Quoting Taylor Hicks, "The Soul Patrol rides on!"
Individualism was rewarded on American Idol this season. The 'regular Joe' morphed into an American hero. The whole small town guy makes good by beating the system fantasy that many of us love and hold to our hearts came true. Taylor's appeal is spanning from the true music aficionados, to the against-the-mainstream misfits, to the retro music fans, to the baby boomers desiring a return to a time where real American idols were born, not churned out pre-fabricated, dressed and dyed and plasticized.
Talent was rewarded this season on American Idol. This reality talent show surpassed being about just pop pipes, to a show premiering true talent with real stage presence and high-decibel charisma and charm.
Drive was rewarded this season on American Idol. From the beginning I have said Mr. Hicks is not a stupid man. It was evident to me from Taylor's initial audition that he was a man with the desire, the drive and the intelligence to make this happen. He had that fire in his eyes. He projected a definite sense of self, independence and originality.
Taylor Hicks has played this Idol game with the savvy and know-how he ripped from the streets, derived from honest to good, blue-collar on-the-job training. Performing at regional honky-tonks and clubs helped to hone his sensibilities on music delivery and reading his audience. There are many aspiring artists wanting to enter the music business who should take to school the precedence Mr. Hicks' has set on this talent show.
Taylor began shaping an image from the beginning of this season. Mr. Hicks came in with a dream, with a vision, with a plan. The acoustic performance of Sam Cooke's classic, "A Change is Gonna Come". His enthusiasm, his trademark, "WOOOOO!". The much discussed 'harp walk', Hicks' enters the judges' quarters, harmonica playing, working that stiff-legged bluesman walk where he discovers he is indeed moving on to Hollywood. His attire. The blazers representative of several things, communicating he was taking the show seriously, the fact he was more mature than his counterparts, but most importantly the blazers helped create that old soul vibe. Researching some of Hicks' heroes whom he patterns his music after; Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, James Brown, Solomon Burke you see these men as careful with their appearance as they were with staying true to their music.