Is it bragging if you foretell the future with perfect success? I am pleased to announce two months and a week ago I made a prediction here about this year’s American Idol contestants and, in the end, I was right. Peering into tomorrow is a practiced knack and here’s why I was right about who won and who finished second.
TAYLOR HICKS Taylor Hicks, as I predicted, is your new Idol but he was never a favorite of judge Simon Cowell.
That is a dangerous thing because Simon can kill a contestant he doesn’t like and for the first six weeks of the show, Simon took every opportunity he had to slay Taylor’s chances of winning it all. What Simon failed to recognize — but that the rest of us knew and loved — is that Taylor Hicks wasn’t just a great singer and musician, he was one of us. He was older. He had a bit of a gut. His chin was doubled. He was grey haired.
We loved him because he wasn’t about surface beauty or false charity. Taylor Hicks is a real talent, nobly divined and of Great Spirit. He sweats honor and compassion. He controls the stage. He sings with grit and a passion missing in today’s popular recorded music. Taylor will always be better live than on tape but that’s the beauty of the man. He transcends the faked by being human in the moment and he cannot be artificially captured.
A few weeks ago Taylor lost his direction. He faintly sang. He stopped his spastic dancing. We knew why: He was trying to please Simon Cowell. When that attempt proved to be futile because Cowell then pounded him for not being true to himself, Taylor simply went back to the performances that won him a spot on the show in the first place. Taylor once again became the old friend we had grown to know and love.
Despite Taylor’s poor performances we never stopped believing in him. He was the only contestant to never land in the bottom three and his powerhouse fan base never abandoned him when it came time to vote to keep him in the competition. Taylor was a landslide waiting to happen
— it was time the show finally let Jedermann win it all — and Taylor Hicks not only won, he crushed the competition from start to finish.
KATHARINE McPHEE Katharine McPhee came in second place as I also predicted.
She has a beautiful voice but her confidence on stage in performance didn’t have the years of hard-earned grittiness Taylor had in his gig bag to see her though the rough spots of Simon Cowell trying to cut her throat because he felt she was “too Broadway” and “not Pop enough” to win.
Instead of trying out the things Cowell suggested — as Taylor tried and failed before entirely rejecting Cowell’s suggestions as an ongoing sabotage attempt — Katharine simply just became lost in the mist in precisely the same way similarly mega-talented singer Jordis stumbled and forever fell on Rock Star INXS last August.
Katharine will have a fine career acting, modeling, singing and performing career if she can just learn to trust her training. She needs to sing a single note instead of making every note into a run to show off her voice. When she begins to blindly believe in herself and what she was born to know — and not solely in her ability to run every single note — Katharine will have found the sort of confidence that set Taylor on the unbeatable path to winning.