Wade on Birmingham

Just for Hicks: Wonder dozen

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taylor and stevieThe 12 “American Idol” hopefuls sang the praises and phrases of Stevie Wonder live. And Birmingham’s Taylor Hicks brought the house down. How did he stack up against the other finalists?

Recap after the jump …

Updated with video, elimination.

Taylor Hicks

Ivory and ebony: Taylor Hicks and Stevie Wonder

Taylor Hicks

‘Living just enough, just enough for the city …’

Song: “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder.

Judges say: Randy: “You were fearless, baby, fearless.” Paula: “You are such a fun performer and you have so much passion.” Simon: “Your appeal is, you’re like every day who’s ever got drunk at a wedding. The difference is, you can sing.”

Stevie says: “Taylor has feeling, and I believe that feeling is coming from his soul.”

We say: One of his strongest performances, and a real connection to the bigger studio audience. Doesn’t hurt that Stevie’s soul and pop sound is a natural fit.

Taylor says: “As a kid, I tried to play harmonica like Stevie Wonder.”

Taylor Hicks

Family and friends celebrate; all smiles for the judges.

Idol thoughts: A Stevie Wonder theme night looks good on paper, but brought out some real weaknesses in the singers (Kellie Pickler, aw shucks ain’t gonna cut it; even Ace Young sounded weak). You could pick the final six based on tonight alone. The ones to beat: Katharine McPhee, Paris Bennett and Chris Daughtry.

Voting closes at 11 tonight.

Update: See Hicks perform “Living for the City” at Graycharles.com.

Update: Eliminated on March 15: Melissa McGhee.

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Read more on Taylor Hicks.

5 Yips for “Just for Hicks: Wonder dozen”

  1. Alex
    Wednesday, March 15, 2006, 3:21 am
    1

    taylor was great except he need s to reduce his movement in the stage. Enough of this fun and goofy presence. He heas to geive commanding presence. To do that he has to sto dancing and stop woohoo in during singing.

    other than that i have some conspiracy theory.
    Chris gets special treatment from AI producers and SIMON.

    My issue is this.

    1. Chris gets to play ROCK SONG every week even on THEME NIGHT which supposed to test singer versatility. BUCKY the country rocker gets nothing.

    2. Chris gets LIGHT SHOW.

    3. Chris gets heavy guitar background to suppress his awful vocal screaming.

    4. Chris gets last spot every week.

    5. Simon start to lie to keep CHRIS on top , so he can win it all.

    6. The comments like “chris made it own” is just pimp act. It was RHCP version. This judges don’t even know that. What a….

    7. Chris may not be faulted except missing notes and hiding behing one trick pony uptempo rocker image.

    8. it is insult to for all other contestants that he gets to use loop hole and can stay at comfort zone and others like elliot gets critcized. Something not right with this show. simon is a hypocrite.

    This show may be popular but today it showed this show become anoter planned predetermined CRAP.

    Today i lost my respect for the show. I will see one more week , if it happens again that will be the end of american idol for me.

  2. Ruth
    Wednesday, March 15, 2006, 11:16 am
    2

    Taylor is Bham’s gift to the rest of us. He’s not only very gifted, he’s the most loveable performer I’ve seen in a long time. I’m not the only one. Did you not feel the love of the audience in that hall for him? They were so engaged about him, when he was caught sneaking his harmonica or whether to change his hair color!! He’s fresh, unique, original, and supremely talented. His most amazing trait though is his ability to make people smile. What a gift that is for this day and age!!

    They might be slanting the title to Chris, but the growing legions of Taylor fans will have something to say about the AI end results! We don’t want Taylor off the show for a long, long time, if ever. He’s now AI’s biggest ratings draw IMHO. That’s going to become an even more powerful factor as time goes on…

  3. Ruth
    Wednesday, March 15, 2006, 12:45 pm
    3

    Hey. Check it out DAWG. MTV news , yes THE MTV, is calling it for a Taylor AI win!!

    http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1526144/20060315/index.jhtml?headlines=true

    “Who is the one to beat: You heard it here first: Taylor will win “American Idol.” He defines unique, his love for music is genuine and his voice is so soulful. Even those dance moves are charming. If only they let him play that harmonica. Chris is solid too, but he’s not as one-of-a-kind. McPhee-ver and either Paris or Mandisa will round out the final four.”

    http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1526144/20060315/index.jhtml?headlines=true

  4. Wade
    Wednesday, March 15, 2006, 12:50 pm
    4

    “Idol” folks talk about the reason for theme weeks.

  5. TABby cat
    Thursday, March 16, 2006, 2:23 pm
    5

    love this guy. love love love.

    Aside from the musicianship, the look, the act, and the positive attitude…

    he’s got that whole…”been struggling juuust long enough to not take anything too much for granted” thing going on.

    Seems pretty definite that he could be voted off tomorrow and still have a devoted female following for quite some time.

    Now if only every interview wasn’t about his hair…

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