One Night Only! American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks. Taylor Hicks, Alabama's favorite son, made television history when audiences made that evening's American Idol finale one of the most watched television progams of the decade. It was an emotionally uplifting night when 36.4 million viewers tuned in and 63 million votes were cast to name Hicks the Season 5 winner of American Idol. It was Hicks' stage that evening and the applause has continued since, with his loyal following of fans cementing Hicks as one of America's favorite artists.