Jordin Sparks flies to ‘Idol’ victory

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TV’s highest-rated show opened with Sparks and Lewis dueting on the Beatles song, “I Saw You Standing There.” It opens with the line “Well, she was just 17,” a nice fit for the 17-year-old champ. Some poolside chatter centered on judge Simon Cowell, who announced he would be leaving the show in four years once his contract was up after the 10th season. Fellow judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson had no comment. The consistently popular “American Idol,” a copy of the British “Pop Idol,” is a ratings and revenue bonanza. Athough its 25 million average weekly viewers declined recently, Fox won its third consecutive season among viewers ages 18-49 when the season ended Wednesday. Wednesday’s extravaganza included guest spots from Motown star Smokey Robinson, “Idol” first-season winner Kelly Clarkson, Gladys Knight, fifth-season winner Taylor Hicks, Tony Bennett, fourth-season winner Carrie Underwood, Bebe and Cece Winans, Bette Midler and hip-hopper Doug E. Fresh. Green Day performed John Lennon’s acerbic “Working Class Hero,” a song whose message of anti-consumerism surely sailed over the heads of most in the audience. And in the most touching segment, four of the five previous “Idols” – third-season winner Fantasia couldn’t make it because she’s appearing on Broadway in “The Color Purple” – did numbers from the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album, released 40 years ago this summer. – Fred Shuster Jordin Sparks, 17, an amateur singer from Arizona, was crowned Wednesday on “American Idol” after the record-breaking TV talent contest came to a finale at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Sparks, who auditioned in Seattle for the sixth season of the show, had no formal music training and now gets a record contract and a place in the showbiz spotlight, joining five previous “Idols.” Sparks, the daughter of former pro-football player Phillipi Sparks, outsang hip-hop-inspired runner-up Blake Lewis in the competition that drew a record 74 million votes. “Mom, Dad, I love you,” Sparks said tearfully after a bear hug from Lewis. last_img read more