Taylor Hicks talks about Asian Idol' and plans for 2008

Taylor Hicks was at home - almost.

The familiar "Idol" set was behind him, and he was on stage singing "Do I Make You Proud."

But the Birmingham native was nearly 9,000 miles away from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, where he won the "American Idol" title in 2006. This was Jakarta, Indonesia, and the leader of the Soul Patrol was gyrating on stage during "Asian Idol."

"It was definitely an eye-opening experience having been to that part of the world," Hicks said last week, shortly after returning to the U.S. "The set was very similar, but the singers were sure different."

Hicks, 31, had never been to Asia, much less performed there, so he jumped at the chance to perform on "Asian Idol," followed by a concert in Manila.

"I've done two pretty extensive national tours in the past year, so we started looking for some interest overseas," Hicks says. "It was amazing the interest that was there."

Hicks says his reception in Asia was "warm and gracious."

"As soon as I hit Indonesian soil, they knew who I was, and it was a little nerve-wracking at first," he says.

Turns out "Do I Make You Proud," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart just after Hicks won "Idol," made its way around the world.

"`Do I Make You Proud' is a nice-sized hit in Asia," Hicks says. "People know me over there because of that. It's amazing that the song I didn't think was right for me has taken off over there."

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