By Drew Olson Special to Published Feb 24, 2009 at 2:37 PM

We have a pretty strong network of spies here at, and we rely on them for scoops, tips and gossip.

One of our better undercover agents attended a charity function last weekend at the InterContinental Hotel, 139 E. Kilbourn Ave., and guess who he bumped into ...

"American Idol" contestant Danny Gokey.

"He got out of a SUV with a security guy and someone I think was a publicist for the show," our spy said. "A few people saw him and just about everyone recognized him right away."

We're not sure what brought Gokey to town. Maybe he likes to eat the "Big Boy Burger" at Kil@wat.

Gokey, who made it to the field of 12 finalists on the Fox show, took part in a conference call with reporters last week. Here are some of his answers:

Question: Can you take us through your thought process when you picked your audition song, "I Heard it Through the Grapevine?"

Danny Gokey: Yes. The thought process behind that was it showed my range. It was a fun song and the number one thing is it showed my ability. And so, that was actually the whole point of singing that song.

Question: I wanted to know how you feel also about the reaction that Jamar has gotten. I don't know if you see too much online or anything, but he's the one who didn't make the top 36, who people seemed most attached to and most disappointed by his absence in the top 36.

Danny Gokey: As you can see from the show that aired it, I was mad. I had a pretty upset look on my face because I expected him to go through. I don't know -- If you pay attention carefully to the tapes, I even said, "I'll see you in the top 36" after I made it through and we were talking. I mean I was just so confident that he showed his ability and what it takes to get there. And so, disappointment was completely in my mind and heart, but the thing is he received such recognition. I know it's not the end of the world for him. He has a bright future ahead of him and it doesn't stop here. It only gets better from here.

Question: I really hope you don't take this as insensitive, but it definitely isn't, but how are you going to try to sort of balance how much the background story of your wife plays into your future process on the show so that people don't think that it's a whole sympathy kind of thing?

Danny Gokey: People coming in from an outside view probably won't think it's too much, but it's only been seven months since she's passed. This is who I am. It's not that I throw it in people's faces, but I get asked about it all the time, especially like right now. I'm talking about it at this point. In a previous interview that I did today, everybody wants to hear what I have to say. It weighs on my mind a lot though because honestly, this is a sob story I don't want. I don't want this story, but it is shaping my life and it's causing hope for a lot of people knowing that it's causing hope for my life. I didn't want to live any more after she passed.

So now, I have my mission set in stone of what I want to portray myself as and just who I am. I don't have to portray myself as anybody, but as far as being me, but there's a fun side to me that's going to come out. And so, people have to stay tuned in. I apologize to everybody if they feel like it's shoved down their face, but it's so fresh in my mind.

Question: Was church the first place you sang, or what first got you going?

Danny Gokey: Well, I come from a musical family. I have four sisters and a brother. And so, including my parents, there's eight of us. We would all sing together as kids and we started going to this one church and we'd go up, all eight of us, as a family. My dad would play guitar and we would sing songs in front of the church. So, that's really where I got started. I didn't really take it too serious though. It got really serious when I started going to the church I attend now and I was 20-years-old. So, 20-years-old was pivotal in my music career.

Question: Were those different glasses you had on (last week), or have you had those all along?

Danny Gokey: Yes, those were a different pair that I wore on the TV show. I've taken pictures with them, but I never wore them on TV yet. I have a couple more pairs that I want to wear, but they've not been approved because our logo is on them. So, I'm kind of disappointed. I'm hoping that somehow, it can be worked out where I can wear more glasses because I love glasses.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.