Taylor Hicks is the New "American Idol"
Thu, 25 May 2006 08:21:33
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Alabama native Taylor Hicks, 29, has become the new American Idol, besting fetching L.A. girl Katharine McPhee and becoming possibly the biggest longshot yet to win the hugely popular show. Yes, another big election has come and gone, and once again the South has sent the West Coast limping away with its tail between its legs.
During his original audition, Hicks wasn’t even going to be given a ticket to Hollywood by Simon Cowell, but Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson outvoted him, and Hicks never looked back, winning over fans -- nicknamed the "Soul Patrol" and subsequently referred to ad nauseum -- with his enthusiastic performances and spastic stage persona. He eventually won over Cowell, too, who had initially likened Hicks to a drunken dad at a wedding.
The envelope-opening to crown Hicks was stretched into a two-hour telecast by the masterminds at Fox, who stuffed the show with comedy segments, medleys involving the 12 finalists, multiple appearances by Hicks and McPhee, and guest performers ranging from Prince to Meat Loaf -- although that pair sadly didn’t perform together.
Following his victory, Hicks discussed his forthcoming album, saying that "it’s going to have a lot of feeling." That Hicks’s lead single, "Do I Make You Proud?" sounds about as exciting as a Michael McDonald or Joe Cocker B-side didn’t deter fans from voting -- or, in some cases, even dying their hair grey. In all, more than 63 million votes were cast, as compared to the 122 million votes that were cast in the last presidential election. Granted, a single teenage girl couldn’t text message 250 votes for George Bush (unless she lived in Ohio), but the numbers make it clear that Idol is an event that has America by the throat.
Hicks joins Carrie Underwood, Fantasia Barrino, Ruben Studdard and Kelly Clarkson as "Idols." The previous winners have gone on to varying levels of success: Barrino is prepping a Lifetime movie about herself, Studdard is working on an album that will include an appearance from Ne-Yo, and Underwood has recently been cleaning up at country music award shows. Original Idol Clarkson is still the queen bee, having gone multi-platinum and even won over a sizable chunk of the hipster population.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff