'Idol Hangover': Taylor Hicks Talks Phillip Phillips, 'American Idol' Judges Then and Now (Video)
Plus: The season 5 winner weighs in on "Idol" tough love, Jimmy Iovine as the 'ringer' and how he would have bonded with Steven Tyler.
Alabama native and American Idol season 5 winner Taylor Hicks joined The Hollywood Reporter music editor Shirley Halperin on the morning of the season 11 finale for the last episode of THR's web show Idol Hangover.
Being among the early Idol grads, Hicks offered a unique perspective on finalist Jessica Sanchez. "She's an 80-year-old black woman soul singer trapped in this little girl's body," he said, adding, "she has a really long great road ahead of her as a singer and a performer."
As for Phillip Phillips performance on Tuesday night, Hicks had this to offer: "I never thought in a million years that Idol would incorporate some of the ideas of The Rhythm of the Saints or kind of a Paul Simon, Graceland feel."
Idol loyalists know that choosing the right song can make or break a contestant's chances at winning the competition, and Hicks was candid when asked about his own coronation number, telling THR, "I didn't like my coronation song, so I actually stood my ground in the studio and said, 'I'm not going to sing it.'"
Hear more about Hicks' Idol experience, his thoughts on the judges then and now and his advice for Phillips and Sanchez in the video above and check back on Friday for more of Hicks' Idol Hangover interview, including his plans for a three-month residency at Bally's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, a new country album and his search for love on new Fox summer show The Choice.