Taylor Hicks gets $750,000 advance for his memoir, plus billboards in Alabama

American Idol 5 winner Taylor Hicks will receive a quarter million dollar advance for his life story, which he will not write. The book is titled Heart Full of Soul, and will be in bookstores next spring.

“Random House’s Crown imprint paid Hicks an estimated $750,000 advance for the memoir,” according to People magazine. And “according to Hicks’s agent, Alan Nevins, [the book] will be ghost written by David Wild, whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone.”

Even more excitingly, Taylor is now one of the stars of a billboard campaign in his home state of Alabama. The state, which is home to two American Idol winners (Taylor and season two winner Ruben Studdard) and one runner-up (season four’s Bo Bice), is now bragging about this on a series of billboards.

The six billboards have pictures of the three men and say, “Where America finds its voice. Alabama.” Alabama tourism director Lee Sentell told the AP that “The boards will go up shortly before the ‘American Idol’ auditions begin in Birmingham on Aug. 21.”

Taylor Hicks Prepares Memoir, Billboard [People]
Ala. to Promote ‘American Idol’ Performers [AP]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.