Taylor Hicks Slams Chris Daughtry’s Return To TV, Says 4th Place Finisher Not Qualified To Judge

Taylor Hicks doesn’t seem to think his former American Idol castmate Chris Daughtry is qualified to be a judge on the ABC reboot of the TV singing competition. In an interview on the Domenick Nati radio show, Hicks, who was the winner of the fifth season of Fox’s original version of the show, said he thinks a winner should be in the judges’ chair, not a runner-up.

When asked what he felt about Daughtry’s reported new gig as a judge on the ABC reboot of the show, Hicks said he thought a winner would be better for the job.

“I’m not going to get into who should or shouldn’t be a judge,” Hicks said.

“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 of fourth…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.”

Taylor Hicks also revealed that he would consider signing on as a judge for American Idol, but he stopped short of confirming if he had been approached by ABC for a spot on the panel.

“You know I would,” Taylor said of being a judge.

“I’ve got some pretty good ideas. We’ll see what happens…I’m just gonna be tight-lipped about everything. I’m not confirming or denying it.”


While Taylor Hicks thinks he’s more qualified to be a judge than his former castmate, one ex-judge may not agree. People revealed that in 2007, Simon Cowell panned Taylor Hicks, saying he couldn’t stand him and didn’t understand how he won his season.

“They (Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson) loved him,” Cowell reportedly said of Hicks.

“I couldn’t stand him. I didn’t get it… At the end of the day, you have to find a bona fide recording artist. Just because you win the show doesn’t mean you will sell a lot of records, Chris (Daughtry) is the one who sold the albums, not Taylor.”

Us Weekly reported that Chris Daughtry will return to Idol for its reboot on ABC, and an insider revealed that producers originally had a judges’ wish list that included some the show’s most successful alums, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson. There’s no word if Taylor Hicks was on that list. And while Daughtry lost out to Taylor on his season of Idol and didn’t even make it to finale night, the fourth place runner-up ranks just behind Clarkson as far as post-Idol album sales.


While he wouldn’t mind a spot on the new American Idol, Taylor Hicks admitted he thinks the reality show could have used a longer break before returning to TV. The original incarnation of the show ended in 2016 after 15 seasons on Fox. Hicks said he thinks the series should have remained off the air for one or two more years, or possibly more, but he admitted ABC has had success with other reality shows.

Taylor Hicks also stayed loyal to the show that made him famous, saying if he were to audition for a TV singing competition today, he’d go with American Idol and not with NBC’s Emmy-winning entry, The Voice, despite the fact that AI alums Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson recently signed on to the rival singing competition.

“After the Idol finale, it’s like everybody in America and around the world kind of looks at each other and is like, ‘Who won Idol last night?” Taylor explained. “I don’t know that they do that with The Voice.”

You can listen to Taylor Hicks talking about the American Idol reboot below.

[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]