Michael Sarver came out of left field this week on American Idol and ended up as one of the finalists in the show’s Top 12. But, although Sarver was featured prominently on the show, the judge’s comments left something to be desired. So Simon Cowell asked America to give him a second chance… and they did. Sarver chalks it up to good old-fashioned hard work.
“I believe that real life people can relate to me,” he told reporters, “especially in the economy and the day that we live. It’s very difficult for a lot of people. I see it as a chance to see someone rise from the ashes.”
While he’s had to put his job on the oil fields on hold, Sarver will make certain that his family is well taken care of without him.
“I have an incredible wife who never drops the ball on our family,” he said. My two-year-old son is not really aware of what’s going on. You wouldn’t think that my three and a half-year-old daughter is, but apparently so. She’s very smart and ahead of her age and very excited. She says she wants to go on American Idol.”
Sarver also said that he admires fellow contestant Danny Gokey, whose wife recently passed. “My wife is my absolute best friend. If she did pass away, I don’t understand how I could wake up the next day. To be around him and see the incredible person that he is– I have mad, mad respect for Danny Gokey.”
The 27-year-old has watched American Idol since its inception. So why did it take him so long to try out for the show? According to Sarver, he just had a lot of growing up to do. “It was just a moment and a right time and a right moment in my life that just fit and it never fit before.”
Read on for the rest of Michael Sarver’s interview:
What did your friends say when you told them you were trying out for American Idol?
Believe it or not, there was a lot of positive. A lot of people said, “Go for it” and then there were those that were like, “Yeah, right.” I guess you don’t expect to see something like that that close to you. But believe it or not, I actually had one person, I won’t say his name, but he told me, he looked me in the eye and he said, “I heard you wanted to be a singer.” I said, “Yes, sir. I do.” He said, “Let me tell you something, son. It’ll never happen.” He couldn’t have meant that more than he did. I don’t mean to get back at anybody, but I’ll tell you; no matter what people tell you, no matter what people think, you keep trying and you keep trucking and it works out.
What did you think when the judges said that you had lost your original soul?
Well, I don’t remember the exact words, but I don’t feel like they were trying to portray that I had lost something as much as telling me not to step away from it. I actually found it to be a compliment rather than criticism because it means that they saw something in me that made them set a high standard for me and that’s a huge compliment because for them to expect great things out of me says that they’ve already seen greatness in me and I can step up; I can bring it just like they want it.
As a fan of the show, what do you think of the Wild Card element that they’ve added to the competition?
The Wild Card element for American Idol is very special because it means that, for instance, last night is not the end for a lot of people. It means not only a second chance, but it kind of carries them through because I can’t imagine the disappointment that I would have felt last night had I not made it through. It gives you that extra hope. I love the Wild Card round because Clay Aiken was a Wild Card and good things come out of “wild” things.
Where did you get your passion for music?
It really began at a time in my life that was really tough. I won’t go into personal details, but I had a little family situation in my life when I was 11-years-old and I resorted to music. I found joy in music. I found the peace that I needed. Music just kind of made everything make sense to me and that’s when I really attached myself to what music means. And then, I started singing and really realizing, “Well, wow. There’s actually something there” and then I’d hear compliments from my mom hearing me sing around the house. Just over the years, being in and out of church; it may not have been exactly where it started as much as it had definitely been a huge part of where I’ve developed as an artist.
Do you think the reason you went on is because of Simon’s plea to America?
I can’t deny that I think that that could have had something to do with it. Simon making a plea for me on my behalf; I don’t take that lightly that at all. I really take a lot from that as a compliment because I appreciate compliments on my voice and my singing and things, but to be complimented on the person I am really means a lot to me. I have no doubt it had an impact and I appreciate it.