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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 07/10/2006

Comment Box: Why Is Taylor Hicks Famous?

By Liz Kelly

Welcome to midsummer (when we carefully protect our computers from splashy pools and strong mojitos) and another week of Celebrity scrutiny.

Is this man in pain or just famous? (AP)

Could somebody please explain to me why Taylor Hicks is famous? He has no visible talent whatsoever. It appears to be yet another twist on the tale of the Emperor's New Clothes. Ergo, he was deemed "talented" by a "talent jury" on TV. Yet he has not talent! -- Stars in My Eyes comments on Morning Mix: Independence Eve Edition

Not so fast. I wouldn't label Taylor Hicks famous just yet. As the latest "Idol" winner, he's benefited from the attendant buzz, but remember that there are different levels of fame -- much like the ever-worsening rings of hell in Dante's "Inferno." At the moment, Hicks is still in one of the lesser rings reserved for doughy Joe Cocker rip-offs who will be singing the national anthem at MLB farm team games a year from now.

The term "Bennifer" was stupid and overused. Using "TomKat" to refer to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes is just nauseating. Does every celebrity couple need a cute name morph? Give it up. -- Jeff comments on Hollywood Mysteries

Think of it as shorthand for ease of headline writing and a quick way to add a dash of snark. Or as a way to take the seriousness with which some of these folks regard themselves down a peg. Or as a fond moniker bestowed on our beloved galaxy of stars.

In any case, I was thinking it'd be funny if you were dating someone named "Esther." Then we could call you "Jesther". Or wait -- how 'bout Kelly? Then we could call you "Jelly." Or maybe Claire, then we could call you "Clef." Ahhh, the fun never stops around here.

Has anyone ever seen a birth certificate for Ms. Suri Cruise? Would it be possible to order a copy from the California State Health Department (or whatever agency issues birth certificates in California)? -- Not the Droid You're Looking For comments on Hollywood Mysteries

Actually, as posted in this morning's Rumor Mill, purports to have obtained an official copy of Suri's birth cert (PDF file).

Wait, wait, wait -- you have *field agents*?!?!?! Is this an official title, and how can I become one? -- Party of One comments on Morning Mix: Swank Discusses Lowe's Drug Problems

Oh absolutely. Easy as pie -- have a tip, idea or burning question, just e-mail it to me at I'll investigate and, if I write about it, credit you in the blog.

Comment of the Week:
Paris Hilton's new single "Stars are Blind" is burning up the charts. The girl CAN sing and she has legions of fans who buy her products. Calling Paris Hilton over-hyped is like saying a diamond is too big or a person has too much money LOL. Obviously, Ms. Hilton is doing something right. She is a regal goddess who reminds me of Marlene Dietrich. -- Dori comments on It's Official: Paris Hilton Most Over-Hyped Celeb

Apparently she can type, too.

By Liz Kelly  | July 10, 2006; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Comment Box, Miscellaneous  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning Mix: Paris Admits 'Simple Life' Faked
Next: Morning Mix: Eddie Murphy Dating Scary Spice?


Wait, who is Taylor Hicks?

Posted by: DJ | July 10, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe that is the real birth certificate. Isn't Cruise his middle name, not his real last name? Here's his real name, unless he legally changed it to Cruise: Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.

I always see his other two children with Cruise listed as their last name in magazines so I'm not really sure what's what.

Posted by: ~w | July 10, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

hahahaha! That last one was the best :) Also, I happen to like the morphed names like Bennifer and TomKat -- although I thought it was pretty lazy of them to recyle Bennifer for Ben and Jen Garner (Gardner?).

Posted by: Alexandria | July 10, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Re Paris: They have this amazing little plugin for protools in most modern day recording studios. Its called "AUTOTUNE". Digital pitch correction!!! Anyone can sing like a freakin grizzly bear and come out sounding like a 30 piece chamber choir. Even your beloved Paris.

Posted by: Pete | July 10, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I think the better question is "Why is Tyler Hicks the sexiest bachelor?" He looks about 50. Which is fine if you are 50, but I think is a bit of a negative when you are 20 years younger

Posted by: MD | July 10, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

As someone who must travel several times a year, Hilton hotels have lost my business. I'd rather frequent Sheraton, Marriott, and others before giving the Hilton family money for their free-loading, talentless, brainless daughter.

