Wade on Birmingham

Just for Hicks: Four Kings


taylor hicksThe “American Idol” final four took a roadtrip to Graceland to prepare to become Elvis impersonators for a night. Along the way, they met Priscilla Presley and record exec Tommy Mottola (but no fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, sad). Birmingham’s Taylor Hicks took on two classics … with mixed results.

Recap after the jump …

Updated with video, elimination.

Taylor Hicks

‘He learns how to steal and he learns how to fight in the ghetto …’

Songs: “Jailhouse Rock” and “In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley.

Judges say: (first song) Randy: “You were in your element. Good job.” Paula: “You were phenomenal.” Simon: “In the real world, that was a terrible impersonation of Elvis Presley. … It was just karaoke with a capital k.”

(second song) Randy: “The right key, finally. The right song, finally. … That was hot, America!” Paula: “This brings it to show how well rounded of an artist you are.” Simon: “Absolutely the perfect song for you. You have just sung your way into the semi-finals.”

Taylor Hicks

‘Jailhouse’ break; ‘Ghetto’ breakdown.

Tommy says: “When he sang ‘In the Ghetto,’ that was very impressive. … I think this is going to be one of his best performances.”

We say: “Jailhouse Rock” was middle of the road: safe, upbeat, unsurprising. “In the Ghetto” was the best, by far (even better than Cartman’s version). Again, the two-song format helps Taylor show off his goofy side and his soulful side.

Taylor says: “Tommy Mottola told me … to leave the dancing out of it (“In the Ghetto”).”

Taylor Hicks

Tommy, can you hear me?; playing to the entourage.

Idol thoughts: Chris Daughtry, a decent rendition of “Suspicious Minds”; “A Little Less Conversation” was a little more lousy. Elliott Yamin, “If I Can Dream” was soulful and powerful; “Trouble” was tops (though the camera doesn’t love him, judging by the number of cutaways). Katharine McPhee, “Hound Dog” … um, bouncy fun; “Can’t Help Falling in Love” wasn’t her best, by far (McPheever downgraded to McSniffle).

Voting closes at 10 tonight.

Hear Hicks perform “Jailhouse Rock” and “In the Ghetto” at Rickey.org.

Update: See Hicks perform “Jailhouse Rock” and “In the Ghetto.”

Update: Eliminated on May 10: Chris Daughtry.

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1 Yip for “Just for Hicks: Four Kings”

  1. Ginny
    Tuesday, May 9, 2006, 11:51 pm

    That Gelf (?) writer is out of her tree. Her logic is charming, but absolutely backwards. In other words, we don’t have great singers because we have choirs, we have great choirs because we have singers who’ve not had other options to showcase their talents.

    You know I love Alabama Idol, but it’s not that we have more talented singers (or more-talented singers). Our fields are not more plentiful, they’re just harvested less often.

    Those Southern Idols are just the low-hanging fruit, and their peers (I’ve got to watch the fruit analogy since I almost wrote “pears”) from the Midwest, Northeast, West, and Florida didn’t need a talent search to make it into the business in New York, the Motor City, LA, or Disney.

    If anything, the conserative nature of the southern states makes it less likely for a native singer to give up a stable career choice like doing nails or data entry to take a huge risk and move to the big city for a pipe dream. American Idol comes knocking and only asks for one day. It’s the perfect opportunity for someone without means or ability/willingness to take a major risk.

    And doesn’t she know she can get her computer to call for Taylor?

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