Sharing thoughts about Taylor Hicks and concert travels and other musical musings!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Biggest American Idol 'Diva'


According to Ms. Jeanette Walls, the infamous gossip columnist for MSNBC, “If an award were given to the person who throws the most hissyfits, temper tantrums, and exhibits the most out-of-control behavior, looks like the prize would go to contestant Taylor Hicks.” She seems to base her remarks on an old STAR article back in May after Taylor was crowned the newest American Idol.

Let’s see. She says Taylor earns the title because:
1. Once Taylor made the Top 24, he became “difficult” and became even more so as the season went on
2. Taylor didn’t make friends with the other male contestants, often seeming “conceited and cold”
3. After making the Top 8, Taylor acted like he didn’t want to be on the show anymore
4. Taylor didn’t want the required bodyguard to accompany him to the restroom and was said to have told one bodyguard to “**** off”.
5. Taylor refused to go to photo shoots
6. Taylor wouldn’t talk to others in the show’s “Green Room”

Let me see if I can separate fact from fiction.

For someone who came on the show believing this was his last chance to “have his voice heard because he had one”, being difficult would not be advisable for anyone. Would Taylor have jeopardized his one chance at recognition? Doubtful.

Taylor, by his own admission, has said he was “an old dog” and “unmoldable”. At nearly 30 years old and having been in the music business for almost 15 years, that seems to be a reasonable statement. Taylor knew himself and what he wanted. It was about the music, the performance, the passion of putting out good music. Simple formula, good logic, no pretense. Translation: difficult and growing more difficult if someone was trying to change Taylor from what he wanted to be to something he wasn’t and wouldn’t be. Kind of like getting rid of the gray!

I’m sure we’ve all met people who are typically loners, shy and/or reserved. Often times this person is hard to engage in conversation without extreme effort. Taylor has repeatedly said he was shy and reserved, and often spent a lot of time by himself. Translation: unfriendly, conceited, cold. Since I’m often shy and reserved, I guess I’m cold and conceited. Sounds like I’m in good company!

But if Taylor wasn’t making friends with the other male contestants, why did Bucky, Elliott, Ace, and Chris show up at the various after parties to sing with Taylor and his old bandmates, Little Memphis Blues Orchestra? Perhaps to unwind, have a few free beers, strain their voices? Me thinks not! They were friends, friends who wanted to go out together and have a good time!

If you were lucky enough to go to any of these after parties or see video of them, you saw Taylor give each one his due. He showed them how to get before an impromptu audience and perform for the sheer fun of it. Taylor was a “silent” teacher, one who shows how by leading, taking time to give each performer a chance to shine. Even gave recognition to the band! Translation: unfriendly, conceited, cold? That’s what Ms. Walls said! Seems like the friendly thing to do – take your buddies out to play good music!

After making it into the Top 8, Taylor now had a shot at winning. He hadn’t been in the bottom three, and never would. Why chunk it all at this point? He had fans, a following, his beloved “Soul Patrol”. Now was not the time to give. Translation: ready to throw in the towel, maybe? If this was the week Taylor sang “Country Roads”, he felt certain he was going home. He was safe!

Having to take a bodyguard to use the bathroom made me laugh! What did they expect? Taylor needed someone to help him? Taylor had been going to the bathroom alone for years. What could go wrong? “Rabid female fans” hiding in the stalls or under the urinals? Post a guard outside the door or lock the door and require a key to be used for entrance. Problem solved!

Telling the bodyguard to “**** off” – I’m surprised that’s all that was said! I would have said a lot more, and I consider myself a lady! (Maybe sometime I’ll tell you the story of the April Fool’s joke played on my department at work – mandatory drug testing with the male HR person in attendance. Not pretty!) Translation: uncooperative and difficult. I don’t blame Taylor! We enjoyed the discussion around this one – females may potty in packs, but guys seem to go it alone! What’s the big deal!

Now the idea that Taylor refused to go to photo shoots seemed quite odd. If that was the case, why was he at the TV Guide photo shoot that the Soul Patrol loved! And in those white almost transparent pants! OK, so Taylor didn’t want to change pants with a camera following him around. Would you? Taylor seemed to have a sense of modesty – he wanted privacy to change. But in front of the camera, he was a natural! And all those great pictures we had of Taylor from the show! Translation: if Taylor didn’t want to go to photo shoots, how did we get the TV Guide video, etc.? Was that Taylor’s alter persona or twin? Nah, that was Taylor, the man whom the camera loves!

And last, the infamous “Green Room”. Just why do they call it the “Green Room”? Is it painted some hideous shade of green? Is it a holding room? Was that where the “Behind the Scenes” and Coke videos were shot? Taylor always seemed to be there! At least in the ones I saw! Translation: didn’t talk to others in the “Green Room” - probably because he was either being interviewed, learning his songs, or resting his voice.

OK. The facts have been separated from the fiction. You be the judge.

Just remember this: Taylor wears that black band to help keep him grounded. He put himself out there for his fans, gave us impromptu photo and autograph opportunities. He gave 110% at every performance, and often showed up as a “special guest” at after parties.

So if this and wanting privacy in the bathroom makes Taylor the biggest American Idol ‘diva’, I say good for you, Taylor! Keep on being the ‘diva’ because we love you just the way you are!

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