Taylor Hicks, to repeat an already recognized point, stands as the most polarizing and exciting contestant to date, to appear on American Idol. I remembered back during his run on the show how his fanbase adopted the 'us against the world' attitude. In several instances, cyber-battle lines were formed with the Hick's fans pitted against the other A.I. contestant fan bases similar to a sporting event. The tighter the competition perceived between Hicks and the other contestants the rougher the on-line controversy and fan forum baiting. One of the main reasons Taylor won was his fans - from those fans emerged certain leaders, that became like cyber 'generals' that worked the other fans into almost a militant lather come A.I. voting night.
What was evidenced during season five with the competitive push to get Taylor Hicks the win - after the dust settled and the man received his crown, the infighting began amongst the fans. It seemed once the competition was over, the types of fans who reveled in fan board wars and fighting had to find other 'missions'. These 'missions' carried forth on-line with the intent to 'protect' Taylor from one issue or another. Heaven save the critic who spoke negatively against the man, or a fan who had anything but glowing commentary on the man. These type of site leaders instead of helping the man's career are creating a state I'll refer to as "fan- cannibalization". It's certainly not positive to promote Hicks by using aggressive tactics. This could be a factor that might be turning folks from the fanbase and possibly off Hicks. I know of many fans of Taylor's who have opted to remain out of the forums and opt to not post to any blogs or sites about him. Venturing into numerous fan forums I witnessed this myself, many are dormant or with very little activity.
Having a Taylor Hicks fan blog, I have watched the trends, seen the fan site tides ebb and flow. I have checked on Gray Charles.com, seen it come on and fade back off-line. GC was one of the master bloggers during the A.I. 5 campaign, and so he is interesting. Recently I had found a site, tfhzone. Reading the site, it felt like Gray Charles was stamped all over it. The site was witty and fun, fresh, a little sassy and snarky without malice. It began drawing some posters with intelligence - several names I remembered from GC's original site. I enjoyed my time there and frequented it daily for a while.
Talk on tfhzone.com turned to a site known as MFOYA. It was curious to me, when the site name up descriptors from those talking about it had the same rather funny cryptic commentary, the site was 'evil', 'mean' and warnings to 'don't go over there'. Like a moth to the candle flame I had to go. I had to open the "Pandora's box" website. I'm just built that way.
I discovered several of the tfhzone.com posters were hanging on the MFOYA site. Interesting, I thought, so I took time to read the site. It seems the target of the MFOYA site were the photos that hit the internet about Taylor Hicks and a blonde babe hanging in Maui. Question brought up, the identity of the woman in the photos.
Looking at the photos MFOYA posted, I recalled reading an email that was on another site that came up in my Google alerts by a guy professing he knew the blonde's identity. Taking the clues and using Google it was not difficult to find a news anchorwoman in Milwaukee, WI, Caroline Lyders as the e.mailer's intended reveal.
I then had to find the gossip site with photos of Taylor Hicks on a beach with the blonde woman in question. I didn't care that Taylor was lolling in the surf with a pretty woman, what caught my attention on this site, were the number of women on the gossip blog who were so mean and vicious in their commentaries about her. I commented that I thought she was attractive, in fact she looks very much like my younger sister, hair style and all.
MFOYA's beef is not with the lady's appearance per se, instead MFOYA questions the lady in the photos identity. I was an art major in college and for a time worked in the commercial art field, drawing people my specialty. I did ads, pen and brush ink work. I was pretty handy at drawing people with pencil, charcoal, even ballpoint pen. I checked out the comparison photos being discussed with an artists' eye. Hanging out on Lower Greenville Avenue partying, sometimes I would just pick up a pen and draw folks on whatever was handy.
Now granted, viewing photos is quite different than looking at the original human standing in front of you. Lighting and angles can be deceptive. I stress, taking in the photo images, what my eyes are taking in as represented by the photos, there are some marked differences between the pictures as well as marked similarities.
Ms. Lyders in her photos taken from the news station, WISN appears to be slighter, smaller, more petite, refined individual than the photos taken of the gal on the beach. The two wear the same earrings, but it's true those studs are a common choice. The shape of their ears are similar, but in the photo of the beach gal, her lobes look fuller. Facial differences, the jaw line. Photos of Ms. Lyders have her jaw line as more narrow and delicate. The image of the Beach gal - her jaw line is more square; it looks heavier with a solid lower line. Their chins are similar shape, but it's a common shape. In the photos, and again note In the photos, the noses look different. The photos of Ms. Lyders have her with a more pointed, more delicate nose, Beach gals' nose rounds out at the end, looks larger, not so delicate. Overall in viewing these as well as other photographs of this mystery, the photos representing Ms. Lyders have her as a more refined appearing, delicately constructed woman, the gal seen on the beach looks more athletic, rounder, fuller.
The eyes and brows look similar although you can't tell the colors in the photos. They both sport short blonde hair. Reasoning for the controversy, that perhaps we are dealing with a doppleganger situation evades rationalization. It's a freaky conundrum to be sure.
I'm not trying to be MFOYA here at all, in fact MFOYA has asked my opinion on these photos a number of times. I have pretty much told them the same as I am writing here. Contrary to some of the Hitler's running other fan sites, I am far from copycatting MFOYA. There are similarities in our writing style perhaps, and we both have tempers, anyone who knows me in real life would attest to that fault of mine.
The major difference between us, this directed to all the 'Genius' Theorists", MFOYA has the inside information, has the scoop on this mystery and controversy. I simply stumbled into and onto a website run by one of the most powerful bloggers to come along in quite a while.
MFOYA is a force of insight and determination. My role is and has been, one of support. It's like saying anyone of the folk who haunt the other boards and support what the site owners have to say are wanting to be like them. That's ridiculous. The difference with me perhaps being that I am not just a poster on MFOYA, I have my own blogspot and write my own material, my own spin.
I've taken a few days away to 'deck my halls' set up my tree/Hannukah bush et al, as well as get my perspective back in order, but I stand behind MFOYA for two reasons. One, they may be right on this - they may be wrong, but they convey their points intelligently. Two, I like MFOYA's spunk, determination, temper and stubborness to adhere to their ideals, they are making a definitive case for their points.
To those out there who may select to aggravate me for standing where I am, I won't be baited any longer, you know how I feel about you already.
To the Taylor Hicks' fans, the infighting is non-productive and harmful to the man's career. Verbally cannibalizing one another is not the way to build a base for a man we all admire.