Posted: 10:54 am Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

‘American Idol’ bits: Taylor Hicks headlining Centennial Olympic Park July 4th fireworks show 

By Rodney Ho

Taylor Hicks will be the headlining acts at Centennial Olympic Park July 4th. CREDIT: AP

He’s Taylor Hicks will be the headlining acts at Centennial Olympic Park July 4th. CREDIT: AP

Taylor Hicks, the winner of the most popular “American Idol” season ever in 2006, is going to headline the Centennial Olympic Park July 4th fireworks show Friday night.

An Auburn graduate and Birmingham native, Hicks has plenty of friends in Atlanta so he told me late last week that he’s thrilled to be able to spend the 4th with them.

He expects to sing three or four songs, effectively the warm-up act for the fireworks. Don’t be surprised if he slips in “Georgia on My Mind.” (Why not a crowd pleaser, eh?)

Hicks finished his 28-month run in Las Vegas a few months ago and is happy to take “a bit of a breather.” Then he joked, referencing the casino atmosphere: “A breather as in non-recirculated air.”

He is playing more golf now and hitting some celebrity pro-ams. His handicap? “In the teens. Could be worse. It will get worse,” he said.

Hicks is spending time in Nashville working on music and creating a country single. (Country! It’s what a lot of former “Idols” are doing!) “I’ve been playing roadhouse and country blues all my life. It’s not a stretch for me.”

He would love to do some TV. He now has an agent and doing auditions. After his experience touring with “Grease” a few years back, “it’s something I’m trying to work on.”

Hicks was just at Reynolds Plantation on Monday for a fundraiser. So this will be his second trip to Atlanta in five days.

He’s not the first “Idol” to headline the gig. Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox headlined the show in 2011.

***

Ryan Seacrest is the highest ranked “Idol”-related celebrity on Forbes at No. 31, down from 26 last year.  Jennifer Lopez is at 33 (She was No. 1 in 2012 and No. 12 last year). Simon Cowell is at No. 42 (He was No. 9 as recently as 2011 and 17 last year). No ‘Idol” alum made the cut.

***

Daughtry will be at Chastain with the Goo Goo Dolls July 11. Tickets here.

I was offered an interview with him and said yes. I’ll post something if I get to talk to him.

***

I can’t figure out how many folks showed up to the New Orleans “Idol” auditions. The issue is hardly anybody is covering such things anymore. Nola.com took some pictures and that was all I could find.

***

Burnell Taylor (season 12) at the BET Awards with Nicki Minaj. CREDIT: BET

Burnell Taylor (season 12) at the BET Awards with Nicki Minaj. CREDIT: BET

Former Idol contestant Burnell Taylor joined Nicki Minaj to perform at the BET Awards Sunday. You can watch his performance here.

***

Kelly Clarkson celebrated having a baby with a well deserved glass of wine.


I’m bummed out we won’t be able to see Adam Lambert fronting Queen in Atlanta. Here’s a positive review out of Canada.

53 comments
RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

New blog entry up!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Haven't seen Dome yet.  Not sure I will get the chance since there's a birthday boy in the family this weekend which will require some traveling.  I will have to catch up on everything during hubby's next trip.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Mercedes: Have you heard of this new series coming soon, something about moving to Sweden? No idea what it's about or if we've ever heard of anyone in it.

Glad your weather has worked out finally.

Deirdre:  Have you watched this week's "Dome" yet? They are doing weird stuff with the characters. We'll 'discuss' when you've seen it. Carefully of course.

RoHo: have you come across any pix of Kelly's little girl yet?

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

I don't think I have ever seen a game quite like yesterday's Brazil/Germany debacle.  I've seen teams lose focus, then get it back.  I've seen teams outmatched by their opponents.  I have never watched a team completely fall apart the way the Brazil team did.  The poor fans!

MercedesS
MercedesS

Hubby and his sister are playing guitars and singing old folk songs.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Just checking in. Weather cleared up, nice swim at Tybee this am.

Tomorrow I'm going to take a rake to the Spanish moss. It may look pretty in a creepy way as it sways in the wind but it kills the trees.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Just heard Germany leading Brazil 5-0 in the first 36 mins. Guess that's something in this sport.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

About to sit down and watch Germany v Brazil.  Have a good rest of the day and if it is this slow tomorrow, I'll tell you the saga of my pool.  I can hear all of you saying OH GOODY!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

JT:  THANKS for the link! I'd just seen mention of this, but hadn't had a chance to find it, so you made it easier - I've printed it and will take it home and read at my leisure!

