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Janesville connection to Idol contender

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Catherine W. Idzerda and Associated Press
March 20, 2009

The owners of a Janesville hair salon have good reason to tune into the American Idol television show: they style the hair of one of the remaining contestants, Danny Gokey.


On Wednesday night, Gokey, 28, Milwaukee, advanced to the top 10 on the popular program.


Simon Cowell didn’t like what Gokey was wearing, but loved his voice.


Paula Abdul thought he was “brilliant.”


And Kara Dioguardi said he had “hit his stride.”


Gokey is the praise and worship leader for Faith Builders International in Beloit and its sister congregation in Milwaukee.


His hairstyle—that swooping, spiky cut that sets off his face—comes from Vivid Hair & Skin Co., 2900 Deerfield Drive, Janesville.


Terry and Rachel Morehouse of Roscoe, Ill., own the salon, and it’s Rachel who styles his hair before tryouts.


“We’ve known him for years,” Terry said.


Terry is the business administrator and music director at Faith Builders International in Beloit.


“He is the most talented person I know,” Terry said. “And he’s absolutely like you see him on television—he’s a very fun loving and social person.”


Initially, Gokey didn’t want to go to the tryouts in Kansas City. His wife, Sophia, had recently died during surgery for a heart defect.


“He was just too grieved,” Terry said. “But our pastor encouraged him to get out and just do it.”


A modified Wednesday service at Faith Builders International includes tuning into “Idol” after prayer.


Gokey’s pastor, the Rev. Jeff Pruitt, said Gokey’s faith—as much as his talent—has propelled him to succeed in the competition after his wife died four weeks before auditions.


Pruitt also said how far the husky voiced singer goes in the competition isn’t really up to the viewers.


“Honestly, we believe it’s in God’s hands, and that God is in control of all of our lives,” Pruitt says. “Danny is in a place in his life that he is trusting the Lord with everything that’s placed in front of him because he never dreamed any of these things—good or bad—would happen.”



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