Looking Back to the Future: Taylor Hicks

Last night, I was sitting up listening to music after the family had wandered off to bed. I got on the computer to hit Youtube for a while as well. Something that one of the posters over at “It’s all Grey” wrote about Taylor Hicks’ came back to me. This poster had said they did not consider Mr. Hicks proficient at performing ballad type tunes.

There’s also been talk, ad nauseam, over his career choices, his win on that show, his inability to make all of it work in the real world. If you, dear reader, have about a half hour to spend, return to 2006 and Mr. Hicks’ fearless and brazen run on American Idol. It might change your mind whether Taylor Hicks can truly go The Distance.

This particular song, out of Taylor Hicks’ American Idol season five performances remains one of my favorites. It was Elvis week and I’d been blogging for Mr. Hicks to do “In the Ghetto”. Being completely involved at that time in the American Idol boards there was a group of us going back and forth about song choices for that week. “In the Ghetto” remained my top pick and I was completely thrilled when he selected it. Yes, it’s all about the small things.

This tune got him actual praise from Simon Cowell which was a rarity for Hicks while he was on the show. Taylor left the schtick he’d been working pretty regularly on the show behind and just sang the tune. To me, it was one of his finest moments on the show.

Mr. Hicks takes the song and modernizes it, he gave it a jazzy, blues nuance, changed the tempo in a way that worked so well.

One other topic covered multiple times, Taylor Hicks and his continued “Soul Patrol” shout outs he became so known for on Idol. Many of his fans think after three and a half years he shouldn’t keep doing that shout out in every interview, at every performance. From what I’ve seen of the guy lately, he has toned it down. I think one reason he is reluctant to ever give it up entirely is out of respect for the following he had from that show; to remember how he’s gotten to where he is now.
“Dancing in the Dark” Taylor Hicks does Bruce Springsteen

This performance came after that Taylor Hicks’ Saturday Night Live parody aired.
“You Send Me” Taylor Hicks does Sam Cook via Rod Stewart

The way Mr. Hicks’ ends this tune, that look in his eye, sums up why he won this competition, and why he’s not one to give up on his dreams. This man possesses a completely identifiable and unique voice. Paula’s commentary may have stayed with him, she says “you are finally in that zone to go the distance.” Taylor Hicks’ new album coming out in about a month is titled just that, “The Distance”.

Who could ever forget that purple jacket?
“Living for the City” Taylor Hicks does Stevie Wonder

The house was popping. Not his best performance, vocally with the nah nah nahs but I loved the velvet jacket. The audience absolutely loved him. I was so nuts I had four phones going for the guy. Insane, right? ha.

Talk about selling a song, Taylor Hicks took it to the Streets.

Something about that performance was sufficient to get me out buying Go Phones. Maybe it was that dancing. Or the Bunny suit. Something.

Another performance that shows how to win this show:
Taylor Hicks rocks the Jailhouse:

I really enjoyed looking back, remembering the guy that completely captured my imagination and admiration while he kicked some serious television ass in 2006. I’m looking forward to the future and what it might hold for him. Thanks to a fan we have one of the new tunes off of Mr. Hicks’ upcoming album, The Distance.
“What’s Right is Right” Taylor Hicks’ montage.

Thanks to everyone who put up the Taylor Hicks Youtubes.


6 Responses to Looking Back to the Future: Taylor Hicks

  1. Tayfancier says:

    I go back and listen frequently to Taylor’s AI performances. He pretty much nailed it every week. Even going back and looking at Easy and Country Roads (which weren’t my favs) there was still that voice and a certain charm and desire that just set him apart from every other contestant. So when I read comments that say he didn’t deserve to win they really piss me off.

  2. Sunny says:

    It is ridiculous for anyone to even start with he shouldn’t have won. Taylor made that season. The damn show has never been the same since he was on it.

  3. DJinKC says:

    Thank You!! Ahhhhhhhhh! What a Man!! What a VOICE!!! So glad that we are able to relive those moments!!!

  4. tif says:

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane! Makes me fall in love with him all over again. 🙂


  6. rosie says:

    Hey Sunny, I watched them all and each time I notice something new. He is the only great performer to come out of AI. Thanks for posting some of my favorites.

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