What does that latter label mean for our bespeckled champion? Country records.
"I didn't realize the 'Idol' experience would give me a musical direction, but it did," said Gokey in a press release. "There were country songs that I performed on the show, and it was the message and the feeling in those kinds of songs that helped me realize that country is where I belong."
A new album will be released next year, with a single due sometime this fall. He joins season eight winner and runner-up Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, plus fourth place finalist Allison Iraheta on 19 Recordings.
Country is where several other Idols have made their roost, including superstar Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler and Josh Gracin. It's a profitable market, considering the genre has loyal consumers that still seem to be interested in buying music.
Still the move comes as a bit of a surprise. Gokey was known for his ballads and histrionics, on more adult contemporary performances of soul and R&B songs.
Check out the studio version of his performance on Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel" below. Does he pull it off?