There have been criticism about him, mostly saying that he was trying to pull sympathy votes with the passing of his wife during heart surgery just 4 weeks before the AI auditions. But honestly, who cares? It's a singing competition and what matters is whether one can really sing. I believe it's more of the production team who's milking the audience by highlighting it in the show.
Danny's perfect pitching with every song does him justice in my opinion. Everytime I thought he would go off-pitch or rather I feel that he can't reach that note, he does it effortlessly. Not to mention the soulful raspy husky voice that touches me each time he sings. No tricks up his sleeve, just pure straight singing from the heart - that's quite rare nowadays in the music world (I think). But of course, when paired up with his clumsy dancesteps, it's a pain to watch, but never a pain to listen. =)
As for the other popular contestant Adam Lambert (who's obviously more popular than Danny since he's "still in the running for american's next top idol") - he has the most powerful lungs for screams and impossible high notes that aren't reachable in normal human sense.
I was pleasantly surprised by his high vocal range in the beginning, and following which, I'm caught up by his raw emotions for his ballads. But weeks after weeks, there's nothing surprising to look forward to (in my opinion) other than his impossible high notes (yet again) during some parts in the song. However, I've got to be honest, that there are a few songs which he really did justice to: Mad World, One, If I Can't Have You, where he displayed his raw emotions.
The next remaining contestant (still in the game) is dark horse Kris Allen.
In my opinion, he's simply just a pretty boy who's an average singer - he vaguely reminds me of Jason Mraz (of course not within that standard yet). He's singing with his guitar most of the time, and his technique is always the same, with the little "cry-accent" between lines. Boring for me, with nothing to look forward to his every performance - "unforgettable", quoting Simon Cowell. But one credit though: his rendition of Kanye West's Heartless is splendid - his only performance which I liked.
But a competition is still a competition, esp a reality singing competition.
The viewers have the voting power - so maybe if you are cute and can sing, you'll win.
Just like America's top 2 choices - Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, both cute-looking dudes.
I was rooting for Danny, but I guess I have no choice now but to root for Adam now. Having said that, if he comes up with a rock album eventually, I don't think I'll buy it. May the best man win.
To sign off, here's my favourite song from Danny, ironically from his exit from Top 3 - His soulful yet powerful rendition of "You are so beautiful", which touched the innermost of my heartstrings.