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Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

July 6th, 2011, 8:44 pm #11

[color=#9300C4][size=150]TOP 4 PERFORMANCE [/size][/color]




[url=https://player.vimeo.com/video/26065463]https://player.vimeo.com/video/26065463[/url]


[size=150][color=#9300C4]From IN THE GHETTO: To JAILHOUSE ROCK: Taylor brought down the house and OBG brought us this wonderful video to make screen caps. [/color][/size]



[img]http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l9/mouser_03/idolrewind4jhr.jpg[/img]

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[color=#9300C4]That's what friends are for: [/color]

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[color=#9300C4][size=150]Waiting for TOP 4 WEEK TO AIR: ELVIS IS IN THE HOUSE [/size][/color]

OBG watched the show and sent these pics .



[img]http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l9/mouser_03/idolrewindrhonda.jpg[/img]

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[url=http://www.american-idol.wealthyboys.com/american-idols-last-four-finalists/]http://www.american-idol.wealthyboys.com/american-idols-last-four-finalists/[/url]

[color=#9300C4]American Idol’s Last Four Finalists[/color]

American Idol is getting stronger and this season has got to its most serious part. There are only four contestants left trying to achieve a goal that will change their lives. Fame and money will come along with the chance of developing what they like to do most: singing. The fifth season of American Idol began on January 17th, 2006.

Auditions for this season took place in Boston, Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Greensboro, North Carolina and Las Vegas. Memphis auditions were cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina. 12 men and 12 women were selected as semi-finalists. American Idol’s fifth season has been noted for the diversity among its participants.

At the beginning, the favorite picks to become the new American Idol were: Paris Bennett, Kellie Pickler, Taylor Hicks, Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee and Mandisa Hundley. But at the end there are four contestants: Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin.

Chris Daughtry is an intense and charismatic rocker.

[color=#9300C4]Taylor Hicks, the gray-haired who knows how to entertain the audience has a very strong talent. [/color]

Katharine McPhee, the only girl left in the American Idol’s contest. Besides her ability to sing and stage presence she has her look on her side.

Elliott Yamin has a soft voice and a good personality. Plus, one of the judges: Paula Abdul said he was most consistent than any of the finalists.

Some analysts believe Katherine McPhee will be the first one to leave the foursome and then Elliot Yamin even though he has a refreshing personality and a smooth voice he has been victim of a bad selection of songs. And there would be just Chris Daughtry and Taylor Hicks running towards becoming the next American Idol. Tonight’s decision will depend on Elvis Presley’s songs, since they have a different style every week. The American Idol contestants have performed songs with themes like: 1950’s, the Billboard charts, country, Queen, The Great American Songbook, Stevie Wonder, Classic Love Songs and the 21st century.


[color=#9300C4]Elvis Medley [/color]lphillips33

[url=https://www.youtube.com/embed/gc2kJt7jzLc&hl=en_US&fs=1&">https://www.youtube.com/embed/gc2kJt7jzLc&hl=en_US&fs=1&">[/url]

[img]http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l9/mouser_03/idolrewindtop4.jpg[/img]

[color=#9300C4]Elliott Yamin and the Three Pips [/color]
[img]http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l9/mouser_03/idolrewindtop41.jpg[/img]


[url=https://www.youtube.com/embed/gc2kJt7jzLc]https://www.youtube.com/embed/gc2kJt7jzLc[/url]

[size=150][color=#9300C4]MasterClass Lady [/color][/size]

BY: ROSANNE SIMUNOVIC

This week, our illustrious Top 4 American Idol finalists celebrated the music of the King himself, Elvis Presley. Has there ever been a more celebrated and revered icon in the history of pop music? Almost 30 years have gone by since Elvis’ death and the tributes keep on coming in – from the thousands upon thousands who visit Graceland each year, to the Elvis impersonators who continue to evolve through each generation of singers and, now, to the ongoing musical collaboration with American Idol.

The singers were impressively coached in Graceland in the illustrious company of record producer Tommy Mottola and, for the sixth time this season, the singers were able to extract musical expertise through the inclusion of yet another legendary musical legend. The big question that concerned me was this: which of these singers would be successful in interpreting Elvis’ music with a distinctively musical style? This was the challenge set forth by our Top 4 this week, as they prepared to honor one of the greatest musical innovators of the 20th century.

Also, many fans have asked for some clarification on the vocal terminology. I always aim to please, so click here and, hopefully, the technical veil will be lifted.


[color=#9300C4]Taylor Hicks: “Jailhouse Rock” and “In The Ghetto”[/color]
Strengths: Taylor –this was your night without a doubt. Taylor performing Elvis? It doesn’t get much better than this. (Well, maybe Taylor performing Ray. I’m still waiting and waiting and waiting….). However, what I loved about your performances, Taylor, was your distinct interpretation of these stylistically diverse numbers. You have the artistic soul and the entertainment values that are identifiable with the legend of Elvis Presley and yet you have a specialized feel for Elvis’ music that is truly singular.

This is the reason why both of your numbers were so successful this week. Elvis was committed to entertaining the masses and this statement applies to your musical mission as well, Taylor. The stage just ignited when you opened the show with Jailhouse Rock. You were musical fire and brimstone and the flame never perished when you sensitively communicated the emotional core of In The Ghetto in the second half of the program.

I am glad that Tommy Mottola had the wisdom to move the key of the song, Jailhouse Rock up a semi-tone. In doing so, your vocals had more presence and the higher key energized the overall vocal and instrumental production of the song. A half tone key change can make such a difference in a singer’s performance. Additionally, the song was sitting more favorably in your natural whiskey tenor singing range and, therefore, you were able to vocally support the melodic line with ease.

There were so many wonderful moments in Jailhouse Rock. I loved the inclusion of the gyrating guitarist, another subtle Elvis touch to this very visual performance. You wove yourself through the audience in a believable and communicative fashion, physically including them in your musical ride, and, then, seamlessly transferred yourself to the main stage mid way through this song.

I was very impressed with the degree of vocal comfort you were maintaining throughout this very busy performance. This was such a rhythmically fluid number; it seemed almost effortless, but I expect a great deal of planning and thought went into this fantastic performance. You paced yourself extremely well, Taylor, and, as a result, you never lost control of this song. You reminded us why it is so important during these high -energy numbers to slow the performing process down in your mind; by doing so, you were ensuring that the technical and choreographical elements were perfectly balanced. Additionally, Taylor, your verbose text was expertly communicated; all the words were distinct and your phrasing was impeccable.

You included some innovative moves during this number – lots of twirling happening here. That was a lovely pirouette on stage, Taylor, (smile) and I guess you became friends with the mike stand, because you gave it a friendly twirl as well. Loved it!

Vocally, your voice was stellar and your voice exhibited a sustained, resonant presence throughout this number. The rhythmic energy and drive of this song encouraged you to access your support in a consistent and buoyant manner, therefore encouraging you to reveal a variety of vocal nuance and inflection throughout this song presentation.

Your second number, In The Ghetto gave you opportunity to highlight your dynamic range to even greater effect. I was taken aback by the beautiful, resplendent head tone midway through this song. The pitch was beautifully centered and the inclusion of this falsetto musically stamped this song in great “taylorized” fashion. This is what we have come to expect from you Taylor – the unexpected.

Your poignant and restrained performance of this song contrasted so beautifully with your first number and emphasized the depth and intensity of your artistry. You truly have the soul of an artist. Oftentimes, it is not only about the voice, but also about feeling the heart and soul of the music, digging beneath the layers of a song to expose areas of the composition that are less obvious to the average listener. This is what you do each week, Taylor, and this is why you have been so successful in this competition.

Bravo, kudos and high fives on an excellent showcase this week.

Critique: Taylor –vocally, for me, I thought you sounded technically secure during your first number, Jailhouse Rock. Your voice enjoyed a strong presence throughout this performance and the vocal issues were not apparent – until In The Ghetto. (And all the Soul Patrollers open their mouths in shock!). There’s nothing like a slow, sustained ballad to expose any inherent vocal difficulties that a singer is experiencing.

However, I have to call the shots as I hear them and I thought, for whatever reason – and I have many theories, – your voice sounded less resonant and more constricted than lastweek’s performance of Something. I sensed fatigue and almost a tentative approach at the start of the song. Perhaps you were a bit nervous interpreting one of your favorite songs. I know I would be. As soon as one says it is a personal favorite, high expectations fall on the shoulders of the singer and the ears of the listener.

Vocally, Taylor, you must remember to vocalize with the correct support, allowing your throat and facial features to remain open and free. This will encourage the diaphragmatic muscles to efficiently and consistently support and place your voice in your vocal masque. Also, that beautiful falsetto (head tone) that we heard midway through this song must be a permeating element throughout your vocal range. It will add depth and an inherent ringing quality to your entire vocal range.

