Transcript from a March 27 conference call:
C. Ellers Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for calling in today to speak with Michael Sarver. As a reminder, Michael is here to talk about his experience on the show and plans moving forward. If we feel like anyone is harping on a certain subject too much, we reserve the right to move on. With that being said, we will take the first question.
Moderator That will come from the line of Mike Hughes of TV America. Please go ahead.
M. Hughes Michael, you mentioned some mixed messages from your older daughter. She said she likes the show and is interested in it, but she also wanted you to come home and said, "Why haven't you come home yet?" Tell us overall what's your daughter's overall experience and the fact that you are coming home?
M. Sarver I think McKenna's outlook on it, she's excited about seeing her daddy on TV, but the one thing that a three and a half year old little girl understands is that I'm not home. Right now that's what I'm going to focus on is getting home and making sure that she knows I love her. And we know that later on in life when she's a little older she'll fully understand, but I do know that she was absolutely excited to see me everyday and I hear she replayed the DVR quite a bit all the time.
M. Hughes That's great. A lot of people take the kids with them on tour. Are you planning on taking the whole thing, your wife and both kids on tour?
M. Sarver I'm sure they won't be there the whole time, but I do plan to involve them a great deal.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Lisa Steinberg of Starry Constellation. Please go ahead.
L. Steinberg Hello, it's great to speak with you. I was wondering, what did you learn the most from your experience on Idol?
M. Sarver I actually through my experience on Idol I learned just how much I love my family, because I've never been away from them that long. I really got a good hold on what my priorities are in life. That is my number one priority is my family and although I'll always want to do this music thing and I plan on hitting it hard after this experience, it's really taught me a lot about myself.
L. Steinberg What's the best piece of advice you received while you were on the show, if it was from the judges or from anyone else in particular?
M. Sarver A gentleman that's part of the staff continually said to us "Be here. Be here and be here now. Be in this moment." I think that the greatest advice that we received was that because it really kept us on our P's and Q's, as far as not letting this moment pass by without enjoying it and understanding how great of an opportunity it was. He continued to make that statement throughout the process and I really appreciated it.
L. Steinberg Wonderful, great. I look forward to seeing more good things from you.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Monica Sotomayor of Flash News. Please go ahead.
M. Sotomayor Hello, Michael, thanks for your time today. You were so great on the show, congratulations on making it so far. So I just wanted to know back on the oil rig how much did you actually sing on the job? How much did you keep those guys entertained that you work with?
M. Sarver You know believe it or not as much as music is a huge part of my life, I didn't sing a whole lot for the guys. I did to myself quite a bit. But an oil rig is quite loud, if you've ever been on one, you can't really hear yourself think most of time, so usually I'd hum to myself to keep myself encouraged and positive about what I was doing, but not a whole lot of entertaining the fellows.
M. Sotomayor How much have they actually missed you since you've been gone? Have they been supporting you and everything?
M. Sarver Oh, gosh, yes. I have gotten so much support from not just the company that I work for, but oil field workers from all over the country that have really shown me a lot of support. And the supervisors that I've worked under have called me with actually a lot of encouraging words.
M. Sotomayor That's so great. Thanks, Michael. Good luck with everything.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Antonia Blyth of US Weekly. Please go ahead.
A. Blyth So I just wanted to know, what was the conversation like with your wife after the results last night?
M. Sarver The first thing that I remember saying was, "Well, I'm coming home." I think we're both collectively excited about that. In my wife's view, she would have been 110% behind me as long as I stayed here. But now that I am off the show, she is quite excited that we get to be together again.
A. Blyth Also what do the contestants think of all the back and forth and interplay between the judges? Because it seems like last night they couldn't stop laughing, or actually the night before last they couldn't stop laughing and they were goofing around. It's hard to get feedback sometimes, I feel like. What do the contestants think of that?
M. Sarver You know personally, number one, I enjoy that because what people need to understand is this is supposed to be a fun thing. It's supposed to be enjoyable. It's supposed to be the time of our lives and they help make it that by goofing around, like Simon coloring on Paula's face. That was just absolutely hilarious. It does, indeed, make it complicated sometimes if you may feel like they're not really listening to you, but overall, the fun that they're having on the show makes everybody smile and that's what entertainment is all about, bringing a positive light to the TV world.
