This time last year, as I got my hair cut, the salon was a-buzz because a long-time client who'd just walked out had made it onto American Idol. I'm an American Idol groupie, so I started bouncing in my chair--which might have contributed to some odd layering I noticed in my hair later. I asked my stylist to tell me more about this guy.
She bent close to me and whispered, "He's weird."
Me: "Weird how?"
Stylist: "He has gray hair, and he won't let us color it."
I know, I know, Chris Daughtry was robbed. I was a fan of Chris. I was a huge fan of Elliott. I was a fan of Paris, and Bucky, and Sway, who did a great cover of Earth Wind & Fire. But I'm a Taylor Hicks fangirl. Why?
He grew up here in Birmingham. At 16, he was playing basketball for Hoover High (i.e., Two-A-Days) and sneaking out of the house to play his harmonica in biker bars. (Don't try this at home.)
He went to my alma mater, Auburn University, where I also taught freshman English. War Eagle!
He's a real musician. He paid his dues. He knows the old soul classics. He always thanks the band. In fact, he tried to convince the producers to let him take his Birmingham band on tour with him. He didn't take them all, but he did get his saxophone player. I watched this terrific band play with Taylor on local TV when he came to town for the parade in April. As a saxophone player myself, I was awed to see this guy play a soprano sax out one side of his mouth and an alto out the other. I was squinting at the TV, leaning to one side, thinking, "How does he--" turning upside down "--finger that?"
Most of all, I admire Taylor because he pursued an artistic endeavor for years against all odds. He beat his head against the wall until the sheetrock finally gave way. I have been through this myself. As I waited for MAJOR CRUSH to debut and watched American Idol last spring, it was enormously satisfying to see this hometown boy finally make good.
Who are you a fangirl (or manfan) of, and why?
My other idol, btw, is Jane Austen.