Do I Make You Proud
Taylor Hicks finally has confidence in himself in the rickety “Do I Make You Proud.”
An effusive piano opens the single, setting a cloying tone. His teachers would ask the question out loud in class. He knew the right answer but wouldn’t speak up in class. In college, he wasn’t ever comfortable joining in discussions. In between, people used his shyness to their advantage, pretending to be his friend and then dropped him once they got what they wanted. It wasn’t until one of his “friends” was caught stealing from Hicks that his friend got involved. He got the person to leave Hicks alone and helped him get his money back. He doesn’t know what he would’ve done without his friend looking out for him. He was afraid to go up against the person but his friend told him he would be there the entire time. (“I've never been/The one to raise my hand/That was not me/And now that's who I am/Because of you/I am standing tall/My heart is full/Of endless gratitude/You were the one/The one to guide me through/Now I can see/And I believe/It's only just beginning.”)
In the chorus, people are fidgeting in their own skin, trying to adjust it or squirming from the tightness. However, he is able to breathe easy and be happy. He hopes his friend sees him now and likes how he’s living his life now. He sticks up for himself and won’t let anyone order him around anymore. (“This is what we dream about/But the only question with me now/Is do I make you proud/Stronger than I've ever been now/Never been afraid of standing out/Do I make you proud.”)
He no longer takes things at face value. He sees things in grey rather than black or white. He still believes there are good people are out there. However, he can’t be as trusting like he once he was. He was desperate for friendship and thought no one else liked him. But his friend welcomed into his main group of his friends. He finally found out what real friendship was. Now, he is able to go out with groups of people and hang out. (“I guess I've learned/To question is to grow/That you still have faith/Is all I need to know/I've learned to love/Myself in spite of me/And I've learned to/Walk on the road I believe.”)
In the bridge, he says everyone has to have someone in their corner who cares about them. (“Everybody needs to rise up/Everybody needs to be loved/To be loved/Everybody need to rise on/Everybody needs to be loved, to be loved.”)
An extended chorus is sung to end the single. (“This is what we dream about… do I make you, do I make you proud/This is what we dream about/Never been afraid of standing out/Do I make you proud/Stronger than I've ever been/Never been afraid of standing out/Do I make you proud/Do I make you proud.”)
Hicks’ self-conscious vocals seek his friend’s approval as he declares that he no longer needs it in his life. Except for the beginning, he is out of his range for the majority of the song. He tries to cheat his way through it with growls. The effort to make each and every note is noticeable.
The shoddy “Do I Make You Proud” marks the beginning of American Idol’s irrelevance.