Did anyone else see the NBC 1-hour special last Monday, "The Making of Diagon Alley"? It was great, and the place is unbelievable. I am absolutely dying to go and see both parks.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Almost forgot, I got that "Sponsored by......" crap a half dozen times this am trying to log on. Finally got thru (obviously!)

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Deirde:  If you've not seen it yet, lots happening on "FS" this week. Very good episode. However, I'd be very happy if the "daughter" was offed! Not liking her or her storyline at all.

Mercedes:  Haven't watched "24" yet - probably be the weekend before I get to it. Heard it's great. Last weeks was really really good.

Daughtry is coming to ATL in near future - saw the ad this am while dressing. Looks like they're the 'big' act, and GooGoo Dolls are opening for them. I'd have thought it would be the other way around.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

WP, maybe they aren't paid that nicely anymore.  The part that has me curious(ok, nosy) is that Idol usually announces when a singer won't be participating.  So far(at least as of yesterday) Idol hasn't said a word about it.  Curiouser and curiouser.

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

I thought the top ten were under some type contract and were paid rather nicely.  Wonder why he would want to mess that up????

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

So, Dexter Roberts has been missing from the Idol tour since July 1.  Idol hasn't said anything official about it and, when asked by fans, the contestants say that he's out due to illness.  BUT, here's the interesting part: a fair in Alabama(he's confirmed to be at home right now)says that Dexter will be a performer there all 3 days of the fair in mid July.  Those same 3 days, the Idol tour will be doing shows in 3 different Florida cities.  So, if he is well enough to perform, why isn't he with the tour?  Inquiring minds want to know.  Or maybe just nosy me wants to know

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

Great three days off to relax and refresh.  Glad to be back.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Mercedes: Sorry you had such a bad 4th. And I wouldn't have seen "Tammy" anyway, but always appreciate the critiques.

Deirdre:  Sounds like a great German hotel - and how kind and generous of them to take care of the Americans that way.

Highlands was totally perfect - morning/early afternoon temps in low to mid 60's, later afternoon around 70°, nights between hi 40's and low 50's. Been very lucky this year with my two small vacas - perfect weather in FL and the mountains!

Looks like everyone had a safe holiday - that's great!

Didn't see any of the Idols on tv - I was at the fireworks in Highlands. Hope they all were great.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

And how about that wonderful weather we had on the 4th?(sorry Mercedes)  Temps in the low 80's, no humidity!!!!  Wow! It was nice!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

My husband was in Frankfort Germany on the 4th.  The hotel where he was laying over provided a free BBQ with sausages and chicken and an open bar of beer and wine for all the American crews staying there.  The manager of the hotel made a speech about how grateful the German people are to the USA for embracing them as a people and how the hotel wanted them to always feel welcome.  Then a young German girl sang a perfect rendition of the Star Spangled Banner while the hotel employees waved American flags.  My husband was very impressed.  This is the same hotel that organized a wonderful Christmas dinner(again, free) for all the airline crews a couple of years ago.

This happened while the German soccer team was playing Belgium.  IMO, that makes it even more amazing!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

I hope we all had a better 4th than Mercedes!  Sorry to hear about your weekend, Mercedes!  I enjoyed my day just fine with 3 dogs to keep me entertained plus the neighbors' fireworks at midnight to keep me awake.  ;-)

I did watch Taylor Hicks and enjoyed his performances.  Also watched Philx2 and Jordin Sparks on the Capitol 4th show. 

Thanks for the review of Tammy.  I wasn't planning to see it and am sad to admit that I haven't been to a single film this summer.  NOTHING appeals to me.  I was going to see Jersey Boys but it was roundly panned.  I do want to see Snowpiercer but it isn't showing here in the boondocks yet so I will have to wait for that one.  

MercedesS
MercedesS

Good morning!

A rained-out Savannah weekend with four house guests and a broken washing machine not much fun. No beach, no sailing. Arthur missed us but caused bad storms and power outages .

Forgot to warn about "Tammy", painfully bad comedy with big stars.

Deliliah345
Deliliah345

There was a reported 30,000 people in attendance to watch Taylor Hicks & the fireworks. This is probably one of the biggest crowds ever he's played to. An even bigger audience with it being televised. Do I Make You Proud (a rare performance), Taking It To The Streets and Georgia on my Mind was shown on TV. He did 2 other songs, "19" and "Seven Mile Breakdown" that were not televised.  Rock on Taylor! :D

Rickster_
Rickster_

Hope everyone has a safe 4th.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I guess everybody is off beginning their Independence Day celebrations.