Additionally, I think many of these problems could have been avoided by adjusting the key of this song. I would be interested to hear you sing this song in your baritone range, Taylor. When you perform this song again, try experimenting with a couple of lower keys. I think the lower key will add a richer, more intense vocal sound that will compliment the emotional intensity of the song. However, make certain that you are incorporating the head tone element into the lower part of your range; otherwise the lower range will sound muddied and lack focus.

I also felt that this song lacked a sense of flow and forward momentum and I attribute this problem to the fragmented arrangement and not to you, Taylor. To my ear, it sounded like the earlier Elvis arrangement –background vocals and all. I didn’t like his arrangement and the same feeling applies to this week’s arrangement. It just clomped along endlessly and the repetitive nature of the harmonic structure added a monotonous feel to the whole arrangement. Can you imagine how remarkable this song would have been if the arrangement had a gospel chorus in the background instead of the background singers repetitively echoing “In the ghettooooo”?

Thank heavens that you, Taylor, are such a strong and committed performer, as you catapulted this song to very high level through your inherent artistry and passion. This arrangement, in the hands of another singer, would spell disaster and this performance was far from that. I just feel that the arrangement did not respect the performer. Case closed!

And so, we wait and see what surprises will be revealed by The Man in the Top 3. I, for one, cannot wait. See you next week, Taylor!


[color=#9300C4][size=150]Idol Chatter ( USA Today [/size]) [/color]
Taylor 'Rocks' the mike
Taylor kicked it off with a performance that ran perilously close to Elvis impersonation, but Jailhouse Rock calls for that sort of overblown presentation. And, contrary to Simon, who's seemingly not among Taylor's biggest fans, I thought it was one of Taylor's stronger vocals. Slight problem enunciating "rhythm section," but overall, a strong
Taylor impresses, will 'Ghetto' boost
Good choice from Taylor, the more soulish side of Elvis, In the Ghetto. Didn't love the short recitation and there was a bit of oversinging, but the song was in his wheelhouse and was a good contrast to his Jailhouse antics.

[color=#9300C4] JAILHOUSE ROCK [/color]

[url=https://www.youtube.com/embed/eaTFAAbdcY4&hl=en_US&fs=1&">https://www.youtube.com/embed/eaTFAAbdcY4&hl=en_US&fs=1&"> name=[/url]belvdere

[url=https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTaylorRHicks%2Fvideos%2F10156698813926995%2F&show_text=0&width=560]https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTaylorRHicks%2Fvideos%2F10156698813926995%2F&show_text=0&width=560[/url]

[color=#9300C4]IN THE GHETTO [/color]

[url=https://www.youtube.com/embed/km-pe4lt5x8&hl=en_US&fs=1&">https://www.youtube.com/embed/km-pe4lt5x8&hl=en_US&fs=1&"> name=[/url]bossco

Following Chris Daughtry's elimination, many Idol fans claimed calls they dialed to Daughtry's line during the first few minutes of voting were misdirected. According to them, the first of his two numbers was answered by a recording of Katharine McPhee (who was also in the bottom two that night) giving thanks for their vote rather than Daughtry. Others reported similar behavior dialing other lines, such as dialing Elliott Yamin's line and hearing a recording of Daughtry giving thanks for their vote.
These charges have never been proven.


The pic says it all:

[img]http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l9/mouser_03/rewindobg8.jpg[/img]credit to OBG


[color=#9300C4]Taylor visited Graceland on this Historic Week with Elvis' daughter.


[url=http://player.vimeo.com/video/11438169]http://player.vimeo.com/video/11438169[/url]

Here's the intro with Tommy Mattolla, JHR and Taylor's comments afterwards-very confident:From OBG



[url=http://s177.photobucket.com/albums/w224/oldiebutgoodie_bucket/?action=view¤t=Rew4JHR.flv][img]http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w224/oldiebutgoodie_bucket/th_Rew4JHR.jpg[/img][/url]


And here's likewise for "In the Ghetto":



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Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

July 6th, 2011, 8:48 pm #12


[color=#090][size=150]HOMECOMING WEEK DAY 1 [/size][/color] Photos from Media Vault and/or TTHC Media

Pictures of Taylor During his first home visit while still performing on American Idol.

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[color=#090]DAY 2[/color]

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[color=#090]DAY 3 [/color]

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[color=#090]DAY 4 [/color]

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[color=#090]DAY 5[/color]


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[color=#9300C4]DAY 6 [/color]



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[color=#090]DAY 7 [/color]


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[color=#9300C4][size=150][size=150]People Magazine / The Home Stretch [/size][/size][/color]

[url=http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20061023,00.html]http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20061023,00.html[/url]

American Idol

May 29, 2006
Taylor Hicks

"I knew this would happen," says Taylor Hicks's mom, Pam Dickinson, who's beaming as her son performs before 4,000 screaming fans during the soulful Idol's hometown visit to Birmingham, Ala. "I knew he was going to become a star," she says.

She's not the only one. "Taylor was born famous; he just didn't know it yet," says Hicks's Birmingham bandmate Brian Less. As for Hicks's unusual stage presence: "He gets so into his music that he can't stop his tics and weird dancing."

His bizarro gyrations evoked cheers from the crowd as Hicks, 29, belted out the '70s soul classic "Will It Go Round in Circles." He later serenaded 12,000 at a shopping mall, mingled and bantered to the point of exhaustion (at one point he signed autographs while slumped against a wall). "You can take a nap in the limo," a FOX producer said, and Hicks smiled. Later that evening he'd recovered enough to address a cheering throng of some 2,000 outside the Birmingham Museum of Art, shouting, "I'm going back to Hollywood and win American Idol for Alabama!"




[color=#9300C4][size=150]The TOP 3 [/size][/color]


[url=https://player.vimeo.com/videoc26072187]https://player.vimeo.com/videoc26072187[/url]

[color=#9300C4]DANCING IN THE DARK [/color]

This song was not featured in the Rewind Top 3 Program, no doubt, due to permission issues from Mr. Springsteen

[url=https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/I59VkGjfjB0&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0">https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/I59VkGjfjB0&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0"> name=[/url]

[color=#9300C4]YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL [/color]

[url=https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/xmngRmu7PmQ&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0">https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/xmngRmu7PmQ&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0"> name=[/url]

[color=#9300C4]TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS [/color]


[url=https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v]embed/BK2ZeIh1OTk&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0">[/url]

[color=#090]Here is Bloomingprouds video of YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL FROM THE REHEARSALS FILE [/color]

[url=https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v]embed/ooWCea9LD_U&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0">[/url]


[color=#9300C4]MASTERCLASS LADY [/color]



This week’s show determined which of the remaining Top Three singers would enter the prestigious Top Two competition. As always, this season could not close out without a shocker and, with Chris Daughtry’s surprise elimination last week, we the viewers have come to believe that anything is possible over the next nine days.

Our Top 3 singers showcased three songs this week that reflected their personal choice plus Clive Davis’ and the judges’ selections. Generally, the song selections were the some of the best I have seen on this show in any season and the singers’ performances mirrored this observation. Elliot, Katharine and Taylor came out fighting and now the real competition rests in the hands of the voters.

However, let’s get down to the business of singing and, more important, of performing. Who managed to create a triple home run this week?

Also, many fans have asked for some clarification on the vocal terminology. I always aim to please, so click here and, hopefully, the technical veil will be lifted.

To quickly access individual singers, simply click on the singer’s link below and, voila, with the touch of a click, you will be forwarded to your favorite singer’s link! Enjoy and please let me know what you think!



[color=#9300C4]Taylor Hicks: “Dancing In The Dark”(Bruce Springsteen), “You Are So Beautiful” (Joe Cocker> and “Try A Little Tenderness” (Otis Redding)[/color]

[color=#9300C4]Strengths: [/color]Taylor –this week, you executed the triple home run of this competition. All your song selections were distinctly diverse – in tempo and in style – and you proved that you are more than just a song and dance man. You are first and foremost an artist in touch with his feelings and the soul of his music.

Your first selection, a Bruce Springsteen classic, was expertly chosen by the legendary Clive Davis and approved for your performance by the man himself, Bruce Springsteen. What an exciting opportunity for you and, as usual, you took full advantage of this golden opportunity and expertly weaved your vocal magic and charisma in your personal interpretation of this song. Your voice sounded beautifully energized by the powerful rhythmic components of this song and I loved the numerous communicative aspects you employed throughout this number.

You have such a raw intensity when you perform, Taylor and your ability to internalize every emotional aspect of every song has not gone unnoticed. It seems that each song you perform is a different scene in your performing act and, therefore, your approach is always different and totally unpredictable. We never know what to expect and that’s what makes you so very special as a performer.

Therefore, your astounding rendition of “You Are So Beautiful” was quite possibly one of the highlights of this entire competition. The simplicity of the lyrical and melodic content actually challenged you as a singer to communicate with your heart and soul. Songs such as this Joe Cocker classic are deceptively difficult, as the singer must bare his essence – his soul –to translate the song effectively and meaningfully to his audience.