A. Blyth Thank you and the best of luck in the future.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Katie Byrne of MTV News.
K. Byrne I was wondering, Kara made a comment the other night that we hadn't had the chance to see what kind of artist that you would be. I was wondering if you think you were able to show people what kind of music you'd put out and what kind of artist you'll be.
M. Sarver You know, I really do actually feel like I showed that, number one, I'm not as country as most people thought, and number two, that there's a lot of soul in me and I'm a soul singer and it doesn't matter if you mix with rock, pop or R&B, they're soul. And I believe I established that and I believe that I established that I'm the type of artist that will not only work my tail off to do what I do, but that I never give less than 110% when I'm performing, and I believe I showed that.
K. Byrne Now that you are moving on from the show, do you think like, what kind of music do you think you'll put out? What kind of album do you see yourself making?
M. Sarver It's definitely going to be an R&B pop soul album.
K. Byrne Any artist that you would compare your style to?
M. Sarver You know, it's really hard because there's such a mixture of influence in my life. But I really like the R&B pop style of Justin Timberlake, and it has a lot to do with the way that I write, but all the way across the aisle to Gavin DeGraw and bringing some of that soulful rock, just a combination of those kind of things.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Colleen Joyce of Popstar.com.
C. Joyce What are you most looking forward to on the tour this summer?
M. Sarver Oh, gosh, I'm most looking forward to experiencing the fans one on one and on the tour. We live in a bubble with American Idol because that's our world while we're here and we know that there's support, but we don't get to actually physically see it. Well, the tour is going to show us that love and that support that we get from the fans and we're going to be able to experience them one on one, and I can't wait.
C. Joyce How about a message to all the fans out there that have voted and supported you?
M. Sarver My message to my fans, I thank you so much. You've blown my mind with your support and amazed me with your love and your messages and things that you've said about me. It means the world and I will never forget you.
Moderator Next we'll do to the line of Darla Atlas at the Dallas Morning News.
D. Atlas Congratulations on everything. I'm sorry to see you go. Can you just talk about, it seems like especially this year, the stress of being a parent and a contestant has come up quite a bit. Can you talk about that, as opposed to, do you think that you're at a little bit of a disadvantage in terms of the other contestants who are a little bit more carefree?
M. Sarver Actually, I would consider myself at an advantage because I have a level of inspiration from something that someone without kids doesn't even get to experience. They are rock solid and they are the core of my purpose. They've driven me into this and they're so inspiring in the way that they love me and support me. If anything, it would be an advantage rather than a disadvantage. It's without a doubt difficult and very hard to deal with at times missing them, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
D. Atlas That's wonderful. So what about just any funny moments from the mansion, can you think of one particular little anecdote about just how you guys all bonded?
M. Sarver You know, we do. The other night as a matter of fact, me and Danny and Anoop played a nice little game of basketball for the purpose of some exercise as kind of letting it all out. It was quite fun. I was horrible, of course, but it was a blast. It's one of those things where you get on a basketball court with a couple of guys and you have that love for sports in common and just have a good time laughing.
D. Atlas That's great. Congratulations, I hope to see you a lot from you in the future.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Steve Gidlow of In Touch Weekly. Please go ahead.
S. Gidlow I just wanted to ask you if there's any talk amongst the contestants about not singing a song with the word "beg" in it, because last weekend we had Alexis with Jolene, begging let's take her man. And this week, you're Too Proud to Beg. And both of you ended up singing off, so does that come up as a topic amongst the contestants?
M. Sarver It hasn't actually and you're the first person to even bring that up. That's actually very intriguing that you would see that because I didn't even notice it. I don't think that's a part of people's mind at all. From week to week, the number one goal is to get out there and do your best. If you rise to the occasion, you're still around the next day. If you don't, unfortunately you go home and it's part of it. But I don't think that they should ever get anything in their head about any kind of curse of any type or a running tally on how many people can beg. It is what it is and they're all great and they're going to do fine.
