Originally written on Jeff Pearlman  |  Last updated 8/20/14
Anyone who has watched American Idol through the years knows the show’s clear winners: Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry. Those are the big four—the performers who have sold the most records, appeared in the most films, garnered the most trophies and earned the highest salaries. Sure, folks like Jordin Sparks and Fantasia Barrino have done well. But when it comes to unambiguous entertainment dominance, there are the haves and the sorta haves. And the have nots. In the Lord’s year of 2006, a man named Taylor Reuben Hicks somehow won the fifth season of Idol. He had gray hair and a bubbly personality, and while his voice was just, well, sorta OK, people seemed to fall in love with his exuberance. Hicks didn’t merely shout—he hollered. He didn’t merely celebrate—he jumped up and down, whooped and yelped, blathered on and on and on about the so-called “Soul Patrol.” It was the sort of act that plays well in very small doses—Hicks’ Idol persona was the sp...

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