Friday, May 12, 2006
Taylor Hicks Arrives
Early Friday morning, the American Idol contestant from Season Five stepped on Alabama soil once again. It is his home. And while this may be a bit of de ja vu for some watchers of the over-popular reality TV show, Taylor Hicks, 29, is the third Alabama contestant to ever reach the Top 3 in all of its seasons. And what an incredible journey it has been for one of America's "underdog states".
But Taylor is in no way an underdog in this year's competition. He has never been in the bottom 2 or 3, and he has picked up a heavy and very supportive army of fans and supporters that dig his soulful style, his energetic performances and his lovable personality on-stage. While he is mostly known for his grey hair and his silly dance moves, it is his amazing vocals that has sent America to the phones to vote for him each and every week; hoping he would claim the American Idol title. People are even calling him the next Elvis...funny they would say that after he rocked the stage with his jumpy rendition of "Jailhouse Rock". But one thing is for certain: Taylor Hicks bears enough soul to make Elvis shake a good foot.
Last week, Chris Daughtry - one whom thought would seal the deal and go home easily as the winner of the AI season - went home. It shocked everyone...even Taylor Hicks' fans. This leaves the Soul Patrol in a very comfortable position - since the threat of him leaving the show sooner floats off in a distance. Now he is parading through the city of Birmingham, down through Linn Park with FOX 6-News anchormen hosting the festivities. High school bands are playing, cheerleaders are jumping and fans from both sides of the color spectrum are shouting with joy for the next torchbearer for the city of Birmingham. He also made a few other visits: one to the Riverchase Galleria and the other being Montgomery, Alabama. But will return for a final send-off at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
One thing that Hicks is fortunate in being a part of is the revival of real soul music. He may be a white boy, but he has soul. And he is not ashamed of that. The other contender in this year's AI competition is another soul fanatic. Probably the better vocalist in the competition, Elliot Yamin could also take the crown with his sultry vocals, his charming vibrato and that fiery blackness in his voice.
Regardless of what, the soul revival is on...we just hope this will revive the flames of real music in the hearts of urban and suburban America. Let real music play again on the radio...enough of the rapping and cuzzing for a minute...let's get back to real instrumentation, real vocals, just real music.