Bo Bice has the right stuff

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 15, 2005



&uot;Bo knows Idol.&uot;

&uot;Go Bo Go.&uot;

Insert your own cliche. Bo Bice is the real deal.

In case you’ve hidden under a rock the past month, Bo Bice could be Shelby County’s next celebrity. He is one of 12 finalists on &uot;American Idol.&uot;

Bice is a 29-year-old rocker from Helena who has made a living teaching music lessons and playing in small clubs with his band.

He prays before every performance and says his parents are his heroes.

He dedicated last week’s performance of &uot;I’ll Be&uot; to the memory of an aunt who died recently of cancer.

The next time I see Bice will be the first, but I can’t help but pull for him.

Oh, he can sing, too.

According to an unscientific poll on, he’s the odds-on favorite to win the competition.

Twenty-six percent of people who voted on the poll by Monday afternoon thought he should be the next &uot;American Idol.&uot;

Middle-school music teacher Anwar Robinson is his closest challenger right now, according to the poll.

Heck, even mean ole’ Simon Cowell likes him.

&uot;I think it’s your competition to lose,&uot; Cowell said. &uot;That’s how good you’re doing.&uot;

I’m not smart enough to determine if he’ll win. I do think a man will win the competition, just because a woman won the last one. (Good logic, huh?)

Regardless of how well Bice does over the next few weeks, I’m glad to see a hometown guy do well.

He’s &uot;unbelieveaBo.&uot;

n Please allow me to gripe for a minute about the ridiculous prices at the pump.

If the analysts are correct, we’ll be paying $2-plus for regular unleaded gasoline within a matter of weeks, if not days. Nobody seems to have a clear answer as to why the sudden spike, but I have a solution.

It’s time for us to do some more drilling-particularly in Alaska.

I’m all for saving the planet – but not at the expense of my pocketbook. Besides, shouldn’t we shop America first?

n If I were president, Thursday and Friday would be federal holidays.

That’s because those are the first two days of the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament.

For non-basketball fans, 64 basketball teams will begin play in a nearly month-long tournament that determines the national champion.

The great thing about the first two days is watching teams from who knows where (i.e. Fairleigh Dickinson and Winthrop) face the &uot;big boys&uot; (i.e. North Carolina and Illinois).

It’s rare that David beats Goliath – but it can happen.

In 1999, Weber State (located in Ogden, Utah) defeated North Carolina. One year earlier, Valparaiso stunned Mississippi.

My favorite upset came in 1996, when Princeton utilized its Nytol-style offense to stun defending national champion UCLA, 43-41.

Alabama, UAB and Alabama A&M are all in the tournament. My pick to win it all is Illinois, even though I am a Duke fan. Bama should make the Sweet 16, and UAB the round of 32.

Here’s one safe prediction – I’ll be in front of the TV Thursday and Friday nights to get my dose of March Madness.

Patrick Johnston is a staff writer at the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at