No one does this better than you, Taylor, and this song catapulted you to a level that is reserved for only the very best and inspiring artists. What you did with this song, how you emoted, how you added inflection and nuance in all the right places is something that even the best teachers in the world cannot teach. This is a simple and true fact. Yes, you could benefit with some solid technical lessons, but all singers need this. However no one should ever tamper with your ability to interpret your song material. You w ere born with the correct artistic instincts. It is a gift, Treasure it always.

Vocally, your voice never sounded better than during the performance of this number and your whiskey tenor voice enjoyed a purer and more resonant vocal quality than was heard in your opening number. And that head tone segment in this song was absolutely stellar. Never abandon this head tone element in other areas of your vocal register, Taylor, as it will continue to add a brighter and more radiant vocal quality to your voice. It’s all about bel canto technique, baby, so use it judiciously and you will never look back.

You ended your showcase this week with the much anticipated version of Try A Little Tenderness. I loved the arrangement of this song, Taylor. You started off with a slow, straightforward vocal statement and then, 30 seconds into the song, put your vocal gears in reverse and kicked the song up a few 100 notches or so. This song melded the best of both of your worlds – Taylor the poignant and sensitive artist and Taylor the energetic and charismatic entertainer. You gave us everything you had, Taylor, leaving no stone unturned. Believe me, there were no regrets or cards left on the table after this performance. This was a brilliant arrangement and a brilliant performance and well worth the wait.

You have earned your place in the Finale, Taylor. Bravissimo and thank you for rocking our world!

[color=#9300C4]Critique[/color]: Taylor –you are an instinctive and creative performer and no one can ever nor should they ever undermine your unique artistic gifts. However, over the course of your illustrious career you must make certain that you treasure and protect your wonderful vocal gift to the music world.

Referencing your first song selection this week, Dancing In the Dark, I felt that there were intermittent technical problems because you were exerting so much energy on stage. Generally, your voice sounded wonderful, but, toward the end of this number, between running up and down from the stage, dancing with Paula and then returning to the stage, I could hear the breathless quality in your vocal sound. This was expected and I fully appreciated the entertainment value of what you accomplished throughout this number.

However, you must make absolutely certain that the technical foundation for your voice is intact, so that there is never any evidence of strain or tension in the production of your vocal sound. Additionally, you want to make certain that you can control the quality of your voice when you exhibit your energetic stage movements. Try to strike a balance between your choreographic elements and your vocal elements and never leave anything to chance.

The same problem occurred, but to a lesser extent, in your final number, Try A Little Tenderness. I think toward the end of this song, you became a little over pumped and your ending wasn’t as solid as expected. The final notes on the word tenderness were just a bit overdone I thought, but it made me laugh nonetheless because you are such a passionate and enthusiastic performer. I think this is where your genuine personality works in your favor; your fans root for you because you treasure them so much and this will take you a very long way in your performing career. In the end, vocal perfection will take a back seat to a sincere and genuine personality any day, but never lose contact with the correct technical approach to your vocal production.

Also, you should explore the lower range of your vocal register. I feel that you have a rich and resonant timbre in your baritone range, similar to what we heard from Elvis in his later years. His earliest recordings highlighted his tenor range and this is what we are hearing from you as well Taylor. However, take a listen to his later recordings and you will see that the key signature of his songs were significantly lower and continued on this path with the passage of time.

If you follow this path, you will open up a whole new avenue of song repertoire possibilities and will expand the depth and potential of your stellar vocal talent. Additionally, you will avoid the danger of over stating and exerting the upper range during your performances.

However your hard work coupled with your musical gifts ensured your place in this year’s Finale – plus the Soul Patrol delivered as promised. Bravo to you and to them. See you next week, Taylor and, once again, congratulations on such a stellar showcase this week.



[color=#9300C4]USA TODAY IDOL CHATTER COMMENTS : KEN BARNES [/color]



USA TODAY IDOL CHATTER COMMENTS:

[color=#9300C4]Taylor: A boss performance[/color]

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First Bruce Springsteen song on Idol ever, eh? Let's see if Bruce will regret that move. Actually, not likely. Taylor has a terrific approximation of Springsteen's rocker voice, and he put a much-needed charge into Dancing in the Dark, a relatively sedate song. Dancing with Paula could have been an unnecessary step, though. Best of the Clive round, easy.



[color=#9300C4]Taylor: 'Beautiful' loser?[/color]

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So Taylor sounds like Joe Cocker? That doesn't mean he has to sing his blandest, most irritating song, You Are So Beautiful. OK, I should separate personal distaste from impartial evaluation of actual performance.

Taylor sounded a little strained and looked borderline agonized, even dangerously queasy. He did resist the temptation to over-Cockerize it, so I guess it was OK, but hardly memorable. I don't think it will propel him past Katharine in the judges' round. And what song was Simon hearing?



[color=#9300C4]Try 'Try' again Taylor[/color]

Recommend
Taylor at last got to perform the song he was reportedly refused permission to do on Classic Love Songs night: Otis Redding's version of the standard Try a Little Tenderness. He probably has sung it a thousand times in Alabama bars, and it had a bar-band quality to it. But it was typical likable Taylor nonetheless.



[color=#9300C4]Sweet home Alabama[/color]

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After scaling new heights of corporately synergistic filler (the X-Men preview/plug), the show settled into its scheme to fill the 45 minutes or so before actual results are revealed. Taylor was the first subject of a homecoming trip, filled with the usual politicians' proclamations, rapturous crowds and general jocularity. It was notable for showing Taylor playing a guitar, something you don't see every day on Idol. (As in, like, never.) An uneventful reprise of the Doobie Brothers' Takin' It to the Streets concluded the segment.


[color=#090]Capture and screen caps by Gypsee : [/color]


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[color=#9300C4]Top 3 Encore Performance [/color]TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS


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Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

July 6th, 2011, 8:56 pm #13



[color=#090]THE TOP 2 / FINALE [/color]


[color=#9300C4]LIVIN' FOR THE CITY [/color]


[url=https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/39jXGwYzwyU&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0">https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/39jXGwYzwyU&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0"> name=[/url]
iwan1311980


[color=#9300C4]LEVON [/color]

A FEW WORDS FROM BRAD HICKS




[url=https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/kTyKTs3nDsg&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0">https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/kTyKTs3nDsg&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0"> name=[/url]tosp1

[color=#9300C4]DO I MAKE YOU PROUD [/color]

MORE FROM DR. HICKS
[url=https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/BCtTyjgToz4&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0">https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/BCtTyjgToz4&hl?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0"> name=[/url]
belvdere


[img]http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l9/mouser_03/idolrewindfinale.jpg[/img] " Hey Simon, what did you think of that ?"


[size=150][color=#9300C4]TAYLOR WITH TONI BRAXTON [/color][/size]

[color=#9300C4]IN THE GHETTO [/color]

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credit : aulab


[color=#9300C4][size=150]VOCAL MASTER CLASS: TOP 2 AMERICAN IDOL 5 FINALISTS: KATHARINE MCPHEE AND TAYLOR HICKS[/size][/color]May 25, 2006
tags: Katharine McPhee, Taylor Hicks
by Masterclass Lady
BY: ROSANNE SIMUNOVIC

And so, after much speculation, intrigue, fan frenzy and numerable outstanding performances, it has come down to this very talented Top 2: Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks. These two singers have been on such a rollercoaster ride throughout this show and there were times I couldn’t envision either in the Top 2. This was not my personal reflection of their musical ability, but rather it was my confusion over the mixed messages conveyed through the judges and producers throughout this season.

However, in the end, it was indeed the fans that dictated who they wanted on the Kodak stage and the result was a diversified and energetic farewell performance by these two fantastic artists. It was a great evening of music and the crowd was energized and pumped as could be to support and rally behind their favorite of the two.

Before we continue to the Top 2 Vocal Masterclass, I would like to leave you with some personal observations. Many years ago, the legendary Frank Sinatra crooned the words: “And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain” during his hallmark performance of Paul Anka’s composition, “My Way”.

And for our Top 12 Idols, certainly their Idol end is near, yet this is definitely not the final curtain. Each will, hopefully, follow the golden career path paved for them due to their auspicious journey here on American Idol Season Five. I can only imagine the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead for these supremely talented singers and I wish all of them the very best that life has to offer.

Now, even Masterclass Lady is expected to have favorite, correct? Well, for me, it has always been about Taylor Hicks. His warmth, intelligence, passion and respect for his music are pretty hard qualities to ignore. It has been truly inspiring to watch Taylor each and every week. He has been and will continue to be one of the most genuine and generous artists in the music industry and I am so happy – ecstatic, actually, – that his hard work and savvy determination has paid off in such a monumental way. The Idol franchise’s appreciation for his distinctive artistry has created a higher degree of credibility for this little old talent show called American Idol.

Additionally, it has been a great pleasure to listen to and evaluate these young artists and an even greater pleasure to meet you, the readers, through your interaction with these Vocal Masterclass articles. I have enjoyed writing these articles so very much and look forward to sharing my teaching thoughts with you once again next season.

