Taylor Hicks, who won American Idol season 5 in 2006, was unmasked as the celebrity guest at The Masked Singer tour. Known for his gray hair and incredible soul singing voice, Taylor took American Idol by storm with his rousing renditions of classic songs. His energetic and fun performances won the hearts of his fans, nicknamed the “Soul Patrol.” After the show, Taylor has had much success as a recording artist, memoir author, Broadway star, and Las Vegas residency headliner.
The Masked Singer National Tour began on May 28. It is hosted by Natasha Bedingfield, who placed 7th as Pepper on The Masked Singer season 6. Each show has a mystery celebrity who performs as the character Boom Boom Box. Before each show, a set of clues for Boom Boom Box is posted on the Instagram page for The Masked Singer Tour. The celebrity performs one song and is unmasked before the end of the show. Some of the singers are local celebrities from the tour stop city, and others are more well-known. Some of the most famous celebrities to perform as Boom Boom Box have been 98 Degrees singer Drew Lachey, American Idol season 16 winner Maddie Poppe, American Idol season 4 contestant Constantine Maroulis, and The Bachelor season 26 star Clayton Echard. American Idol contestants have also performed on The Masked Singer show. They include Taylor’s season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee as Banana Split with her husband, legend David Foster, and season 5 finalist Chris Daughtry as Rottweiler. Other American Idol alumni to appear on the show were Todrick Hall as Bull and Tori Kelly as Seahorse.
According to the Instagram page of The Masked Singer Tour, Taylor was unmasked at the tour stop at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis on Friday, July 8. As Boom Boom Box, Taylor performed Garth Brooks’ hit song, “Friends in Low Places.” The clue package post on The Masked Singer Tour Instagram page contained many clues to help fans guess Taylor’s identity. It hinted at his American Idol win, stating, “Being on stage, I feel the most at home, and getting to sing for you all is my happy place. There’s nothing better. And while I know a thing or two about winning, tonight is just really about having an incredible time!” Another Masked Singer clue read, “Today, Boom Boom Box has become my idol,” a reference to the show that made him famous.
In an interview with AL.com, Taylor revealed some behind-the-scenes information about his time on The Masked Singer Tour. He laughed that for his song choice, it was either the song he chose or, “‘Hit Me Baby One More Time,’ by Britney Spears.” He went on to say, “It was just a fun summer show. I jumped at the opportunity—a great hit, a fun look and no strings attached.” Taylor admitted that the Boom Boom Box costume was “super hot” and cumbersome, but it was very similar to the Easter Bunny costume that he wore for his job at Century Plaza in Birmingham in the early ’90s, a part of his life that was featured on American Idol. Comparing the Masked Singer Boom Boom Box to the Easter Bunny costume, Taylor shared, “My gig as the Easter bunny was way more difficult.” Taylor was thrilled to be able to record some harmonica music as a clue for the show as well, a talent he shared on American Idol. The Masked Singer Tour audience realized that Taylor was in the Boom Boom Box costume, and chanted his name as he was revealed. Taylor said, “I think the harmonica and the singing and the boots gave it away.”
With his smooth vocals, distinct personality, and energetic dance moves, Taylor was one of the most entertaining, talented, and memorable American Idol winners. It is no surprise that The Masked Singer Tour audience was able to recognize him. Taylor brings his unique style to any stage on which he performs.