Have a great holiday, folks and remember why we celebrate!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

I missed the sentence at the bottom about Adam Lambert with Queen. (why is the font smaller?)  Happy to see such a glowing review for him and the band.  Freddie Mercury will always be missed and Adam needs to continue to do other things besides subbing for him but he sure has the voice to do Freddie justice.

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

Think I'm gonna call it a day.  See some of you guys tomorrow.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

I like Taylor too - bet I'm the only one who voted for him rather than McPhee. Not my top 2 or 3, but way above the bottom.

Glad when this day is done and I'm outta here until next Monday!

JTesla
JTesla

Good for Taylor. Keep doing what you love.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I see the Soul Patrol is still alive and well!  Welcome Delilah!

Deliliah345
Deliliah345

Fabulous for Taylor! Was told over 10,000 people attend this event.  Yet another great platform for him.

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

Thanks for the new thread Rodney !  Happy for Taylor Hicks.  Will watch him on the 4th (on TV).

MercedesS
MercedesS

The best careers in acting are had by "supporting" actors. They don't have to worry about loss of beauty and youth, and they don't turn up their nose at "minor" parts. By performing at state parks and fairs, Taylor Hicks keeps his career going, at a pace he seems to be comfortable with.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

State fairs can actually be big gigs! Elvis performed at the old Georgia State Fair at Lakewood in the '50's - I know because my father promoted the show.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Thanks for the new thread, Rodney.

I'm one of Taylor's fans(not at the Soul Patrol level but I do like him)  Of all the wonderful singers during season five, Taylor was the performer who made every performance fun.  I will probably watch the Centennial Park event since my significant other will be in Frankfort, Germany on the 4th.  Typical holiday for a pilot's wife, unfortunately.

I agree with Sam.  I hope Kelly posts pictures of the little one soon!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Sam-A1 I haven't seen FS yet but will try to get to it this afternoon.  I also need to catch up on True Blood and The Leftovers...which I found very intriguing during its premiere last week.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

@DeirdreC  Hmmmm - good question! Maybe the old  country boy missed home too much. That said, he managed to stay in LA for weeks and weeks while on the show.

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC Very interesting.

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

@DeirdreC  Sat outside on the lawn and watched fireworks without breaking a sweat.  How nice of the humidity to go away just in time for the 4th.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Um, my son informs me that the German team was playing France on July 4th.  Oops!

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

@DeirdreC  Dang....that's so nice.  At least somebody still loves and respects US.

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

@DeirdreC  I didn't see it at all either D.  Bet he is fantastic with Queen.

Deliliah345
Deliliah345

@MercedesS  .....  uhm, let's not forget that Taylor was the 7th highest paid Idol alumni in 2013 according to Forbes Magazine with an estimated earnings of $2.5 million - partly from his headlining gig in Vegas and partly from his co-ownership of a successful BBQ franchise in Alabama, as well has other business ventures he's part of.  He's undeniably more successful than 99% of all ex Idol alums.  I know a lot of people like yourselves like to diminiuate any of his accomplishments with buzz words like "minor parts" or "state fairs", but the fact of the matter is, he's highly successful with gigs from Broadway to Vegas to headlining national political conventions as well as headlining the Actors Fund Oscar party this year, among many many other high profile appearances - included a guest spot on Law and Order last year.  He's coming up on 10 very successful, profitable years in show biz... without an end in sight. He's now filming a TV pilot for the Food Channel.  Just sayin.....

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@MercedesS He's talented and charismatic and having the "Idol" title from the most popular season ever will keep him readily employed for decades. He may not sell out Philips Arena but he can make a steady living. Heck, he managed a regular gig in Vegas for 28 months. That's an impressive accomplishment.

McCovey44
McCovey44

@Deliliah345 After the competition is over I hope all of them do well.  I liked TH a lot during his year.  I'm glad he's having a career that fulfills him and satisfies those who come to watch.

MercedesS
MercedesS

@Deliliah345 If Taylor is the 7th highest paid idol alumnus (alumni only if he's a Siamese twin) good for him; I was not trying to "diminiuate" his acomplishments, just saying that the man has found his niche.  

JTesla
JTesla

@Deliliah345 If he's so successful, why does he have to be compared to "99% of ex Idol alums"? Let his accomplishements stand on their own, without turning it into a competition with former Idols.

Deliliah345
Deliliah345

@MercedesS Since Taylor has succeeded in so many types of show-biz arenas, he doesn't have one "niche" that he's "found". He's a multi-talented entertainer who has shown his versatility in the industry, unlike all other "Idols" who are pretty much one-trick-ponies, at least those few who have been able to make a living at it.