Taylor Hicks is one of several American Idol contestants from the good ol’ south. He was born in Alabama to parents who would later divorce. He discovered through the harmonica that he had perfect pitch, an amazing asset to have if you’re a musician. He kept up with music throughout college by joining a band, but left it and Auburn University after three years. He went on to record a demo, but never received a recording contract. So in 2005, when his half-brother suggested he audition for American Idol, Taylor thought it sounded like a pretty good idea. He auditioned and, as all of America knows, was voted in by only two judges – Simon said he would never make it to the final round. (And if you’ve been watching any of this season’s episodes, you know that’s the number one comeback to Simon, after a negative comment. Very fun for him, I’m sure.)
So, Taylor Hicks makes it on the show. After his first performance for the voting public, Simon becomes the bigger man and states that he was wrong when he judged him in Las Vegas, and he thinks Taylor will do very well on the show – a huge thing for Simon to admit. We get down to the final two contestants – a 29-year old, grey haired man-child, or a beautiful 22-year old young woman (Katherine McPhee). Seems pretty obvious, right? Maybe not… In May of 2006, Taylor Hicks became the fifth American Idol, and the third winner to never have been voted into the bottom two or three, along with Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Life after the show has been pretty good to Taylor. He signed with Arista Records and has put out a hit CD with two singles. He has agreed to co-write his memoirs, with an expectant release date of spring 2007. For a young kid from the south, who loved the harmonica and blues, things have turned out pretty well for Taylor.

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