Local American Idols in town

By Katie Herrera

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The hit FOX TV show "American Idol" is gearing up for its tenth anniversary season and, as a special promotion, FOX crews are heading to all of the past winners' hometowns to see where they came from and what they are up to now.  

FOX6 was on the set Tuesday as both local American Idols Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard filmed their segments.

"It means a lot to come back," said Hicks about returning to Birmingham.

For Studdard, he still calls Alabama home.

"Even though I'll go away and work and come back, I've always kept Birmingham my home. And I'm so happy and thankful that God has continued to bless me here in this city."

TOURING THE TOWN

Both men took the crew to some of their favorite local spots.  Hicks visited Boutwell Studios, Alabama Theater, a guitar store, Oasis Bar and made sure to stop in for his favorite barbeque sandwich.

"Golden Rule Barbeque on Highway 31! The location is key," explained Hicks.

Studdard visited Work Play, the 4th Avenue district and his alma matter Alabama A&M University.

"It's just a wonderful thing to get to showcase Birmingham. And to bring 'American Idol' and the people from all around the world who watch the show, they get a chance to see the great city that I'm from and the way it impacted my life," said Studdard.

"I come from this area, and I'm very proud of it. And I think Alabamians in general are very prideful folks. So to be here, and be representing my state and my area, it's a blessing," said Hicks.

THANK YOU TO HOMETOWN FANS

Both Idols agreed the hometown fan base is second to none.

"They were kind of my support system for many years. The people around here and the support that I've garnered, it's very special to me," explained Hicks.

"The fans have been great here in Birmingham. They've always been my backbone, my rock. So thank you everybody in Birmingham," said Studdard.

WHAT'S NEXT?

"I'm going to an Auburn game, and I'm going to an Alabama game. I'm looking forward to seeing some friends and family. I'm getting ready to start working on a new album. Also, I've been given some movie and TV scripts. So I'm pretty excited about readying my first TV and film stuff," said Hicks.

"I'm actually in the process of recording another album. I'm getting ready to go on tour with David Foster. I'm doing a PBS special with David Foster in a couple of weeks," explained Studdard.

Studdard's new movie "Lifted" is playing at Birmingham's Sidewalk Film Festival, Saturday September 25.

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