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March 27, 2009
'American Idol' : Michael Sarver eager to go home


Michael Sarver says he definitely won't be returning to his job as an oil-rigger in Jasper, Texas. The first of the Top 10 contestants to be eliminated from "American Idol" was both gracious and humble in an interview today with "Idol" reporters.

Every female reporter who posed a question was met with a "yes, ma'am" or "no, ma'am" from Sarver, who will continue with his musical career after this summer's tour. Something you might not know: He's written more than 890 songs since his teen years, reflecting both the good times and the hard times.

"I'll be sharing that with my fans," he says.

Michael shared his thoughts Friday about heading home and his experiences on "Idol." Here's a sample of what he had to say.

Q: What have you learned about yourself after being on "Idol?" What's your best piece of advice/best memory?
A: I learned how much I love my family. I've never been away from them that long. So I got a hold of what my priorities are in life. I want to do this music thing and I plan to hit it hard. As for advice, there was a gentlemen on the ("Idol") crew who always told us: "Be here and now and in this moment." He kept us on our p's and q's and reminded us what a great opportunity this is. As for a memory, it would have to be singing on the same night on the same stage as Josh Stone, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder.

Q: What do you think about the interplay among the four judges? Is it helpful/distracting?
A: What people need to understand is that this show is supposed to be enjoyable and entertaining. Simon (Cowell) coloring on Paula's (Abdul) face was hilarious. And yes, it gets complicated when you think they aren't listening to you.

Q: Judge Kara DioGuardi said she didn't think you had shown what type of artist you'll be. Any thoughts on that?
A: I'm not as country as most people think. There's a lot of soul in me. And I think that works with both R&B and pop. There's such a mix of musical influences in my life. I love the style of Justin Timberlake. And then there's Gavin DeGraw and his soulful rock.

Q: Did you think there was a chance the judges would use the save on you last night?
A: My second performance of "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" was stronger than the first because I had been dealing with some sickness. I didn't think they would save me, especially based on Simon's comments Wednesday night about me not winning the competition. But we didn't get this far based on a mistake. I think what the judges say has a huge impact on how America votes. I don't think they got it altogether right on me the other night. But they're smart and talented. That's why the show is so successful.

Q: Tell us about Matt Giraud and why you think he was safe?
A: He's unbelieveable. We were roommates for a little while. And I have a lot of respect for him. He amazes everyone with his piano. America just couldn't send someone home who sings and performs like that.

Q: OK, so you'll be going on tour this summer. What are you looking forward to the most?
A: Experiencing the fans one on one. On the show, we live in kind of a bubble. We know the fans support us, but we don't physically see it. The tour will allow that. And they've blown me away with their support.

Q: Can you tell us something funny or memorable from your stay in the "Idol" mansion?
A: The other night, me, Danny (Gokey) and Anoop (Desai) played a game of basketball. I was horrible, of course. But it was a blast because we share a love of sports. Anoop can play some ball. He's very intense. It makes sense considering he's with the University of North Carolina. He would beat himself up if he missed a shot.

Last night's results show didn't reveal what next week's theme would be, and Michael didn't divulge any info, either. Maybe the year of their birthday?

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