Until then, thank you once again for your support and your positive feedback.

Also, many fans have asked for some clarification on the vocal terminology. I always aim to please, so click here and, hopefully, the technical veil will be lifted.

To quickly access individual singers, simply click on the singer’s link below and, voila, with the touch of a click, you will be forwarded to your favorite singer’s link! Enjoy and please let me know what you think!



[color=#9300C4]Taylor Hicks: [/color] “Living For The City”(Stevie Wonder), “Levon” (Elton John) and “Do I Make You Proud” (Idol Single)

Strengths: Taylor –as always, your primary goal this week was to entertain your legion of fans and adopt new ones along the way. You have an innate ability to select songs that highlight different segments of your personality, thus allowing your audience to become immersed in a musical taylorized ride that is inevitably loaded with numerous twists and turns. Programming is integral to the success of a concert and you, Taylor, are brilliant in processing songs that will keep your audience fully energized and absorbed in your stage show.

You opened this week’s showcase with a repeat of your Top 12 performance, Living For The City. Once again you communicated the enthusiastic nature of this song with professional brilliance, allowing the audience to fully participate in this great Stevie Wonder classic. My favorite segments in this song occurred during your rhythmic ascending and descending stair movements throughout this number. You were rhythmically cohesive during these rapid stair stepping actions, all the while allowing your voice to remain energized and resonant. These movements were reminiscent of your Top 8 performance of A Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and I am glad you included this neat choreography in this number. Thank you, Taylor. I loved it.

You had a rhythmic connection to this song that never relented and that embodied the essence and soul of this number. Your ability to involve your audience is unparalleled. From your off stage and onstage demeanor to the skillful use of the television cameras, it was evident that you were there for one reason and one reason only – to entertain both your live and television audience.

Then we moved on to the Elton John classic, Levon. I was actually quite excited to evaluate this song, as I was not given the opportunity to do so when you performed this song in the elimination rounds for this season’s Top 24 singers. What I loved the very most about this number – apart from the fact that it contrasted so beautifully with your previous Stevie Wonder number –was the fact that the earlier segments of this song allowed you to expose your beautiful baritone voice I have spoken about in previous Masterclass articles.

Taylor – you have a whole other register that needs to be highlighted more consistently throughout your performances. The opening segments of Levon emphasized the depth and robust beauty of your lower range and, additionally, allowed you to fully produce this part of your voice with the correct diaphragmatic breathing technique. Part of the reason for this technical efficiency had to do with the slower, more sustained pace of this song; however, nevertheless, the natural, pure beauty of your lower register just made the whole vocal process so much easier for you.

Stylistically, you entered the stage with a relaxed and quiet demeanor, thus complimenting the pensive mood in the initial stages of this song. This contrasted beautifully with the more passionate and energetic performing direction later on in the song. Additionally, your melodic variation throughout this number was very much appreciated and as always signified your distinct interpretive abilities as an artist.

Additionally, there was ample evidence of the bel canto methodology of singing during this number. You attempted to maintain a circular mouth position on those sustained, pure vowels and, in doing so, energized and focused your vocal sound through the diaphragmatic breathing process. All one has to do is watch you sustain your final note on the word Levohhhhhn and it is plainly evident that it was bel canto all the way baby! I loved it – nice relaxed jaw and all.

Your final number this week was your Idol single, Do I Make You Proud. And I answer- yes Taylor, you did! And here is the reason why. First of all, the writers keyed this song to highlight your lower and mid range and after weeks of waiting for a song to acknowledge this area of your vocal talent, we were finally rewarded.

Now you were singing in what I feel is the most natural part of your singing range – your baritone range. Your voice sounded rich and full and absolutely seamless even when you maneuvered those wicked intervals from your lower to upper register. And that segue into the key change was pitch perfect and vocally astounding. By accessing your diaphragm in the earlier stages of this song, you actually improved the overall resonant quality of your voice in your upper range and, at times, you achieved an almost classical timbre to your voice, Taylor.

Stylistically, this song could not have been performed any better. You took this song by the bullhorns and injected your authentic soulful sound into the lyrics and melody. This was a song for the Soul Patrol and it was evident that your heart and your spirit during this song performance embodied your devotion and thanks to the fans whom have been instrumental to your success on American Idol.

And so, I say to you Mr. Hicks, congratulations and bravissimo for staying so utterly true to your personal artistic vision week after week on American Idol. Your excellence and commitment as a singer, composer and performer are what is so dearly needed in mainstream music today. Thank you for not compromising your ideals and for always keeping it real.

Critique: Taylor –as I said last week, you are an instinctive and creative performer and no one can ever nor should they ever undermine your unique artistic gifts. However, you must make certain that you protect and care for your voice properly. You have only one set of vocal cords, Taylor, and you must make certain that the correct technical approach is part of your daily rehearsal routine.

This week, as in other weeks, there were intermittent vocal production problems when you highlighted your whiskey tenor range. We never want you to lose this sound, Taylor – this is your trademark, your vocal signature. However, there were many moments where I thought your throat sounded very constrained during Living In the City and Levon. I can understand that the fatigue and stress at this point in the competition must be tremendous, but, nevertheless, you have to find ways to manage and care for your vocal health.

Try not speaking or singing for 48 hours before a performance. I know this is not possible during American Idol; however, once you establish your own tour schedule, make certain you insist on this. Schedule quiet and reflective time for yourself. It really works and the greatest classical artists in the world use this practice all the time. In fact, it is a well -known fact that pop star, Celine Dion, does not speak or sing prior to her performances. And – no whispering as this still creates additional stress on the vocal cords.

Over the course of this competition, a high level of comparison was noted between you and Elvis – your persona, your stage movements, your soulful vocal sound, the Southern connection – all are justified. Presently, your vocal sound reminds me of a young Elvis, when he was vocalizing mainly in his tenor range. Listen to the earliest recordings of The King, and then compare the startling difference in his vocal timbre once he moved the key selection for his songs down a few notches in his later years.

This is the direction I feel you should pursue in terms of appropriate key selection for your voice. It was so evident in your second and, certainly, your third number that your voice sounded more energized and resonant when the melodic line of these songs highlighted and emphasized your lower and mid range voice. Your voice sounded absolutely stellar, very rich!
However, please don’t mistake this as evidence that you cannot sing into your upper range; on the contrary, you never want to lose your upper voice and that head tone (falsetto) is excellent. . However, you are at an age now where your voice is starting to deepen, and your lower range will definitely become easier to access when you sing. It is a well-known fact that everyone starts to lose his or her natural agility for attaining open and free head tone notes with the passage of time and that is why technique is so important. It ensures that, at the very least, the technical process will assist you in securing a solid, pitch centered and pure head tone register. You must learn to showcase your upper range in a way that does not overextend or tax the natural agility of the vocal cords. It’s about achieving a comfortable balance between all areas of your vocal register, Taylor.

However, Taylor my man, you have been a joy and pleasure to evaluate each and every week. What you do on that stage – well, it is something that cannot be taught. Like a fish can instinctively swim or a bird can fly, you, Taylor possess all the correct instincts when you sing. It is part of who you are as a person and as a performer and both entities are intertwined. Don’t ever change, because this is what has made you such a treasured and memorable person throughout this competition.

Congratulations on your American Idol triumph. It was a difficult road for sure, but the Soul Patrol had your back all the way. In the end, it is gratifying to know that excellence truly rises to the top. Kudos!


[color=#9300C4][size=150]THE AFRICAN SEER[/size] [/color]



[color=#9300C4]American Idol Finals--Taylor Hicks v. Katharine McPhee[/color]Home | Articles |
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Published 05/24/2006 05:03:02 by Rachel

So it is the final show.? Here is my review:


Taylor Hicks “Livin’ For the City” by Stevie Wonder “Leave On” by Elton John His original song was “Do I Make You Proud”Taylor really got the crowd hyped up with the first.? I loved the second song—it gave me chills.? I really like that song, but I like it even better in Taylor’s southern accent. ? Ok, so Taylor’s song was a little better than Katharine’s, but it did start out really slow. ? Ok, here goes the pseudo-gospel choir again.? I guess it works a little better with Taylor.? Judging by the audience response, and Simon, it sounds like Taylor has the leg up.

I’m rooting for Taylor.? I think his advantage is that he is much better able to inspire people. ? I have to admit that the fact that he is such an underdog is why I like him. ? If you remember, Simon didn’t even want to let him out of the first round in part because of his look. ? Of course, the other big reason Taylor has an advantage is because he is a southerner….no northerner or westerner has ever one American Idol. ? Only southerners have won the competition.? In fact, the state of Alabama has three contestants in the finals—Rueben Studdard, Bo Bice, and Taylor Hicks (admittedly three of my favorite Idol contestants.).? I guess we’ll see who the winner is tomorrow.


