American Idol Recap: Rejects and Idols and More, Oh My!

Simon: Why are you here?
Taylor: Cause I want my voice heard.
Simon: Why?
Taylor: Cause I think I got one.

So did America, Taylor Hicks. You are the next American Idol.

Remember that day -- can you believe it was months ago, in Vegas? -- when Taylor came on the scene. He was much more inhibited then. He auditioned with a little Sam Cook, then a folksy "Swanee River Rock." As the judges argued over him, he made his plea: "Give me a chance."

The soul man turned that chance into a sure thing. He was the only contestant who week by week stayed on the safe side -- never was in jeopardy of going home. Has that ever happened in the previous four years? Katharine McPhee on the other hand, had quite a few close calls.

The season 5 grandiose, color-coordinated finale starts off pure. Everyone wears white. First we see reigning American Idol Carrie Underwood. The season 4 winner sings a bit. Then, she hands the mic off to Taylor Hicks to take the lead. This was a telling moment that AI was his destiny.

Out of 63.4 Million votes, Soul Patrol wiped the McPheever out cold, sending Kat packing. Following that yellow brick road... over the hill, about 10 miles away, to daddy's house she goes.


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