Los Angeles, California — For those who possibly felt a small earth tremor this evening, no need to be anxious; it was not the shifting of a seismic fault line, but merely the momentary upshot of a nationwide celebration.
Following an announcement at 9:03pm local time from show host Ryan Seacrest, the Kodak Theatre audience (largely inhabited by a following called the Soul Patrol) had every right to jump wildly — their salt-n-pepper-haired iconoclast, Taylor Hicks, was crowned the Season Five champion of American Idol.
The 29-year-old native of Birmingham, Alabama worked his way through an audition of hundreds, eventually secured a Top Twelve position, then quietly pared through the field for an opportunity to meet sultry suburban Los Angeles resident Katharine McPhee in the Finals.
Hicks’ prematurely gray hair and smoky singing style have earned him the moniker “Gray Charles.” But the combination of twinkled eyes, perpetual blotto-like grin and unorthodox dance energy (panelist Simon Cowell found him “like a drunk father at the family picnic”) caused many to dismiss Hicks as a true threat until recently.
Just as many viewers found the appearance of finalist Katharine McPhee to be foxy, a closer look would look beyond Hicks’ external antics; to realize he’s crazy like a fox. With Southern charm and a mix of mania, the fashionably attired Hicks’ fist pumping post-performance mantra of “Woooooo! Soul Patrol, Soul Patrol!” helped to forge a bond — through spirit and salience — with viewers that’d inevitably propel him to a Finals victory.
After all, who could not like Taylor Hicks? Or, for that matter, not remember him? … click to continue reading American Idol final results: Soul Patrol rolls to victory!