Read more: [url=http://www.africanseer.com/articles/35233-American-Idol-Finals--Taylor-Hicks-Katharine-McPhee.html#ixzz0o8lXcuw1]http://www.africanseer.com/articles/35233-American-Idol-Finals--Taylor-Hicks-Katharine-McPhee.html#ixzz0o8lXcuw1[/url]



[size=150][color=#9300C4]IDOL CHATTER : Ken Barnes [/color][/size]

May 23, 2006
[color=#9300C4]Taylor: 'Levon' me a little cold[/color]
Well, I was expecting something more R&B than Levon, but maybe it wasn't a bad idea; it gave him a chance to start slow and pick it up. I did hear a couple of sour notes near the beginning, though, and despite Taylor deploying all his vocal tricks, it wasn't a monster performance.


[color=#9300C4]Not a truly 'Proud' moment for Taylor[/color]
Taylor got to leave the last impression with Do I Make You Proud.
Swell, it was another ballad. It would be nice if the Idol machine showed one shred of original thought, but no, no matter who the contestant is, they have to fit into the Idol ballad box. Big, over-gospeled mess, and I think he messed up the modulation to a higher key. I don't think either of them did themselves much good, and all those manic repetitions of "Soul Patrol" didn't help.

Nice to see a rebellion on the part of the judges against these dismal songs. Back with a summary shortly.



[color=#9300C4]Taylor-made victory[/color]
Taylor wins! Excellent! Week by week, he deserved it. And what fun it will be to see him battle the Idol machine! Here's hoping they don't grind him down.

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Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

July 6th, 2011, 8:57 pm #14

[color=#9300C4][size=150]ON MAY 24, 2006 TAYLOR WAS ANNOUNCED THE WINNER OF AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 5 [/size][/color]


[img]http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l9/mouser_03/2009%20photos%20and%20more/victoryamidolannepm.jpg[/img]credit to AnnePM



May 25, 2006
[color=#9300C4]Taylor Hicks Basks In 'Idol' Win[/color]






[color=#9300C4][size=150](CBS/AP) "Stars do fall on Alabama."[/size][/color]

That's how an ecstatic Taylor Hicks summed up his night after being voted the new "American Idol" Wednesday.

The Birmingham, Ala., 29-year-old, who wooed viewers with his raw singing style, wild dance moves and an unlikely mop of gray hair, said he wanted to travel back home to his legions of "Soul Patrol" fans, whom he thanked onstage the moment he won.

Then, he added, he wants to record a "really good" album, "with soul."

"I'm heading to the studio as quickly as I can," he said. "But I'll take a few days off to clear my head."

Hicks told The Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman he hasn't been able to sleep yet.

"This is a dream, the American dream," he told Kauffman. And he says he would love to tour with younger R&B and rock artists such as John Legend and John Mayer. Hicks' victory earned him a recording contract and a new car.

The announcement came after a grand finale Wednesday night that included two hours of performances by this year's finalists, past contestants and several surprise celebrity guests.

The results show took place at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. Fans of local favorite Katharine McPhee were gathered in nearby Universal City and Taylor's fans were rooting for him in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala. Both groups were shown on the Kodak's big screen live via satellite.

McPhee tells CBS News she wasn't sad about taking second place.

"It wasn't sadness, it was more like bittersweet feeling of graduating from high school," she said. McPhee also told Kauffman that she had the time of her life at the contest. She said "doors are starting to open."

The show's fifth and best-rated edition took a leap in stature Wednesday when Prince, Mary J. Blige and other big names performed during the finale. The series has given big boosts to the album sales of pop stars who have appeared on it.

More than 63 million votes were cast, "more than any president in the history of our country has received," Seacrest said. Specific tallies for Hicks and McPhee were not immediately announced.

The finale opened with last year's winner, Carrie Underwood, and this year's 12 finalists all dressed in white singing Barry Manilow's "I Made It Through The Rain."

The evening included duets with the show's 12 finalists paired with surprise celebrity guests. Pairings of contestants and stars on the "Idol" finale included Paris Bennett and Al Jarreau; McPhee and Meat Loaf; Chris Daughtry and Live; Elliott Yamin and Blige; Hicks and Toni Braxton, and the dozen finalists with Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick.

But, Prince's performance was the biggest surprise of all. He sang a medley of songs toward the end of the show.

Earlier, teen finalist Paris Bennett was brilliantly paired with jazz great Al Jarreau, to sing his "We're In This Love Together." Rocker Chris Daughtry joined Live to sing "Mystery" and Katharine teamed up with Meat Loaf to sing "It's All Coming Back To Me Now."

In between the songs, there were various attempts at comedy, some more successful than others.

Country girl Kellie Pickler, who was teased during the contest for her malapropisms and not knowing what calamari was, did a few segments with celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.

Kellie got her first reluctant taste of escargot and Puck managed to send her screaming from the table when he introduced her to a few live lobsters.

2Other silliness included the Golden Idol Awards which "honored" the very worst performances the judges had to endure during the show's auditions.

One of the awards was for "best" celebrity impersonation. The winner: nerdy contestant Michael Sandeki, for his impersonation of Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken.

Michael was asked to sing his audition song, Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," and looked genuinely surprised when the real Clay joined him on stage.

Divided up by gender, the six female finalists and six male finalists each had a chance to sing a medley of songs.

The six male finalists, Chris, Taylor, Ace Young, Bucky Covington, Elliott Yamin and Kevin Covais sang Bachman Turner Overdrive's "Taking Care of Business," Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop," and John D. Loudermilk's blues/rock classic "Tobacco Road."


The women — Katharine, Paris, Kellie, Mandisa, Melissa McGhee and Lisa Tucker — sang Shania Twain's "I Feel Like A Woman," Elvis Presley's "Trouble," Carole King's "Natural Woman," and Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman."

More duets included Elliott with Mary J. Blige singing U2's "One" and Taylor, joined by Toni Braxton, for Elvis Presley's "In The Ghetto."

Songwriting legend Burt Bacharach sat at the grand piano to accompany all the finalists in a medley of his classics including "I Say A Little Prayer," "What's New Pussycat?" and "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head."

3At the end of the medley, Bacharach's muse and one of the greatest interpreters of his music, Dionne Warwick, took the stage to sing her hit "Walk On By."

At that point Taylor and Kat came out to sing "That's What Friends Are For" with Warwick and the rest of the finalists.

But it would still be another 30 minutes before the winner was announced.

Taylor and Kat came back to sing a duet of "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" from the movie "Dirty Dancing."

[url=https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/bU7cwItzRFc?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0">https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/bU7cwItzRFc?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0"> name=[/url]:credit to naturalchaos

Then, after the performance by Prince, Taylor learned that he would be this year's American Idol. He leaned over in an emotional reaction when host Ryan Seacrest announced his victory.

"I was just telling myself, 'Don't fall to the floor. Don't let my knees buckle.' I had to sing afterwards!" he told CBS News backstage.

Taylor was speechless at first, but after hugging Kat he managed to shout out his trademark phrase, "Soul Patrol!" and pump his fist in the air as he was cheered on by fans in Birmingham, Ala., on the giant screen behind him. In addition to the title, Taylor will get a record deal with Sony BMG.

Taylor closed out the evening by performing his upcoming single "Do I Make You Proud?"

4During the one hour episode, Kat and Taylor sang three songs, including the songs chosen to be their debut singles.

Katharine is 22, beautiful, young, and has a powerful voice — all of which fit the image of a typical pop idol.

Throughout the contest, her weakness was oversinging her songs. Each judge in his or her own way tried to get her to tone down the wailing.

The most successful was Simon Cowell. The cranky British judge chose the 1939 classic "Over The Rainbow" for Kat to sing on May 16. Sitting on the stage, Kat sang the song gently, with feeling, and no screeching, much to the delight of the audiences — and Simon.

Tuesday night Kat sang, in order, KT Tunstall's "Black Horse in a Cherry Tree," "Over the Rainbow," and her new song, "My Destiny."

Taylor is a 29-year-old veteran of the nightclub scene who also plays a mean harmonica. He entered the competition as something of a goofy novelty.

Despite his loose-legged dance moves and an "aw shucks!" attitude, Hicks won over fans and judges with consistently solid vocal performances and an ability to command the stage like a veteran showman.

In the final competition episode, Taylor sang Stevie Wonder's "Livin' For The City," Elton John's "Levon" and his single, "Do I Make You Proud?"

According to Simon, Taylor "slaughtered" Kat in Round 1, but Kat managed to even the score in Round 2.

Following Round 3, Simon called Kat a "great potential artist," but after Taylor performed Simon said, "Assuming that I was right that the show was tied, then you've just won 'American Idol.' "

Of course, Seacrest took that as an opportunity to remind the audience that Simon turned Taylor down during the audition phase of the contest. Taylor made it into the contest because judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul voted him in.

Simon got the last laugh. Even though he's not in need of any ego-boosting, he correctly predicted Taylor Hicks would win the contest.

