Presidential Seal of Approval? Next week President George W. Bush will host the American Idols as they tour the White House. I find this interesting in that Tony Blair will be in town to meet with Bush to discuss the war in the Middle East that same day. I can envision Blair and Bush along with Laura and the dogs hopping and buzzing around the Idols. Blair and his buddy, Dubya, swaying and bobbing, apeing The Soulman's signature moves, shouting WOOOO! and high fiving. Dubya snickering in the way only he can....to be a fly on the wall. You can bet that part of the visit won't appear on camera; but it will happen. ;) White House excitement at its Idol Best. Leave it to Taylor Hicks' to continue making history. This is the First Idol invitation to the Oval Office, previous Idols including last year's runner-up, Bo Bice just didn't make the cut. Of course, one other factor to consider, Taylor Hicks drew more votes from the public, with Fox reporting 63 million cast, compared to Bush's 59 million in 2004 (to be fair, a record just the same, set for any U.S. presidential election). During a time when Bush's ratings with the public are crawling at a low point, he may be hoping to capture some of that Soulman Mojo. (Taylor, keep an eye out for anyone trying to nab any locks of hair...) Bush can thank Laura's press secretary, Susan Whitson, she was Hick's 9th grade English teacher in B'Ham. It's a small world after all.
Taylor Hicks "carries himself with dignity", so it says in an article written in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle by Jeff Spevak. This is a quality of Taylor's that so many folks missed during the Idol run - instead many perceived him as just a goofy, Southern boy from Birmingham, Alabama, big on ernest talent and low on intellect. My first impression of Taylor Hicks was one of a man with fire and drive, okay with playing the fool, but not a fool. Just one look into his eyes, I knew this is not a guy to ever underestimate. You cannot escape his internal fire.
Speaking of internal fire, about a week or so ago I was reading through the Idol boards (I have a few favorite posters that I like to read when I can find them -"friends" of sorts from the days during the competition), when a thread started by Will Smith popped up. I'm thinking Will Smith like in "Independence Day"? Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Curious, I read the post. It seems this Will Smith recognized what Taylor had in the way of talent and potential before Clive Davis had nightmares of any contestant with gray hair winning Idol. Smith saw that fire within Taylor and cut a demo CD containing three songs, "The Fall", one of Taylor's favorite songs, as well as "In Your Time" and "Son of a Carpenter". You can find this demo CD at Tyler Music Group. Mr. Smith is selling them for $5.99. Mr. Smith presented the demo to 15 major labels but was repeatedly turned down. Comments regarding Hicks' hair ranged from 'Who's the guy with the Phil Donohue haircut', to simply not interested in trying to market a singer in their 20's with gray hair. I can imagine the 'suits' that turned Hicks down now kicking themselves in their pinstriped rear-ends.
This demo CD should provide Mr. Smith a little financial windfall, he was one of the first to see the "IT" in Hicks. Speaking of windfall, Mr. Smith even introduced "The Fall" to windbag Clive Davis, as a better song than "Do I Make You Proud?" and of course, Davis turned it down. I thank Mr. Smith for coming forward with this and sharing it with the fans and wish him much success.
Following another favorite of mine from AI5, Elliot Yamin, he's loving livin' la vida loca as does his Momma. Apparently sans now ex-girlfriend, Amanda. Amanda had been a huge promoter of E. within the forums community in the earlier days of the Season 5 contest, then seemed to disappear. Perhaps Elliot's too busy now to settle down, or Amanda grew weary of sharing E. and success with Mom in tow, but we have to consider, he's city hopping on a concert tour, and cutting a new album due out soon after the first of the year. Read more details about Elliot in this article from The Washington Post.
That's a wrap for me this Sunday morning. I've another article in progress about "The One (making a Music Star) and Why It'll Soon Be The Done" or something like that... I did say it's a work in progress. I plan to have it out after I watch the second week's show. That darn Libra voice within has to give it one more watch.
The One good thing, Hicks or Elliot didn't try out for what is looking like One truely Train-Wreck of a reality show.
Groove on Soulman. (Say "Hey!" to Dubya for me.)