S. Gidlow Just a follow-up, did you think for a minute that they might have actually saved you last night, because I thought your second go at the song was like better than the first, it was really good.
M. Sarver Thank you so much. My second was stronger because I was stronger. I had definitely been dealing with some sickness and the performance Wednesday night definitely, unfortunately it showed. I actually didn't think they would save me. I really appreciate the fact that they considered it based on my performance the second night and how they complimented that. It meant a lot to me to really kind of in sense redeem myself from suffering through a hard night. They did consider, but I felt like it wasn't going to happen, mostly based on Simon's previous comments the night before about not really feeling like I could win the show.
S. Gidlow Good luck in the future.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Rodney Ho at the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Please go ahead.
R. Ho Speaking of Simon, were you at insulted that Simon actually said that? Did that really tick you in any way?
M. Sarver You know, it didn't necessarily tick me off, nor did it insult me, but it kind of made me giggle because he knows better than that. We didn't get there by mistake. We're all very talented. I believe in my talent and I believe in myself and what I have to offer the music world. I definitely would not have been surprised if I had gone back to the mansion with the guys that night and been on next week. It's in a given week and I'm very proud of what I brought to that table. What Simon has to say is quite important on the show. We all know that and it has a lot of influence. Unfortunately, it influenced in a negative direction for me, but a positive at the same time because who cares what they say when they're actually talking about you? It's actually a compliment that they're talking about you to begin with, so it's all right.
R. Ho What song were you planning to do next week?
M. Sarver You know, I'm not going to divulge that information because you never know what happens next week and I don't want to take anything away from somebody else ...
R. Ho ... somebody else might take your song or something?
M. Sarver And if they do I hope they do great, but I just don't want to share that, if you don't mind.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Gary Graff of United Station. Please go ahead.
G. Graff Like everybody else, congratulations on what you did. What was it about "Ain't Too Proud To Beg?" Talk a little bit how you approached the song. Did you feel comfortable with it from the get-go? What were you trying to do with it?
M. Sarver I really felt good about "Ain't Too Proud To Beg." I saw that song coming weeks ago when I knew Motown Week was going to happen. I had that song in my head from the very beginning. I'm very proud of the decision to sing that song. My hope was to accomplish energy on that stage, entertainment, but actually to also show a very soulful side of me. I really believe I actually accomplished that. I was disappointed in the fact that certain elements of my health got in the way of me really giving the song what I believe it deserved, and that's unfortunate. But no doubt, I'm proud of the decision and I look back at the performance and maybe my voice wasn't 100%, but my heart was.
G. Graff Talk to a little bit about what was it like working with Smokey? Take us into that room.
M. Sarver That was one of the classiest experiences of my life. For a man of his caliber to walk in a room and instead of shaking your hand, wrapping his arms around you was just some kind of compliment. It means that you can walk into this music business for a lot of years and still keep your integrity about you. He's done exactly that. He was a class act. He encouraged us in ways that we'll never forget. I'll never forget that experience.
G. Graff Thanks a lot and good luck.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Zach Oat with TV Without Pity. Please go ahead.
Z. Oat Michael, congratulations. I wanted to ask just going back to Simon's comments, not to harp on them, how strongly do you think the judges' comment affects the votes that you get, the people who call in? Do you think that if he hadn't essentially ruled you out of the running, that maybe more people might have taken a chance on you, used their vote?
M. Sarver Absolutely. I believe that what the judges say have a huge impact on America. America listens to what they have to say. Number one, they're in those four seats for a reason and that's because they know what they're talking about. America knows that. I'm not saying that they always get it right, and I have to be honest with you I don't really think they got it right necessarily altogether. There were a few good points, but I don't think they got it altogether right on me the other night. But the bottom line is that they are smart. They know their stuff. They're very talented in their own right and America listens and pays attention. And that's why American Idol is as successful as it has been.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna with E Online. Please go ahead.
C. Borzillo-Vrenna So I'm curious to know what are you going to do between now and when the tour starts? You have a couple months there, do you go back to the oil rig? Do you take time off and just spend it with your family? What are you going to be doing exactly?
