Idol episode?
Danny Gokey: The emotions were definitely bittersweet. The show that had launch my career was now coming to an end and with that comes a little sadness & nostalgia. During the time that I was on American Idol initially, I was going through such a struggle with the loss of my first wife and trying to move forward, that my experience was probably very different from the other contestants in my season emotionally. But going back, I think it was so rewarding to see where God has taken me from that launching point. It was encouraging to see that God is in every process and that he took that stage and has placed me where I am today, so many years after the show. I think my favorite part of participating in the finale was being able to see all the former contestants of seasons before and after my season and also to see all the staff that I worked with on the show during my season. It was nice to be able to reconnect and catch up on what has been happening in their lives too.
CCM: Some of the contestants and judges had some great perspective on the impact of Idol overall on the industry and culture. How would you summarize it?
DG: When you look at the stats, it’s pretty staggering! The opening of the finale was a really cool picture of the impact of the show—there were over sixty former “idols” on the stage and that’s just a representation of all the people and amazing voices who have come through the show and were a part of American pop culture musically. It gave unknown people like me the chance to pursue a dream and to gain exposure to the music industry that could have never happened on that large of a scale otherwise. All the contestants on American Idol have collectively sold over 60 million albums and 225 million downloads! I would say it has had a profound effect on our culture and has influenced the music for the last decade. In addition, the broadcast itself has provided a show that families could sit down and watch together for over fifteen years.
CCM: How would you summarize describe Idol‘s impact in your own life?
DG: For me, American Idol was more than just a singing show, it was a second chance for me. I’m pretty amazed at how I was able to find hope in Hollywood, a place where a lot of people go to pursue dreams and leave disappointed. God used it as a second chance and a point of hope in front of me in one of the most discouraging seasons of my life. (That’s actually where the title for my album came from) I love how God used a show with the word “idol” in it to actually bring glory to Him, hope to my crumbling world and in the process, imparted hope to so many other people who tuned in to follow my journey.
CCM: Would you say Idol is likely gone for good, or would you say “never say never?”
DG: Idol is not gone. I can assure you that they will be coming back. I think they’re just talking a look at what they need to do to reinvent it and make it fresh for a new audience.
Watch Colton Dixon‘s answers to our Idol questions recently on the This Is Winter Jam premiere red carpet—click the “play” button at the top of the page, or watch the embedded video here: