Tag Archives: Jordin Sparks

TV Show: American Idol

Paula's gone, and the show survived just fine. Now Simon's going, and replacing him will be infinitely harder. Uploaded by bittenandbound.com.

It’s trendy for people to turn their noses up at this show, it’s somehow beneath them. But its overpowering ratings in almost all demographic groups reveal its enduring popularity. It was the top-rated TV show for five consecutive seasons, a feat matched only by All in the Family and The Cosby Show.

The talent show format is as old as broadcasting: Major Bowes hosted the Amateur Hour on radio, and it was continued on the Dumont Network in television, starting in 1947. The concept has continued on TV with Star Search, America’s Got Talent, and most successfully, American Idol.

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Idol is essentially an Americanization of the British show Pop Idol. One of the reasons for the show’s success has undoubtedly been the acerbic criticism of judge Simon Cowell, who tells contestants the truth as he perceives it without sugar-coating. The 2010 season will be his last, and the show’s producers decision on who replaces him will be critical to American Idol’s future.

Winning is everyone’s goal, but history has shown that many non-winners have also had success they wouldn’t have experienced without the show. Some of these talented singers include Clay Aiken and Kimberley Locke (Season 2), Jennifer Hudson (Season 3), Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Elliott Yamin, and Chris Daughtry (Season 5), Melinda Doolittle (Season 6), David Archuleta (Season 7), and Danny Gokey (Season 8).

So far, American Idol participants have won one Academy Award, 8 Grammys, 15 American Music Awards, and 38 Billboard Music Awards.

Uploaded to Flickr by PhotojProf.

As for the winners? Here’s my ranking in terms of sheer talent:

1. Carrie Underwood (Season 4)
2. Fantasia (Season 3)
3. Kelly Clarkson (Season 1)
4. David Cook (Season 7)
5. Kris Allen (Season 8)
6. Ruben Studdard (Season 2)
7. Taylor Hicks (Season 5)
8. Jordin Sparks (Season 6)

Having said that, for pure singing ability, I think Melinda Doolittle is the best who’s ever appeared on American Idol…

Americana: National Christmas Tree

We've had a National Christmas Tree every year since 1923. Uploaded by swamppolitics.com.

Okay, first let’s get this formality out of the way. It’s not a holiday tree. There are no trees associated with Hanukkah or Ramadan. And it’s not a religious symbol. It’s a part of the American cultural celebration, and it’s a Christmas tree.

We can’t think of much that Calvin Coolidge accomplished while in office, but he did start the tradition of the National Christmas Tree. He lit the first National Tree in 1923, and even chose the location it’s occupied for most of the intervening years, on the Ellipse in Washington, DC.

Uploaded by christmasnewswire.com.

Other interesting facts about the tradition include: The celebration was televised for the first time in 1946… For many years, it was called the National Christmas Community Tree… Although the President usually lights the tree, several Vice Presidents have had the honor over the years… In 1963, the tree wasn’t lit until December 22, after a 30-day mourning period for assassinated President John Kennedy… The ceremony surrounding the lighting is called the Pageant of Peace.

This year, the 40-foot Colorado blue spruce was lit on December 3 by President Obama along with the First Lady and their two daughters. Performers at the celebration included Sheryl Crow, Celtic Woman, and Jordin Sparks, and a special guy named Santa Claus showed up for the occasion.