I wonder how many others are fed-up with Hilton's spawn, and likewise find Paris a poor reflection on the "family-owned" hotel chain?

Posted by: Ken | July 10, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Which is more likely, me spotting Brad Pitt and baby Shiloh under a beach umbrella, or winning the Powerball?

Posted by: Rehoboth Beach, DE | July 10, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for being brave enough to question Taylor Hicks' talent. I love American Idol but can not understand why Taylor and Katherine are on the cover of magazines. I think there are alot of talented blues and soul singers out there that hate the fact that Taylor has a record deal.

I guess this is just another biproduct of reality tv....overexposure of the undertalented. But still....I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE THIRD SEASON OF PROJECT RUNWAY!

Posted by: Kyle | July 10, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think that both Katherine and Taylor are pretty talented, at least for the world of pop music. Taylor does appear to be, from what I've heard from people who know him outside of his recent fame on AI, a good person and a pretty darn good performer.

What's scary about the comment "I think there are alot of talented blues and soul singers out there that hate the fact that Taylor has a record deal" is that many of those talented musicians would probably not, due to the commercialization of the AI process, especially with the "judges", not pass through the audition round.

Posted by: Henry | July 10, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

You hit the nail on the head, "no VISIBLE reason." Close your eyes and open your ears and the reason will become known to you. The boy can sing, period.

Posted by: Michael | July 10, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I cannot believe how bad TV is getting.

I say, if we're going to go for it, go retro.

Bring back the Gong Show! It is time, and there' already a slew of has-beens and never-will-bes to sit on the panel.


Posted by: No Use For A Name | July 10, 2006 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Paris Hilton can NOT sing. Someone chose a relatively easy song for her with very little range. Her voice has still been corrected a greal deal - albeit very well - perhaps with Autotune or Melodyne

Posted by: Mike | July 11, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

taylor hicks please you are married
brittany carlisle

Posted by: brittany carlisle | July 17, 2006 10:32 PM | Report abuse

"I think there are alot of talented blues and soul singers out there that hate the fact that Taylor has a record deal"

I think a lot of talented blues and soul singers out there are actually happy for Taylor. A fellow soul/blues singer is making it in the biz, bringing soul and good music to today's crappy pop music scene where a talentless rich blonde can get a record deal.

The guy can sing. He writes his own songs, plays instruments (amazing on harmonica), and arranges music. He's definitely talented. A raw talent. A pretty damn good musician and performer -- will only get better.

Of course he's riding the AI buzz right now which would fade away in a year. But, I believe he's got what it takes (musicianship, artistry, as well as love and passion for music) to make a lot of good records for a long time.

Btw, I'm 21 and I do think Taylor Hicks is sexy. Hee. He's got charisma and passion -- that's what makes him sexy, IMO.

Posted by: indiana | July 22, 2006 8:54 AM | Report abuse

good ideea

Posted by: buy fioricet | July 23, 2006 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I did not watch american idol this season because it bored me to tears. I am tired of seeing people on national television humilating themselves. Taylor Hicks however, I like the guy he has a great voice.....kat i dont think she was fit for it...and i would like to see more varation of cultural backgrounds in next season. In my opinion Fantasia was the best idol hands down, but kelly clarkson has had the most sucess....Carrie Underwood I have not heard from here since she me she has been the worst idol so far

Posted by: Jem | July 28, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

OK--Taylor is original, unique, SEXY, talented, and really fun--an entertainer....he came along at a time when alot of us were really tired of the pop music scene. He is different, but that is such a positive. His passion oozes out of him and that is also attractive. Quirky. Against the norm. You go Taylor! By the way, I am 24 and I think he is gorgeous-I love his natural charm and charisma.

Posted by: martie | August 16, 2006 6:36 PM | Report abuse

If you think taylor will be singing at minor league ball games in a year, you are fooling yourself. Arista was only obligated to give him a one CD deal but signed him for three.

Taylor has a good voice, not great, but very good and because he writes, plays instruments and is an amazing performer, that's all he needs. Just ask Springsteen, Seger, Jagger and Dave Matthews, for example. Great overall talents with good/average voices.

Posted by: yvonne | August 17, 2006 7:23 PM | Report abuse

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