'American Idol' Reboot Wants Chris Daughtry to Be a Judge, But Taylor Hicks Picks Taylor Hicks

This is the only good beef.

By Shawn Cooke May 17, 2017
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Animal Rescue Foundation)
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Animal Rescue Foundation)

ABC recently announced that it's resurrecting American Idol, and officially unveiled woke queen Katy Perry as the first new judge yesterday. It's not confirmed yet, but ABC is reportedly close to inking Ryan Seacrest and Chris Daughtry, who finished in fourth place on the show's fifth season, to join the reboot. But one former winner isn't pleased with all this talk of non-winners lending advice.

Taylor Hicks, fearless leader of the Soul Patrol and the winner of Daughtry's Idol season, threw some rather polite shade at the likely judge. As TMZ points out (via Stereogum), Hicks sat down on The Dominick Nati Show and was asked about Daughtry joining the series. The gray-haired wonder has some serious doubts about the insight of a third runner-up.

"I'm not going to get into who shouldn't or who should be a judge ... if anything, I think a winner should be, personally. Because, what you go through to win the show is a lot different than what you go through when you’re third or fourth, you know, or fifth. Or tenth. If they were going to have a judge that’s from the show, if they’re going to have someone from the show who was actually a contestant, I would feel like a winner would be the best suited."

When Nati asked Hicks about being a judge on the reboot, he answered with the subtlety of a coy veteran senator who really wants to run for president. "I feel like I've got some pretty good ideas—we'll see what happens." He wouldn't confirm or deny if he's been approached by ABC, but seems pretty damn intent on joining the show.

So what's Taylor been up to since Idol's fifth season that makes him uniquely qualified for the job? Probably more than you'd think. Even though the old soul hasn't released a new studio album since 2009, he somehow landed at No. 4 on Forbes' list of top-earning Idol finalists .... in 2014? It's true: he's forgone the trappings of an album cycle and heavy touring in favor of a lucrative Vegas residency and opening his own restaurant in Alabama. But as you'd probably guess, Daughtry's done just fine for himself: He landed at No. 3 on the most recent roundup, from 2015—Hicks is notably absent from that list.

I'm not sure how "what you go through to win the show is a lot different than what you go through when you’re third or fourth," other than the crippling realization that maybe the whole pop star game isn't for you. Luckily for Hicks, he figured out how to hang around long enough to give us this glorious beef.