63.4 million people voted Taylor Hicks the 2006 American Idol, but we might have
found his number one fan right here in the Ozarks.
“I like him,” said Jeweldene Bateman of Taylor Hicks. “I voted for him many times.”
Bateman just might be Taylor Hicks’ biggest fan.
“I like him when he jitterbugs,” explained Bateman. “I did that when I was younger.”
She’s definitely one of the most experience Soul Train members out there.
“He does the jitterbug dance like when I was about 18,” said Bateman. “Now, I'm almost 91!”
Bateman celebrated the big 9-0 this past October. On almost the same day Hicks brought in the 3-0.
“His birthday was October 7 and my birthday is October 8 so I like him,” said Bateman of their birthdays.
Bateman likes everything about Hicks including his famous salt-and-pepper hair.
“He had dark hair, now he has hair like mine,” she explained as she pointed to her head of white hair.
She even wanted to share her Taylor Hicks’ themed 90th birthday party with him.
“We tried to get Taylor to be there, but he had other things on that day,” said Bateman.
So, her daughters decided they’d just bring their mom to Hicks.
“As soon as I saw it in the newspaper I called my sister and said guess who's going to be in Branson!” said Donna Rothermel, Bateman’s daughter. “She immediately tried to get tickets.”
Months later, not only was Bateman at the Branson concert, she was leading the chant to bring Taylor Hicks out onstage. She danced through most of his songs.
“It's a special night for her but it's a special night for Donna and I because she's a special mom and we love her so much and she's a great mom,” said Bateman’s daughter Debbi Murphy. “So, she deserves a special night.”
And her night got even more special when after the concert, the seasoned fan was able to tell Hicks how much she liked the concert, Libra to Libra. She was escorted back by security to meet her favorite Idol.
“He does good, he really does good,” said Bateman.
At ninety-years-old, Bateman says the concert was one of the most special nights of her life, and she will never forget it!
There are fifteen people from around the Ozarks who are vying for the same kind of fame as Taylor Hicks and you can watch them compete this Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Battlefield Mall for the Ozarks Idol crown. The person who wins on Saturday will be guaranteed an American Idol audition in Omaha, Nebraska on August 11th.