One evening when I had about decided it might be my last night to watch American Idol, into the audition room entered a quiet man. Hicks’ first audition. He appeared older than his reported age due to his silvered hair, his reserved mannerisms, his politeness. He was asked by Simon Cowell what he was doing there and why he was there to try out for Idol. His quiet, reply “I want my voice heard, because I think I have one.”
That audition performance was like none other I had ever seen on Idol. One moment the silver-haired, composed, soft spoken man was just standing there, the next he exploded into Sam Cookes’ “Change is Gonna Come”. Judge Paula was appreciative and asked for 20 more seconds. Hicks smiled and burst into “Swannee River”, knee slapping, clapping, swaying, and fearlessly belting the song out.
It was a portent into what “changes were gonna come” … Fearless is Hicks. He attacks the stage like a tiger let loose, spilling it all out, giving everything he has. He is amazingly, completely infectious – magnetic, a quality that all of the truly great entertainers have possessed. His “Taking it to the Streets” performance was brilliant; his introduction clip prior to the performance, provided background insight while simultaneously demonstrating his sense of humor, faceted genius. Talk about “pulling a rabbit out of your hat”! Taylor Hicks has been previously described in articles as “the dark horse” of American Idol. This dark horse is proving he knows how to run a good race.
19E and American Idol owe Taylor Hicks. He is bestowing American Idol and 19E yet another controversial and interesting season. The responses in the press, over the web, and for the show overwhelmingly have been generated this year over the silver-haired Soulman. Having a performer like Hicks just further guarantees this show’s longevity. The A.I. viewers are seeing that contestants may not all come from the throngs of pop-tart-dom or rocker-wanna-be’s. We might actually find through AI5 what we have secretly been seeking; the likes of Buddy Holly, another Elvis, another Ray Charles; A real American Idol. Big shoes to fill, but I understand Taylor sports a size 14. He can handle the pressure.
The public loves their Idols. We are intrigued and enamored by our celebrities; we love our heroes, be they sports figures, actors, or musicians. American Idol was developed with the premise of finding and delivering heroes for the public to idolize, ergo the name! “The Powers that Be” that created this program recognize what the public really wants and have worked to provide the promise of a true American idol. By glorious accident this year, they have discovered they have a bonafide newsmaker and a real star on their show, and his name is Taylor Hicks.
The Modern era Mack-Daddy of Soul.
I knew the moment I heard him sing in that initial audition, he was it. He had IT. I watched him, transfixed – I saw the looks of attention and astonishment on Paula and Randy’s faces, they too saw the Possibility of IT.
Give the Silver-haired Soulman a listen; one of his songs, “(It’s a) Soul Thing”.
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