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Ghost Canyon

American Idol 2009 - Michael Sarver American Idol 2009 - Michael Sarver

'Revealed: The Artist Within'

Michael Sarver was an aspiring contestant on the eight season of American Idol. This family man has one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, as he works on an oil rig.

For his original audition in Phoenix, Sarver went with "Thank You" by Boyz II Men. Unanimous approval followed and he was sent to Hollywood. Once there, Sarver climbed out of the first round and then made it to the final 36; and then the Top 10. However, come the final placing, Michael bowed out in tenth place.

Michael is married with two children and hails from from Jasper, Texas.

Exclusive Magazine had the recent pleasure of speaking with Michael about his family, those judges comments, ... and, of course, his upcoming new CD!

You look very calm and collected, not even fazed by any of this media circus - is that true? “Yeah, it is. But that actually speaks a lot about the show. It’s a crash course on doing what we do. And so when you leave the show you’re fully prepared for the life you see now. We did interviews on that show every day, every day. Press and pictures and all these things that are part of this life and we did them so much that when we came out here it seems to be a natural thing.”

“I mean, I’m still blown away that I get to do this stuff though. It’s unreal. I’m very honored by it. But it’s a job and we’re in the groove.”

You also have your own recording studio named GrayMak at home, correct? “Yeah, that’s my kids. The front of their names. My son’s name is Grayson and my daughter’s name is McKenna. I built the studios myself and named it after them.”

Being that your birth name is Jeremy why go on the show as Michael?! “Yes, … how’d you know that crap,” he exclaims wildly. “You are good, man. You are friggin’ prepared,” he further laughs. “My mum and dad divorced when I wasn’t even two yet and when they decided to name me my dad liked Jeremy, mom liked Michael and so they put it together as a team; which is what parents ortta do. Fine compromise. But, when he left she got her way. And so I became Michael. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.”

You came 10th in the Idol competition so in reflection, do you believe that was a fair assumption of what you had originally perceived to be your final position before the show started? “Oh, I could have definitely done better. There are so many things that go to that. One of which, and I didn’t talk about it then, but I can talk about it now, because it has no baring, I was completely and utterly sick on the last week!”

“When I left the show I was so sick they had to put an IV in me. It was a really bad flu. I got hit really hard. Me and Megan didn’t get to come to Detroit for Motown Week. We didn’t get to come because we were so sick. But nobody knew just how sick we were. And so I was not who I needed to be that night. I think I could have done way better than I did. And, to be real honest with you though, I’m not on myself but I look back at that performance and I actually liked it. So, I don’t know what they were saying! But, you know, if you try and go back to figure out what you could change you’ll start having regrets. And I’m very happy with what we get to do right now.”

Well, that explains then (kinda) why Simon, Paula, Randy and Kara said: It just wasn’t good enough, it was a tough performance, and even asked you who you were as an artist? Live on that stage, how do/did you manage to control your inner turmoil of thoughts when confronted by such division? “Well, there were a couple of times when I came back with something. Sometimes it’s pointless to speak. They’re gonna say what they’re gonna say. But there were a couple of those comments, like the ones that help you grow you take them in. The ones that don’t you shrug them off.”

“I mean, ‘Who are you as an artist?’ that was the dumbest question I’ve ever heard! I think I made it pretty obvious what kind of an artist I am. It’s in the moment though. They have to make those comments. Those guys are just as pressured to speak as we are to sing. They have a job to do. Who knows, they probably regret some of the comments they have to make. They’re amazing at what they do and they deserve to be where they’re at. You just take it like you take it. There’s no reason to fight about it.”

So, when can we expect this coming debut CD - and how is it musically forming? “I am actually involved in a really serious situation going on right now … and I can’t speak about it,” he says, dipping his gaze to the floor momentarily. “But there will be an album next year and everyone will hear it. It’ll be modern pop/country. I hope I get to record some of it at my studio. But that’ll be up to the people with the power. I think it’s gonna have a nice energy to it and I’m gonna be writing on it.”

“I’ve written 908 songs in my life so I have a lot of music. I started writing when I was 14 years-old. I’m a very heavy writer. And the cool part about this is that the album that is being discussed right now I’m gonna be heavy involved in the writing. So, there’s you some scoop!”

The clothes that you performed in each night, were they provided for you and do you still have them all? “From the show, yeah, we get to keep ‘em.”

Was there ever an outfit that they put you in that you felt the most uncomfortable wearing for that nights performance? “Yeah, erm, the night that I went home, when I was voted off I was wearing this blue shirt with sleeves rolled up … and it just didn’t work at all,” he rolls his eyes heavily.

Did you realize this at the time? “No, but yes now looking back,” he wryly smiles. “And I do have it at home, but my wife wears it as a t-shirt ‘cause it ain’t gonna be on me again!”

Your favorite quote is: ‘Even if the truth hurts it’s always better than a lie’ I think that rocks as a mantra in this day and age, but has it bitten you in the ass this truth factor at any time down the years, perhaps?! “Just to have a career with some integrity. Being trustworthy. If I say it, I mean it. I want people to know I’ll follow up. I kinda feel we live in what I call a patty cake society. Where we tend to just kinda pat everybody on the back and pacify them, because we don’t wanna stir up any trouble. We don’t want any controversy. We don’t wanna deal with any serious issues.”

“When, if people would just say it then we could go on living our lives and quit wasting our time. It's kinda like a singing competition. I actually admire Simon for saying it like it is because at least when you leave him you have no false sense of security about yourself at all. You know exactly where you stand,” he laughs. “I’ve been lied to … and I just prefer to be told the truth. It’s just my thing.”

Interview: Russell A. Trunk

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