Wade on Birmingham

Just for Hicks: Cinco de Idol

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taylor hicksFive finalists fight it out with an “American Idol” Tuesday twofer, a song from birth year and from current charts. And Birmingham’s Taylor Hicks shows his playful side and his soulful side in songs older than most of the audience.

Recap after the jump …

Updated with audio, elimination.

Taylor Hicks

The hair-itage of Hicks.

Taylor Hicks

‘Lay down that boogie and play that funky music till you die …’

Songs: “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry (from 1976) and “Something” by the Beatles (from 1969! but currently on the charts in “The Capitol Albums Vol. 2″).

Judges say: (first song) Randy: “I felt like I was in a bar, and I had a couple.” Paula: “You dressed the part, you had fun. This is the authentic Taylor that we love.” Simon: “It was like a horrible, horrible wedding performance.”

(second song) Randy: “You chose a great song. It was a nice tender moment from you.” Paula: “You moved it tenderly … you didn’t oversing it.” Simon: “It’s easy to forget, with all your barminess, that you’re a very good singer. That was good.”

Taylor Hicks

On the dance floor, and just on the floor.

Taylor Hicks

Friendly cheers; Ryan gets down with Taylor.

We say: The two-song format works for Taylor. The audience sees his wild-and-crazy routine (which added some life to tonight’s competition) and his soulful side (which came through nicely on the second song).

Taylor says: “I started out as a blond (as a boy). … I’ve had more hair changes than Ryan Seacrest.”

Taylor Hicks

‘I don’t wanna leave her now. You know I believe, and how …’

Idol thoughts: Elliott Yamin, good vocals for “On Broadway,” even if the song is blah; “Home” was OK, if not spectacular. Paris Bennett, a cute perky “Kiss,” but “Be Without You” was a little stronger. Chris Daughtry, “Renegade,” decent if not daring; “I Dare You” … to try something other than alt-rock. Katharine McPhee, “Against All Odds” = lame; better vocals on “Black Horse and Cherry Tree,” but uh, you floored us with your, um, choreography.

Voting closes at 10 tonight.

Update: Hear Hicks perform “Play That Funky Music” and “Something” at Rickey.org.

Update: Eliminated on May 3: Paris Bennett.

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This week’s roundup

  • The gossip tab Star Magazine has the details on Taylor’s pot bust in 1998. Yawn. Mary Colurso of the Birmingham News had it months ago.
  • Birmingham venue WorkPlay has already scheduled a May 24 finale viewing party to cheer on Taylor. Way to jinx him, jerks. Taylor’s band, Little Memphis Blues Orchestra, will be playing afterward.
  • Once upon a time, no U.S. network wanted a British retread of a talent show to be called “American Idol” …
  • What is it about Birmingham that produces so many Idol finalists?
  • Taylor received an endorsement, sort of, from Vote for the Worst.com: “We are not voting for Taylor because he’s the best, we’re voting for him because he’s the worst on the show. But, this is not Taylor’s fault, it’s the fault of the show for pigeonholing him into a box that doesn’t suit him.”

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