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An American Idol From Jasper

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We've had our Aggie American Idol. Now we have one from Jasper.

Michael Sarver, according to those who watch American Idol, has gotten himself into the finals, or the semi-finals, or whatever it is that's a step beyond the comic-relief idiot tryouts.

As the Beaumont Enterprise reports, Sarver is ready to proudly represent Jasper. For, we guess, anything other than what the name "Jasper" calls to mind for most people.

He's a God guy, by the way: "Being a worship leader has been a huge part of my life over the last couple of years. I take it very seriously, and I love God, and he is a big part of my life and it has everything to do with my step forward (in the competition)," he said in a national conference call. "It has everything to do with my tomorrow, and believing that there's even better things to come."

Just a crazy kid with a dream from Jasper, home of the horrific death of James Byrd.

What songs should Sarver not sing?

" Dragging the Line"? Right out.

"Murder," a rap song by Byrd's son Ross? May not go over so well, even though Sarver professes to love R&B.

And if he's in the mood for classics, we suggest he stay away from Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit." While technically speaking no one gets dragged to death in the song, it might get uncomfortable.

Instead, we're sure at some point Sarver will go for the sympathy vote by talking about how Byrd's death affected him deeply, and then the cameras will cut to him singing a bloated version of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." Hopefully he'll look as embarrassed as Jon Bon Jovi did at the Inauguration Celebration.

But we doubt it.

-- Richard Connelly

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