[url=https://player.vimeo.com/video/26108096]https://player.vimeo.com/video/26108096[/url]




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[color=#9300C4]The winner is [/color]

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[color=#9300C4]Ricky Minor the Musical Director for American Idol became the new Musical Director of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno [/color]

[url=https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/9G_fHNQC2g8?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0">https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/9G_fHNQC2g8?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0"> name=[/url] Montage from Naturalchaos

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[size=150][color=#9300C4]PRINCE....APPEARED ON THE FINALE OF AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 5..........HE PASSED AWAY IN APRIL OF 2016 .

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[color=#9300C4]Watch Prince's 'American Idol' Performance From 2006[/color]
4/23/2016 by Michele Amabile Angermiller

[url=http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7341756/what-prince-american-idol-ryan-seacrest-season-5-performance-from-2006]http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7341756/what-prince-american-idol-ryan-seacrest-season-5-performance-from-2006[/url]
[color=#9300C4]Prince performs "Lolita"/"Satisfied" on the "American Idol" Season 5 finale in 2006. [/color]
RAY MICKSHAW/WIREIMAGE

Former American Idol host Ryan Seacrest paid tribute to Prince by sharing a memory of when the late musician appeared on the show's season 5 finale.


At the time, the Fox singing show was pulling in over 30 million viewers, and Prince wanted to go on the show to promote his 2006 album, 3121. Dressed in a tapered purple suit, he strolled onto the stage with two dancers. He burned through the uptempo "Lolita" and the soulful "Satisfied" before turning on one heel and exiting the building.

Seacrest tweeted about the surreal moment, writing "he walked thru the back door..sang his song...got in the car..and left. He was that powerful."

Prince passed away at on April 21 at age 57.



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The Soul Patrol was always behind him : [/color]



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[size=150][size=150][color=#9300C4]AS TAYLOR SAID: " I HAVE COME FULL CIRCLE".

AS EXCITING TODAY AS IT WAS IN 2006!!!
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Taylor is unloading boxes in Birmingham and found this in one of them............. [size=150][color=#090]WOW !!! I GUESS THE WIN IN 2006 WASN'T A DREAM, JUST A DREAM COME TRUE !!!![/color][/size]


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[size=150][size=150][color=#9300C4]BILLBOARD'S HOT 100'S Only 20 Songs Have Debuted Atop the Chart in the Hot 100's 53-Year History[/color][/size][/size]

"Do I Make You Proud "is listed as # 14 !!!!!

Chart Debut Date: July 1, 2006

[url=http://www.billboard.com/#/photogalleries/billboard-hot-100-no-1-debuts-a-guide-1006260952.story]http://www.billboard.com/#/photogalleries/billboard-hot-100-no-1-debuts-a-guide-1006260952.story[/url]
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Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

February 29th, 2012, 12:28 am #15

A blog by Eric J Heels giving his interpretation of the Amer. Idol Finale with analysis and perspective on Taylor and Katherine. Use the links provided to read detailed information on the articles featured.

http://www.erikjheels.com/570.html



American Idol Finale Preview

Posted May 24, 2006, in Google, Music by Erik J. Heels


There will be a riot if Taylor Hicks does not win tonight.
I've been reading the reviews of yesterday's final American Idol competition between Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee, and I am sure of only one thing. There will be a riot if Taylor Hicks does not win tonight. Usually, there is some drama, some disagreement amongst the pundits. Not this time. Nearly everybody is predicting that Taylor Hicks will be the next American Idol. Does this mean that Carrie Underwood will be there to hand over her crown? And does Taylor have to wear it? It would go well with his purple blazer from last night.

So I've got a summary of my past musings about Taylor and Katharine in a table below. What story does it tell? That there were nights in which Katharine out-sang Taylor, but last night was not one of those nights. Taylor was never in the bottom three (or two), he was never controversial (unless I missed it), and he only had to be consistently above average to win. (See my "do the math" commentary below.)

American Idol Blog-O-Rama

Here are some entertaining tidbits from other bloggers. Because after tonight, we all go on American Idol hiatus for six months or so.

In a surprising moment of lucidity, VFTW wrote this nice analysis of the various singing styles of the finalists (http://community.livejournal.com/votefo ... 26308.html):

"Katherine – Oh God, where do I begin. First off, I think she's a soprano in denial. Her voice just isn't belty–dark, rich and low, like an alto's would be–it's high and light. I remember this week she sang something in her upper register and it sounded absolutely lovely. Also, most sopranos just can't sustain belting like that, which would explain why Katherine strains so much and misses notes. But, that's just a theory of mine, which others may not agree with. Anyway, she has bad placement: she's singing from the back of her throat and thus lacking the forward placement which would make her tone brighter. I am not sure if this is on purpose or not, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were because she wants to sing jazz so badly. She often sings songs that are too low for her, as well.

Taylor – He can very pitchy. It's hard to judge his technique because usually he's more concentrated on dancing around instead of singing, hehe. Another theory of mine is that he sings songs that are too low for him. Barry Manilow said that he's a tenor leggiero (really high tenor) and that would be backed up by the fact that last Wednesday he was able to sing some pretty high notes without going into falsetto."

Entertainment Weekly reviews the Idol Season 5 Encores CD and includes this nugget (although YMMV) (http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2006/05 ... ent_t.html):

Kevin Covais, "When I Fall In Love": If Simon Cowell went to hell, guess what would be on his iPod?

The Heart On A Stick blogger has some interesting analysis of how he was initially rooting for Taylor Hicks to win and then became indifferent (http://heartonastick.blog-city.com/taylorhicks2.htm):

"[Taylor] loved music too much to care about anything else, too much to not show it. He seemed to have a personality – musically, at least — too big to be co-opted. He didn't seem to know better, and couldn't be bothered to learn. Taylor Hicks and American Idol were destined to be either/or propositions. The more an outing embarrassed Simon, the better it must have been."

The title of this tongue-in-cheek piece from Defamer almost says it all: "Spelling Picks Up Work as 'American Idol' Background Player" (http://www.defamer.com/):

"Tori Spelling was one of the first to answer the open Idol casting call seeking 'upper middle class, Sherman Oaks types' who could adequately 'feign genuine affection for Katharine McPhee.'"

James Hudnall wrote a very entertaining summary of last night's show, including this gem about Taylor's last song (http://jameshudnall.com/blog.php?/weblo ... _of_songs/):

"[Taylor] had to sing the song that the Idol producers chose as his first single. And when he started my headache came back. But then something happened. It's what I call Taylor's super power. You see, I have this theory that everyone has a super-power of some kind. Most people have a useless one, that they often don't even know they have. Like causing elevators to show up quickly or traffic lights to favor them. Taylor has an ability to take any song and find an emotional connection, which he then projects out to the audience. He works the song, molds it in his hands, and creates a thing of beauty."

Finally, Reality TV Magazine, in a piece entitled "Simon Cowell Was Wrong About Taylor Hicks!" has this to say (http://www.realitytvmagazine.com/blog/2 ... l_s_3.html):

"America doesn't need another cookie-cutter pop artist. America needs a Taylor Hicks in all his crazy dancing, purple jacket wearing, harmonica playing, soul singing glory."

Was the writing on the wall?

Here is a summary of my past musings.