M. Sarver Well number one, I will not be going back to the oil rig. I don't think it would be a great idea to get out there and take a chance on hurting myself and not being available for the tour. But I'm going home and I'm going to take some time off to spend with my family. I believe they deserve my undivided attention for a little while and that's exactly what they're going to get.
C. Borzillo-Vrenna You seemed pretty calm and you were smiling a lot last night. I just had to wonder if part of you was really ready to go home and maybe even relieved a little bit when you were sent home because you did want to go back to your family. Were you feeling that?
M. Sarver There was a smile because of the idea that I'm going home. I'm not relieved because there's nothing to relieve me from. I was there on my own accord and I enjoyed the heck out of it. But knowing I was going home, once I found out I was going home, then the best part of it is that I have an incredible family to go home to. I couldn't be more excited than to find myself on that plane heading in that direction.
C. Borzillo-Vrenna Good luck with everything and thank you.
Moderator Next we'll go to the line of Lauren Schumacher of TV.com.
L. Schumacher You were such a wonderful contestant, just a breath of fresh air this season and I was wondering, you had a pretty long run on the show, what do you think your favorite American Idol moment is going to be looking back?
M. Sarver My favorite moment really truthfully is now, it's a brand new moment, which was last night when I got to sing on the same exact stage on the same exact night as Stevie Wonder, Josh Stone and Smokey Robinson. What an incredible memory for me because those guys are no joke in the music business and I have so much respect for all of them. And to stand on that stage and sing the same night they did was actually a positive note. If I went home, then that meant bummer, I have to sing on the same stage as those guys, so a huge memory for me.
L. Schumacher Yes, that must have been incredible, kind of a win/win either way, I guess. So what happens after the tour? I know you were talking about pursuing your music career. Is that what you're going to go into full force and not go back to your oil rig?
M. Sarver Yes, ma'am, that's precisely what I plan to do. I plan to record. I plan to get my music out there and show my true heart and artistry to America. I really believe that because I made it this far in the competition, it shows me that there are quite a few people that really respect and appreciate what I have and I'm going to give them even more.
L. Schumacher Absolutely, good luck to you. I'm sure you'll be great.
Moderator We have a follow-up from the line of Mike Hughes of TV America.
M. Hughes I have to go back to that basketball game. I think that's interesting. Anoop goes to North Carolina and he's obsessed with basketball. Was he any good at it?
M. Sarver Yes, Anoop can play some ball. But I'll tell you, he's a very intense basketball player and that makes total sense considering the University of North Carolina where they love some basketball. When Anoop missed, he did not like it. He would beat himself up until he got it, a very intense player, very passionate about a sport that he loves very much. It was a very enjoyable experience.
M. Hughes I was surprised to hear you say you weren't good because you look so much like an athlete. Did you play football in high school then?
M. Sarver You know, I dabbled in sports, but here's the thing, basketball is one of those things where if you never get your shot down, you just don't. I'm kind of a husky guy. I'm a big built fellow and getting limber enough to just throw it in there has been a challenge for me to figure out my shot, but if was fun nonetheless.
Moderator We have time for one more question and that will be a follow-up from the line of Gary Graff at United Station.
G. Graff I wanted to find out, obviously it was down to you and Matt last night. Can you talk a little bit him and what it's been like being part of this with him, what kind of guy he is and what kind of musician he is?
M. Sarver Matt Giraud is unbelievable. He was my roommate for a little while and I have incredible respect for him and the fact that what he does on a piano every night pretty much amazes everyone, including myself. Standing there actually with him made me almost more confident that I was going home because really, really he shined the night before and there was just no way in my mind that after something like that, you could send a fellow home. He was incredible and it was an incredible opportunity to work with him.
G. Graff As you look forward to what you're going to be doing musically, do you write at all and if so, what kind of things?
M. Sarver Actually, there is something that America does not know so much about me, but they will find out. I'm a serious writer and I've written over 890 songs since the age of 14. There's a lot of stories, a lot of like, hard lived life, good lived life and my happiness that I experienced in life now all through my music and I'm going to share it.
G. Graff We'll look forward to that then. Good luck and we'll see you on the tour.
Moderator Do you have any closing remarks today?