Excerpts from Danny Gokey’s press conference call on Thursday morning…

The scream at the end of “Dream On” Was it the beginning of the end?

DG: “Who knows? I was actually thinking about that this morning because the week before (the scream) I had a really good performance. I wanted to have a big song that week and I took a risk. So late in the competition, you don’t want to have a performance like that. See, everything up to that point was good and I rehearsed that scream so much that it hurt my vocal chords. It was funny, though, it was a very funny scream.”

Did he think his time was up when Kris was called as the first one in the finale?

DG: “I knew it was it for me. I was very confident in the fact that it was it for me. Actually, the whole day I kinda thought it was it for me. Did I want it to be it for me? No, I wanted to go for the gold and it didn’t work out that way. I’m a competitor, I like to compete and I gave it what I gave it. Looking back, would I have done things different? Absolutely. But I’m proud of my accomplishments, coming from losing my wife 10 months ago to coming this far in the competition. I had to deal with that whole end of the spectrum and I saw strength in me that I didn’t know I had.”

Talk about the pressure of being the frontrunner.

DG: “When you come and you have so much expectation for someone and it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it, you tend to get disappointed. So I’m sure people got disappointed, like man, (laughs) ‘Dude I thought you were better than that.’ I’m like ‘Yo man, hold up!’ (laughs) But for me, at times, I was in the room with my mentors, like, ‘Man what do I do? What do I do?'”

Do Idols need to rearrange songs if they are to be successful?

DG: “It’s more than singing. It’s really, people wanna see a creative element. They wanna see an old song made fresh again. I think Idol from this point on, ever since last year, you can’t go on singing the same arrangement of a song. You’ll get bashed. It’s funny because there are some songs that I wanted to do, that I changed up, and I never got to do them. It kind of stinks because at this point it’s more than singing.”

Do you think it will be a tight race?

DG: “Well, you know, Kris is obviously really artistic and Adam has a way of capturing the audience. People need to vote. Don’t automatically assume somebody is safe, don’t have your assumptions. If you want somebody to win, you have to vote. I have a feeling it’s going to be a very tight race.”

What’s next for you?

DG: “I really want to start a movement with my music. It sounds so big, so cocky, but to start a revolution and change people’s hearts. I want to merge my music with my foundation. When I get a vision for a concert, I see opening up concerts and following with the story of a young kid whose father was killed in a gang and mother was a drug addict and how he’s had to overcome this and that and how Sophia’s Heart Foundation has effected him. I want to entertain people, but I want people to come out of their zone for awhile and look at other people’s problems. They’ll walk away feeling good and they’re going to want to make a change. My whole testimony is overcoming the impossible in my life and now I want to take that message that if I can do it, you can do it.”

How has Idol changed your life.

DG: “I was a nobody and the show turned me into a somebody and I’ll always be thankful for the roots that I came out of ’cause I do believe that this is not the end of the road. I’m just very grateful, I’m so thankful my life has turned around and I can’t say it enough.”

What will your album sound like?

DG: “I wanna mix a very soulful album with nice beats, like, nice R&B beats that get people’s heads moving and mix it with a hint of a Latin vibe and the reason is, I was with my wife for 12 years. She was Puerto Rican and I’m so into salsa and merengue and all the Spanish music, I want to mix it all into one arena, that’s what I wanna do.”

Do you want to have a glasses line?

DG: “Y’know, I hope I made glasses cool for kids, man and that was kinda the word that I got out on the street. That kids were kinda excited to wear glasses again. Sometimes glasses can have a reputation for being nerdy but I wanna do my own glasses line, hopefully somehow tie it into the foundation and maybe some of the proceeds from the glasses can help whatever, whatever we decide to do with the foundation.”

What was Simon doing to Paula that the cameras wouldn’t show?

DG: “He was like, suffocating her which was the funniest thing. She was on the ground and he had his hand over her mouth and I talked to her after the show. She’s like, ‘Man, I couldn’t breath, I really couldn’t breath!’ To me, it was just the funniest thing ’cause I’ve just never seen that – they were kinda like wrestling, almost, in the chair.”