Woman's Gotta Have It
Filmed at The Workplay Theater in Birmingham, AL 9-26-09 with Ona Watson.
Song available on Taylor's new album, The Distance.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Taylor Hicks - The One In A Million Winner

As we gear up for Season 7 of American Idol, I wonder if we'll ever see a winner like Taylor Hicks again (or even a Top 10 contender). My gut tells me no way. He was definitely that one-in-a-millon contestant who had everything going for him and played every move strategically correct. Over 64 million phone votes were cast for Taylor on May 23, 2006.

He brought an excitement and passion to the AI stage that I have yet to see duplicated. He was everybody's underdog - that ultra charismatic slightly paunchy prematurely gray headed guy who wasn't afraid to show you the passion he had for his music. He presented himself as a good natured southern guy but with the grit and determination that just makes you want to root for. Let's not forget he headlined the most successful AI tour ever and Season 5, his season, had the highest TV viewership to date. This is not a coincidence, my friends.

I loved it when Paula said "this is the authentic Taylor". At the time, I said to myself, "Taylor is playing this game brilliantly! He's tapping into the viewers good natured, have-a-good-time-make-you-wanna-vote-for-him heartstring! But if we look underneath the surface, her comment didn't do him any favors in his post Idol success and certainly Simon's snark about him being the perpetual wedding singer hasn't done any favors either. I hate to keep repeating this, but this perception of the wild and crazy singer/dancer is still dogging him, I believe, and he is on an uphill road to get that tag off of his back.

The truth is that the real Taylor Hicks is a serious, extremely hard-working talented musician, songwriter and singer, who puts every ounce of his being into his performances. During Idol, many took this as a goofy throw-back, but in actuality, he used his unconventional style to gain a huge fan base and springboard his career to pursue the kind of music he wanted. That HE wanted, not the Top 40 niche artist Clive Davis wants out of this talent show. Stubborn? Yes? Savvy? You betcha! Smart? Damn right!

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), he's become the black sheep of 'the AI family' because he refused and is still refusing to be manipulated by the powers that be. Whether or not he ever becomes a huge selling recording artist, a pop star that lands in tabloids, or bucks his own vision just to sell those "units", he is creating a long term career based on real cloth, not synthetic fabric. Long after the musical trends change and those who are big today are long gone tomorrow, I firmly believe Taylor will still be out there performing his heart out to his fans, doing it his way. He came into the show as his own man, and will continue on as his own man - and I wouldn't want it any other way.

You can be sure you will not see the likes of a Taylor Hicks again on that American Idol stage. The producers will make sure of that. He was too good for it anyway. Cheers!


skeeter226 said...

AMEN! Thats about all I can say. I agree with most every word here. Especially the part about Taylor "creating a long term career based on REAL CLOTH, not SYNTHETIC FABRIC"....

WAY TO GO soulthing! I LOVE your blog! I plan on making this place one of my first stops in all things Taylor.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog Griz! You've done an awesome job! :)


Sandra said...

You are incredible!!! Your blogs are spot on.

Tish said...

How can anyone watch that video of Taylor weaving all those songs into The Maze in such a masterful way and not realize what a talent he is? Griz I love your blog!

justwatchin said...

Ahh..."the likes of a Taylor Hicks"....that has a nice ring to it, and elevates him to the extraordinary status that fits him like a glove...

Griz...love your blog...I've only just discovered it today...very cool!

CJ said...

What a nice write up and the video topped it off. I'm just sitting in my chair dipping and diving,moving and grooving to that video with a great big smile on my face. He is so talented what a shame they didn't promote him like they should have. Can't wait to see or hear Taylor in 2008.
Love your site!