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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Birmingham's Next American Idol, Part II?

We've been writing about some pretty heavy stuff lately on the justice front, so let's take a break from that. And what better way to do it than to turn our attention to music.

We've gotten a kick out of adopting Birmingham's own Taylor Hicks as the official musician of Legal Schnauzer. And we've enjoyed pointing out that our fair city has a remarkable record for turning out American Idol standouts--Hicks, Ruben Studdard, Bo Bice, and Diana DeGarmo.

A few weeks back, we posted about a fellow we think has a shot at becoming one of the next Birmingham products to make a splash on Idol. His name is Sam Hunt, and he is best known in these parts as the quarterback for the UAB Blazers football team. But we noted that The Birmingham News had written of Hunt's musical talent, and several of his teammates had encouraged him to try out for Idol.

Hunt completed his college football eligibility last fall, so maybe he'll have time to give the tryouts a shot now. He was a fifth-year senior in 2007, so I'm guessing that would make him about 24 years old when the 2009 Idol tryouts come around.

Does Sam Hunt have what it takes to make a run at America's favorite talent contest? I think he does. (Although, as a big UAB football fan, I might not be the most objective guy around.) But now you can decide for yourself.

A couple of videos of Sam performing are on YouTube. The first is the feature that aired at halftime of a televised UAB game last fall. Here it is:

The second video is from Hunt's performance with the UAB Gospel Choir. It's a moving tribute to the victims of the shooting at Virginia Tech. I'd long heard that director Kevin Turner consistently turns out top-notch choirs, and this clip proves it. The video quality is not the greatest, but it makes me wish I had been at the concert.

Hunt has another public performance on the immediate horizon. He will sing tomorrow night (March 5) at halftime of the Tulsa-UAB basketball game at Bartow Arena in Birmingham. Perhaps video of that performance will show up on the Web. If so, we'll keep Legal Schnauzer readers informed.

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