By Michael Slezak
Updated May 30, 2009 at 07:39 AM EDT

Here it is folks (and sorry for the delay): Idolatry‘s hotly anticipated, five-part interview with Danny Gokey. With apologies to fans of the profoundly awkward, neither Kristen Baldwin, nor her alter ego Kristen With Glasses, participated in this sit-down chat. Idolatry’s commentary episodes may be brutally scathing — a place where EW staffers and I can vent our visceral feelings about American Idol — but if a contestant is game enough to pay us a visit, we’d never go out of our way to make him or her feel unwelcome or uncomfortable. In fact, the goal of these interview segments is to be as unfiltered as possible, but just as important, to give you a better sense of each and every Idol finalist — as I think we’ve seen all season, the best portions of contestants’ personalities often seem to end up on Fox’s editing-room floors. And so it was in that spirit we approached our conversation with Danny. Press play below to hear his thoughts on wanting people to like him, shopping in the “women’s department,” and dreaming about trying out for season 9. Danny also responds to record producer Howard Benson’s contention that he’ll never make a record, gives a surprising answer about the way certain media outlets painted season 8 as a referendum on social issues, and addresses the criticism that followed his semifinal performance of “Hero” (after a relative held up a picture of Danny’s late wife for the camera). Check back later this weekend for the cherry on top of the Idolatry season sundae: An action-packed interview with Kris Allen. (In the interim, check out bonus outtakes of Missy Schwartz’s most excellent feature story on the season 8 champ from this week’s issue of EW.) We’ll also be serving up a LaKisha Jones conference-room performance during the week, so keep checking back, or better yet, click here and sign up for our Idol email alerts, which will alert you to our coverage of America’s favorite talent show all through the unbearable off season.