May 25, 2010
Posted: 03:37 PM ET
Ok, Idol fans…we’re nearing the end. You’re new "American Idol" will be revealed Wednesday night. Before we get there, LKL blog wanted to take a trip down memory lane and talked to previous "Idol" winner, Taylor Hicks.
Hicks won the fifth season of "Idol" and hasn’t slowed down since. For the past two years, he has played the role of Teen Angel in the Broadway musical “Grease” both in New York and with the traveling show. In between performances, he’s been playing clubs and making music. More information about Taylor, his live DVD, “Whomp at the Warfield” and his latest album, “The Distance” is available at his website, TaylorHicks.com.
Taylor chatted with us about his advice for this week’s "American Idol" winner, what he’s been up to, and why "Idol" will survive after Simon.
LKL Blog: So you’ve been on the road with “Grease” –
Taylor Hicks: Grease is the word!
LKL blog: How long have you been doing it?
Hicks: All in all with the record and the Broadway show, its been two years.
LKL blog: And what’s that been like for you?
Hicks: It’s been a major success actually. With the success of the role of Teen Angel on Broadway, we decided to integrate [Hicks’ latest record], “The Distance,” within the encore of every “Grease” show and decided to take it on the road for 18 months.
LKL blog: This was your Broadway debut right?
Hicks: This was. Yes.
LKL blog: In terms of performing a musical on Broadway versus what you would do on a regular stage show – I’m wondering what the differences are.
Hicks: Well obviously you’re playing off of personalities of the actors as opposed to playing off of instruments with musicians. And I think one of the really cool things about this particular run and this role is I’ve never had any musical training or acting training and so I’ve learned first hand which has been such a blessing to be able to learn to do a brand new craft with a role like Teen Angel.
LKL blog: Was it hard, intimidating having never done it before?
Hicks: I was more nervous my opening night on Broadway than I ever was on "American idol." A brand new path career path acting on Broadway in New York City. I was more nervous about the debut on Broadway than the idol show for sure.
LKL blog: I know you said you integrated “The Distance” in the show, have you been able to work on other things?
Hicks: I’ve done shows. I’ve basically had two tours going at one time. I was doing the Broadway show and I was going to intimate clubs all over the country and different cities and playing club shows.
LKL blog: So you’ve been pretty busy since you won "American Idol?"
Hicks: I’ve been on the road touring now for about four and half years. I still don’t really have a place to call home. I’m from Birmingham but a lot of my stuff is still at my parent’s basement. I’ve still been touring nonstop for four and half years.
LKL blog: Do you like living that way?
Hicks: I do. I do enjoy it. I’ve been touring all my life so it’s in my blood, so to speak.
LKL blog: Are you going to the "American Idol" finale?
Hicks: Yes the finale and parties and stuff. I haven’t been able to do that in a while so I’m excited to go back.
LKL blog: Do you keep in touch with past contestants or anyone on the show?
Hicks: I do. I do keep in touch with past contestants and judges.
LKL blog: You’ve been through this, what’s your advice for whoever wins "American Idol" this week? What do they have to look forward to?
Hicks: Being able to have the best opportunity in show business, to be able to have a longstanding career. It’s just the most amazing experience that 99.9% of the population doesn't get to experience. It’s a very exclusive club. It’s all in what you make it. You have to stay out there and be appreciative and be blessed that you have the fans that you do.
LKL blog: There will be a big change with Simon leaving. Do you think it will be a different show without him?
Hicks: You know I think obviously the show, we’ll all miss Simon. I think he’s a big part of the show. But I think watching someone live the American dream in front of your eyes is the reason why everybody watches the show and I don’t think that will change.
LKL blog: So what’s next for you?
Hicks: I’m taking a breather. I’m planning and writing for the next record. I’m going to pursue some TV and film and Broadway opportunities that I’ve been able to look at after my post Broadway debut. You know, enjoy relaxing for a while and writing and doing some musical performances also.
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