As an American Idol fan, it is easy to get caught up in the politics, the drama, and the favoritism that comes with being a viewer. This is especially difficult when you find a favorite early, since every other contestant becomes someone in the way of said contestant's victory.
I have well professed thus far my primary loyalty to Kris Allen and, as a "one-man girl," never really let myself take to anyone else. However, post-Idol I have been given a new perspective on the other nine finalists joining Allen on the annual cross-country tour. One such contestant is Michael Sarver.
Sarver was best known on the show as the "blue collar family man." He had a gentle Texas charm and an adorable family back home to go with it. It was impossible not to root for this guy even a little. Like so many early finalists, however, Sarver got lost amid a flurrying class of big voices, big personalities, and daring song choices to a respectable 10th place finish, earning him a spot on the tour.
It's a shame that the Idol recordings are released after voting- for understandable reasons, of course- because Sarver may have seen a very different ending. His Idol recordings flow with sweet, soulful vocals that carry his song selections through with seemingly flawless ease. His voice builds with a pleasant sincerity that somehow got lost on the live shows. Sounding just as natural with a country twang on "Aint' Goin' Down" as he does slipping through a boyband-reminiscent rendition of Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone," [which, as a product of the boyband era, excites me to no end ;-)] Sarver's versatility pleads his case far beyond the stretches that Idol ever could.
I became a fan of Michael's after following him on Twitter. An avid "tweeter," Michael reaches out to his fans on a regular basis, providing them with details and unabashed opinions on all kinds of topics and happenings. He will readily defend his family and any member of his Idol "family" and speaks often of missing family back home. In the sordid, jaded world of entertainment, this attitude is both refreshing and endearing. I hope none of these 10 ever lose it.
In the absence of traditional Idol competition, I have gained a new respect and excitement for the man from Texas. I wait excitedly to hear him open the show with his take on two incredible songs. More than that, however, I am excited to hear what Sarver does in the future. You can be sure that I'm listening in. =)
Listen to Michael Sarver's take on You Are Not Alone - Michael Jackson