Erik's American Idol 20-20 Hindsight
Article Taylor Katharine
American Idol Top 9 Preview (4/4/2006) I expect that Chris Daughtry and Taylor Hicks will have no trouble adopting their singing styles (rock and soul, respectively) to the country genre…. FWIW, here is the order I predict the top 9 will finish overall.
1. Taylor Hicks
2. Chris Daughtry
3. Kellie Pickler
4. Mandisa Hundley
5. Paris Bennett
6. Katharine McPhee
7. Bucky Covington
8. Elliott Yamin
9. Ace Young Similarly, I expect Katharine McPhee to sing well but to perform in a forgettable manner…. FWIW, here is the order I predict the top 9 will finish overall.
1. Taylor Hicks
2. Chris Daughtry
3. Kellie Pickler
4. Mandisa Hundley
5. Paris Bennett
6. Katharine McPhee
7. Bucky Covington
8. Elliott Yamin
9. Ace Young
American Idol Top 9 Recap (4/4/2006) 6. Taylor Hicks (16/25). Taylor sang a ballad ("Take Me Home"?) and just stood there. The band seemed much too loud and it was hard to hear his voice. He was on key but it just was not too fun. 2. Katharine McPhee (19/25). Katharine sang an upbeat song ("Elvis In Me"?) and looked like she was having fun. It was a strong performance. When Simon started to complain (again presumably about the song, not the performance), Katherine (smartly) jumped in and said, "It's OK, you just don't like country music." It doesn't matter who likes what kind of music. American votes based on the quality of the vocal performance, and this was a good performance.
American Idol Top 8 Preview (4/10/2006) The others all have unique styles that should allow them to perform in a memorable manner. I think that Ace, Elliott, and Katherine will have the hardest time tomorrow trying to sound unique and non-Queen-like.
American Idol Top 8 Recap (4/11/2006) 1. Taylor Hicks (23.5/25). Taylor sang Crazy Little Thing Called Love. It was a fun, relaxed, upbeat, rockin', memorable, soulful performance. It was, in short, everything an American Idol performance should be. And the crowd loved it. Simon called it "ridiculous," but he got this one wrong, one of two he got wrong for the night. I'm beginning to think he does not like soul singers. 4. Katharine McPhee (18.5/25). Katharine sang Who Wants to Live Forever?, which was the only real ballad of the night. (I don't think you can call Bohemian Rhapsody a ballad.) It was a good song to show off her vocal range, and she wore non-maternity-looking clothes for a change. But Katharine seemed tentative on some of the big notes and did not have the best stage presence.
American Idol Top 7 Preview (4/17/2006) I have already purchased Taylor's second CD, and I've never purchased any Idol merchandise previously. Taylor and Katherine are the most talented singers, and they should sail through easily to the next round. If you have gray hair, you should be voting for Taylor, who, in addition to being the strongest male singer, is the strongest performer in the bunch. Taylor and Katherine are the most talented singers, and they should sail through easily to the next round.
American Idol Top 7 Recap (4/18/2006) 3. Taylor Hicks (19.5/25). Ryan chats with Taylor about the parody of Taylor Hicks from this week's episode of Saturday Night Live (without mentioning SNL by name) and Taylor takes the ribbing well. When you are parodied on SNL, you know that you have arrived. Rod Stewart disagrees with Simon about the value of dancing and performing on stage and tells Taylor that you have to "grab the audience by the balls," which earns him a bleep from the censors. Taylor sang You Send Me, which started off a bit slow but ended very strong. Another strong showing for Taylor. 1. Katharine McPhee (20.5/25). Katharine sang Someone to Watch Over Me, and it was vocally flawless. Definitely a MOMENT for Katharine. She showed vocal range and control while working the camera skillfully despite a plethora of extreme close-ups like you'd see in a Spanish soap opera. (It says something about standards night when my highest score is only 20.5.)
American Idol Top 6 Recap (4/25/2006) 2. Taylor Hicks (18/25). Taylor sang "Just Once," which is a Quincy Jones song, and I could swear that Michael Bolton has covered it. My wife and I joked about Taylor singing Michael Bolton, and even if he didn't sing a Bolton song, it's never a good thing to be thinking about Michael Bolton when you're trying to judge a singing competition. The quote from the movie "Office Space" (http://www.imdb.com/) comes to mind: "Why should I change? He's the one who sucks." So Taylor's performance was good, not great. The first half was OK, the second half more spirited and soulful. David Foster said Taylor had the "most charisma," this from the man who appears to have none (at least not on camera). Michael Bolton cried. 3. Katharine McPhee (18/25). Katharine sang "I Have Nothing," perhaps in an attempt to suck up to David Foster. It's a Whitney Houston song, and I had never heard it. Katharine sounded too breathy and was simultaneously lacking breath support (if that is possible). Her dress was distracting but her fans will love it. The performance was good, not great. I have nothing to compare it to. I watched her performance last (taped), which colors your perception. If you watch it last instead of first, you'll see that Simon's criticisms were too harsh. Katharine's dad cried.
American Idol Top 6 Results (4/26/2006) Now, why grizzly bears are relevant to the outcome of American Idol. There is a saying that if you are running away from a grizzly bear, then you do not have to be the fastest runner. You only have to be faster than at least one other person (the person behind you). So it is with American Idol. You do not ever have to give a standout performance. If you sing above average every week, then you will win the American Idol competition. (Do the math. With two left, only the winner is above average.) Which leads me to some more observations about season 4 vs. season 5. Last year, I remember outstanding performances from Nadia Turner, Anthony Federov, Constantine Maroulis, Vonzelle Solomon, and Bo Bice. But I do not remember any outstanding performances from Carrie Underwood, the eventual season 5 winner. Carrie always sang above average and was never in the bottom three. That's all it takes to win. The only remaining idol candidate with anything close to those same attributes is Taylor Hicks. Taylor Hicks has always sung above average and has never been in the bottom three. Taylor has arguably had more memorable performances in season 5 than Carrie had in season 4, but otherwise the fact pattern matches up. So could Taylor Hicks win American Idol? It's worth noting that Simon admitted he was wrong about Katharine's performance. Based on what I wrote yesterday, I'm guessing he's reading my blog now. Thanks for the support, Simon!
American Idol Top 5 Recap (5/2/2006) 1. Taylor Hicks (19.5 + 20 = 39.5/50). Taylor sang "Play That Funky Music" in the first round, which is not really a singing song. And he sang the heck out of it. He was laying down and singing on his back (taking Bocelli's advise to Chris from last week's show?), which was odd. So was his outfit. And the band was too loud.

In the second round, Taylor sang "Something," a Beatles song that, through the accounting magic of the music industry, is on the charts this week. The song is older than Taylor, but he did it justice and put his own spin on it. He was a little sharp at the beginning, and I didn't like the humming at the end. It was good but not great.
4. Katharine McPhee (18 + 20 = 38/50). Katharine sang "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)," and it was a dreadful arrangement. She sang off key at the start and the modulation was awkward. There isn't any bad song that can't be made worse by adding a modulation, and this song is no exception. It was exceedingly, painfully boring.

In the second round, Katharine sang "Black Horse And A Cherry Tree," which was too low for her at the start of the song (a common problem with songs this season). This is a fun song with a Bo Diddley beat to it that I've been enjoying on UK radio for a long time. Katharine did a nice job singing it and, oddly, sat or kneeled on the stage for the entire song. She had a strong finish to the song.

American Idol Top 4 Recap (5/9/2006) 1. Taylor Hicks (23.5 + 21 = 44.5/50). Taylor sang "Jail House Rock" in the first round. Tommy Mottola was cool and gave good advice to Taylor, who even looked like Elvis in this song. Taylor gave the type of performance that his fans – and music fans in general – love. It was full of energy, hot, and flawless. An Idol moment for Taylor. Simon, who made reference to the "real world," is clearly not living there himself, and his criticism of Taylor was totally off base, prompting Paula Abdul to yell at him and him to snap "shut up" in reply. America, thankfully, is no longer listening to Simon, who is increasingly becoming a parody of himself.

In the second round, Taylor sang "In The Ghetto." While I thought this was great, I actually preferred Taylor's first song. But this performance looked even better following a tepid performance by Katharine. Tommy Mottola said (twice) that Taylor's rendition was very impressive, and he got that right. Rich and interesting, with nice high notes, higher and smoother than we've heard from Taylor all season. Simon said that Taylor sung his way into the semis.
4. Katharine McPhee (17 + 18.5 = 35.5/50). Katharine sang a medley of "Hound Dog" and "All Shook Up" in the first round. A medley. Like they do in high school. Hundreds of great Elvis songs and Kat sings a medley. Yuck. I thought it was karaoke. Simon called it manic, like a bad audition. Plus she forgot her lyrics and turned her back to the camera to try to cover up. This was as close to a train wreck as there was tonight.

In the second round, Katharine sang "Can't Help Falling In Love." This was a signature ballad for Elvis and Kat did not do it justice. Tommy Mottola encouraged her to emote but not to yell, and she did not take his advice. At the start, she sang in a whiny style and the song was way too slow. Then she looked nervous and rushed after the modulation. I thought it was really rough. Simon said it was like apple pie plus a gallon of cream, which is his way of saying that it was over the top.

American Idol Top 4 Results (5/10/2006) American Idol is not a singing competition. American Idol is a performing competition. Which is why we end up with a celebrity in the audience, Rebecca Romijn, gushing over Taylor and asking him to reprise last night's version of "Jail House Rock." Of course, Taylor brought down the house, all along probably wondering why he was singing on elimination night. All of the final four are great singers. Only Taylor is a great performer. After being told that she was in the bottom two, Katharine looked shocked not to be going home.
American Idol Top 3 Preview (5/10/2006) I have said all along that Taylor Hicks is the best performer of this year's American Idol contestants, and I also believe that he is the best singer…. Simon Cowell said that he didn't think that Taylor could be commercial…. After I saw Taylor perform "Levon" (American Idol S05E12), I purchased his second CD (his first CD is out of print) entitled "Under The Radar" (http://www.lasersedgecd.com/). Once you listen to "Under The Radar," you will understand why Taylor Hicks will be commercially successful. This is some seriously fun, smooth, tight, grooving music. Taylor's voice mixes seamlessly with keyboard runs and sax solos. Good stuff. And all I can remember from Katharine McPhee is boring ballads.
American Idol Top 3 Recap (5/16/2006) 1. Taylor Hicks (21.5 + 21.5 + 24 = 67/75). Clive Davis chose "Dancing In The Dark" for Taylor's first song, and it was apparently the first time that a Bruce Springsteen song has been performed on American Idol. Taylor sung the song strongly, even squeezing in some (spontaneous?) dancing with judge Paula Abdul. Notice I said "squeezing in," because this performance felt truncated and rushed (kind of like the "round of 5" night). I thought it was a very good performance but it didn't give Taylor a chance to show off his vocal range.

