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'Idolatry': Where do you stand on Danny Gokey?

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Is Danny Gokey the most talented competitor on season 8 of American Idol, or a so-so sentimentalist who’s enjoying the fruits of producer pimping? Nice guy who’s suffered a terrible tragedy, or contestant who’s exploiting said tragedy to win viewer votes? I won’t lie and say that I’m not slightly worried that this episode of Idolatry is essentially an express ticket to hell for my pal Kristen Baldwin and myself, but we’re responding honestly to what we saw on our TV screens this week (and we added some bonus footage of Michael Johns to help wash it all down).

Maybe Kristen and I are expressing exactly what’s on your mind, or maybe you’ll vehemently disagree with our opinions, but in either case, I hope you’ll take it down to the comments section below and share your thoughts on this polarizing contestant. (Interesting side note: Based on what Danny said in a Thursday-morning conference call, he’s aware of the budding backlash over the way his family tragedy has been used by Idol‘s producers, and the discomfort many viewers felt when Danny’s relatives held up her photo for the TV cameras during Wednesday night’s results show. Whether or not he makes good on his promise to “lighten up” or whether a shift in tone will affect his standing with viewers remains to be seen.)

Update: Part 2 of this week’s Idolatry, in which Kristen and I discuss performances by contestants not named Danny, is now live on the site. Click here to ch-ch-check it out!

More on ‘American Idol’:
‘American Idol’ recap: Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy
‘American Idol’ Recap: Voters, Start Your Engines!
‘American Idol’: Michael Johns, Carly Smithson to duet on Wednesday night
‘Idolatry’: Making sense of American Idol’s top 36
 Joanna Pacitti out of ‘American Idol,’ Felicia Barton in.
 ‘American Idol’: 10 Greatest ‘Hollywood Week’ Moments
EW’s ‘American Idol’ HQ
‘American Idol’: Get the scoop on what 14 of your favorite former contestants are doing now
Fantasia covers ‘Lady Marmalade’! Roof height at venue permanently altered.