The difference between the UK and America can be summed up very simply. When Pop Idol was shown in Britain, the British public voted for that fat Scottish lass for a bit of a laugh.
But on American Idol, the American public voted for a prematurely grey, twitchy man with a whole range of off-putting vocal tics. But they only did that because he was the best singer on the show. Taylor Hicks was last night voted as the new American Idol, joining the prestigious ranks of Kelly Clarkson, that fat bloke and, um, the other two.
Who'd have thought that American Idol would have become so popular? It's basically just a karaoke show judged by a hyperactive former musician, a snippy British bloke and a woman who probably doesn't sleep with the contestants, and yet it's the biggest TV show in America – and it will be until at least 2009.
American Idol has made giant stars out of its winners, too. Kelly Clarkson has
ripped off Pink trod a bravely individual path to become a bona fide superstar, while the other winners have… OK, so Kelly Clarkson is the only person to become even vaguely famous from American idol. But all that might change with Taylor Hicks.
Taylor Hicks doesn't fit any of the American Idol stereotypes. He's a chunky lad with a shock of grey hair that makes him look 20 years older than he is, his singing is punctuated with all kinds of strange noises that make him sound as if he's being goosed by a sailor and he dances like a twat. Upon seeing him on American Idol, Simon Cowell remarked that he wouldn't do very well in the competition. Ha – take that you camp, high-trousered, shiny toothed git; the majority of the voting percentage of the 28 million Americans who watched American Idol thought differently, and they wanted Taylor Hicks to win American Idol more than fellow finalist Katharine McPhee.
So Taylor Hicks is the new American Idol, and he can embrace all the trappings of his new-found fame – a rushed-out single and underperforming album before he falls out with Simon Cowell and gets booted out of the way so another shouting gonk can take his place on American Idol 2007.
[story by Stuart Heritage]