Judge Randy Jackson chose "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker for Taylor's second song. You know, because Taylor reminds Randy of Joe Cocker. I don't know. I do not like the sappy ballads. Maybe it's just me. The song started off slow, and I was wondering how (or whether) Taylor would pull off the falsetto portion, assuming he sticks to a Cocker-like performance, but he pulled it off nicely. In fact, this style of singing is very much like what you'll find on Taylor's second CD, which I blogged about yesterday. Simon called it Taylor's best performance yet. Simon should also listen to Taylor's CD.

Taylor chose "Try A Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding for this third song. And he said he was doing this one for the Soul Patrol. The song starts out as a slow ballad and then transitions to a more soulful upbeat song, and the longer the song went, the more fun it was. Taylor gives the kind of performance which, at least in this household (of five people), can make you simultaneously smile, laugh, and cheer. It was magic, awesome, a home run. Simon didn't like the ending but said he'd see Taylor next week in the finals.

Taylor was solid on his first two songs and knocked the third out of the park, so I expect him to move to the finals.
2. Katharine McPhee (18.5 + 21 + 19.5 = 59/75). Clive Davis chose "I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly for Katharine's first song. Katharine's voice sounded hoarse in her video clip with Clive Davis. She got a little ahead of the music and then inexplicably dropped out before the chorus. I can't believe that was the arrangement, to have the backup singers sing the first chorus. If it was, it was a horrible arrangement. It was a bit rough after the modulation but nothing major. Randy said that with a song like this, you should concentrate on singing the melody, and I agree.

Judge Simon Cowell chose "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" for Katharine's second song. She started a cappella, and I was wondering if she would do the who song without the band (like Bo Bice did last year), but the band joined in soon after the song started. Katharine sounded like Karen Carpenter during this song. I will leave it to the reader to determine whether or not that is a good thing. It was much better than her first song. But why was she sitting down? Does any popular artist perform a song this way? In any event, she sang the song extremely well (even though it is a dreadful song). Someone forgot to tell Kat that she was supposed to crash and burn in the round of three. She had a couple of saccharine moments mixed in there. And is it my imagination or was that song a lot longer than the other songs tonight? Simon called it the best performance of the season by any contestant. Of course he did, he chose the song. It was very good, even great, but it was not the best of the season, not by a long shot. Why do judges love the sappy ballads?

Katharine chose "I Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues" for her third song. I had never heard the song before. The style of the song, surprisingly, suited Kat just fine. Surprisingly, because I don't recall her doing this sort of piece previously. It was, however, more suitable for Broadway than for Hollywood. And it ended rather suddenly. Perhaps because her second song was so long. Overall, it was a solid performance of an obscure song. My oldest son counted four gratuitous lip licks (the "tongue thing") during the post-song chat with Ryan Seacrest. This is the sort of thing that I miss when I'm taking notes.

Katharine was up and down. Her second song was her best. I think that Katharine will connect with first-time viewers more than Elliott will, so I give Kat a slight edge over Elliot.

American Idol Top 2 Preview (Or Why Taylor Hicks Is The 2004 Red Sox) (5/22/2006) I personally think that Taylor would be wise to pick a funky fast song (like "Living For The City") and follow it up with a ballad (like "Something"). Frankly, I'd enjoy anything that Taylor sings. It would be totally cool if he did one of his original songs from his "Under The Radar" CD. Taylor has always sung – and performed – well and memorably. So I give the edge to Taylor. As for Katharine, I can only remember two of her songs: "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" and "Over The Rainbow." Katharine has always sung (more or less) well but not memorably.
American Idol Top 2 Recap (5/23/2006) Taylor Hicks (23/25). For his first song, Taylor reprised "Living For The City." The first thing we did in our house was turn up the volume. Grab the remote and turn up the volume, because Taylor is in the house! Taylor worked the crowd and the camera with an energetic big performance, definitely big enough for the Kodak Theatre. This was a slightly longer arrangement than when he first sang it. I counted a nearly 20 second ovation from the audience. Simon said that round one goes to Taylor.

Taylor Hicks (21/25). For his second song, Taylor reprised "Levon." I jumped on the Taylor bandwagon for real after Taylor's first performance of "Levon" early in the season. Back then, it was the first we'd seen of the passion of his performances, the emotional connection he makes with a song. This time, it was not quite as good as the first time. The first time, his performance was such a contrast to the other performances of the night. Now that we're used to Taylor, this performance didn't stand out as much. Simon said that after two rounds, we're tied. I actually have Taylor slightly ahead 44 to 43.

Taylor Hicks (24/25). For his third and final song, Taylor sang "Do I Make You Proud," which will be his first single. Taylor was smooth and powerful, building to a great climax. The song got bigger and better as it progressed. And Taylor nailed the modulation. Unbelievable. You gotta love the gospel backup singers. Taylor can even make the bogus original song sound good! I thought it was, by far, the best of the night. Simon said, "Taylor, you have just won American Idol."

It occurs to me that the Kodak seats about 3000 and that Taylor sang to much bigger crowds back home in Alabama.
Katharine McPhee (20/25). For her first song, Katharine reprised "Black Horse And The Cherry Tree." She wandered around the melody a bit and did more dancing and prancing than sitting like the first time. I don't think this is the best song for a venue like the Kodak Theatre. The song isn't big enough. It's a fun pop song, and Kat sang it well, about as well as the first time she sang it this season. But, overall, I'd say that it was a song and she sang it. Simon said it was good with a small "g" and that it was a good warm-up for her. Ouch. Because it's the final competition night, I don't think anyone should score below 20, so that's where Kat set the bar with this performance.

Katharine McPhee (23/25). For her second song, Katharine reprised "Over The Rainbow." She sang it slower and breathier than the first time she sang it (last week). She hit a clunker of a note on the second to last "birds fly" but otherwise sang it about as well as she did last week. But again I ask, why is she sitting? This has to look awkward to the home viewer. Simon said it was Kat's best performance of the competition. Which means, unfortunately, that there is nowhere to go but down from here. See how song performance order matters?

Katharine McPhee (19/25). For her third and final song, Katharine sang "My Destiny," which will be her first single. The key seemed too low for her at the start, and she stumbled her way through the opening. She was very pitchy after the modulation. This sounded like the perfect song for Kermit The Frog to sing, but not for Katharine. Then again, she was wearing a green dress. This is the problem with having the AI original song sung last. Simon said she went from great with her second song to very good with this song. I had to change my rule about not giving a score below 20 tonight, as I thought this was, by far, the worst of the night.

[P]erhaps [Katharine] was intimidated by the large stage.



Who is the most accurate American Idol blogger/pundit?

Erik's Chart of American Idol Pundits
Pundit Bottom 2-3 Accuracy Bottom One Accuracy Weighted Total Accuracy
Power Dialers @ DialIdol.com 87% (13 for 15) 71% (5 for 7) 82% (18 for 22)
Augie De Blieck Jr. @ Various and Sundry American Idol 73% (11 for 15) 57% (4 for 7) 68% (15 for 22)
Erik @ Erik J. Heels 80% (12 for 15) 43% (3 for 7) 68% (15 for 22)
Joe Reality @ Reality TV Magazine 80% (12 for 15) 43% (3 for 7) 68% (15 for 22)
Jennifer @ The Woes and the Prose of an American Idol Junkie 87% (13 for 15) 29% (2 for 7) 68% (15 for 22)
Dave @ High Lord Dave's Blog 67% (10 for 15) 57% (4 for 7) 64% (14 for 22)
Ken Barnes @ USATODAY 67% (10 for 15) 57% (4 for 7) 64% (14 for 22)
DJSlim (Brent Natzle) @ American Idol Season 5 Blog 60% (9 for 15) 29% (2 for 7) 50% (11 for 22)
Flipping A Coin 50% 50% 50%
Simon Cowell @ American Idol NA 29% (2 for 7) 29% (2 for 7)
Web Searchers @ Zabasearch.com – Most Searched American Idol Contestants no historical data no historical data no historical data
Web Searchers @ Google Trends no historical data no historical data no historical data
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Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

March 13th, 2015, 6:26 pm #16

Interesting facts re: Taylor Hicks' song choices performed on AI and how they rated.


http://www.whatnottosing.com/contestant ... QMpAFvD91s





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Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

March 16th, 2015, 8:46 pm #17

THE DAY TAYLOR WON AMERICAN IDOL, HIS VICTORY WAS PROCLAIMED IN OVER 200 NEWSPAPERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.




Front pages for May 25, 2006, from newspapers across North America on Taylor Hicks' victory. (Sorted alphabetically by state.

http://wadeonbirmingham.smugmug.com/gal ... &k=VShQZKQ






SPOTLIGHT TRIBUTE CARD :

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