Thursday, May 24, 2007

Person of the Day: Jordin Sparks

Yes, the announcement of her win may have felt a little anticlimactic, but that doesn't do anything to take away from the significance of her win -- Jordin Sparks is the new American Idol, and she's also the Idol Thoughts Person of the Day.

From the moment I saw Jordin's initial audition in front of Simon, Randy, and Paula, I knew she was going to go far in this competition, although, truth be told, I'm not sure I could have guessed that she would take the crown. I kind of worried that she might go the way of Lisa Tucker -- strong start, clearly lots of talent, but simply too young to be able to handle the demands of the competition. Boy was I wrong! Not only did she not peter out -- she got better and better as the competition went on!

Her semifinal peformances were strong ("Gimme One Reason," "Reflection," "Heartbreaker"), but she was very much in the shadows of Melinda and LaKisha throughout the first few weeks of the competition. In fact she stayed there until her remarkable Top 11 performance of "I Who Have Nothing." Fiercely dramatic and incredibly well sung, that performance launched her to the front of the pack, where she stayed for the rest of the competition. Week after week her triumphs were plentiful ("On a Clear Day," "You'll Never Walk Alone," "Broken Wing," "To Love Somebody," "This is My Now") and even her setbacks, which were minimal, were not trainwrecks, but rather interesting risks gone slightly awry ("Hey Baby," "Livin' on a Prayer"). Melinda and LaKisha may have been the soul of this competition, and Blake and Chris brought the cute hipness, but Jordin's youthful enthusiasm and transcendent voice make her a very worthy victor.

Like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood before her, Jordin's appeal is broad enough that she should find tons of success. It is easy to see her scoring hits on pop, Adult Contemporary, or country radio, and I have no doubt that she will sell millions and millions of albums.

Congratulations Jordin on being this year's American Idol -- and today's Idol Thoughts Person of the Day!

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