Now that news of Donna Summer's death has flooded the interwebs, people are looking for ways to cope with their grief. And while some may choose to express their sorrow via Twitter, others (including yours truly) prefer to journey back in time and see just how much this legendary singer has impacted the world with her classic hit songs, especially in the realm of reality television.
From American Idol to Dancing With the Stars, this singer's incredible music has been the source of inspiration for an up-and-coming talent throughout the years. Contestants from all over the world have covered Summer's songs in the hopes of captivating the crowd just as much as the late legend once did.
As these videos below prove that Summers may be gone in the physical sense, but her impact and inspiration will last forever.
Kris Allen performed "She Works Hard For the Money" during the eighth season of American Idol. He also went on to win the competition entirely. Now I'm not saying there's any correlation between the two, but you can't help but wonder...
Kris Allen sings She Works Hard for the Money
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Melinda Doolittle sang a beautiful rendition of Summer's hit "Heaven Knows" during season six of Idol. Arguably, nothing can compare to the late singer's version, but Melinda sure seemed to come close.
Jordin Sparks performed "She Works Hard For the Money" on the six season of Idol, proving that she more than earned her right to be a member of this singing competition. She worked hard, alright — and it paid off in spades.
Donna Summer even went on Idol herself in May 2008 and performed "She Works Hard For the Money" with the female contestants. Let's hope those girls knew just how lucky they were.
Other contestants who performed Donna Summer hits on Idol include: Allison Iraheta ("Hot Stuff" in Season 8), Ryan Starr ("Last Dance" in Season 1), Diana DeGarmo ("No More Tears" in Season 3), LaKisha Jones ("Last Dance" in Season 6), and Anoop Desai ("Dim All The Lights" in Season 8). Sadly, the videos for these performances were not available.
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Natalie Fotopoulos and Musa Cooper danced Disco to "Hot Stuff" in season two of SYTYCD, sending both the crowd and the judges into quite the frenzy. Who's hot stuff? These two are!
Sabra and Dominic managed to put together an impressive dance number to Summer's hit "No More Tears" during Season 3. The only tears they should be crying are tears of joy after this phenomenal performance.
Melanie and Marko performed "I Feel Love" during the Top 4 finale of Season 8. In the mood for something sexy and fun? Well look no further my friends.
Kathryn and Ryan made America hope that this wasn't their last dance after dancing to Summer's "Last Dance" hit on the sixth season of the show. The background is almost as eye-catching as the actual performance.
Next: I'm Seeing Stars.Dancing With the Stars
Kenny and Andrea danced the Cha-Cha-Cha to "Hot Stuff" on the second season of DWTS. And while they were the first couple to be eliminated, you can't help but enjoy this fun dance routine.
Tia Carrere & Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced the Samba to "No More Tears" in Season 2. Let's face it, ladies — any reason to see Maks shake his booty like that is fine by us.
Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson decided to slow things down a bit by free-styling to Summer's classic "Last Dance" in Season 4. You have to give them credit — they were very 'nsync.
Anna Demidova and Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed a professional (yet sexy) Samba together as they danced to "Crayons" during the eighth season of DWTS. Is it getting hot in here?
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The girls who called themselves The Glamazons performed a rocking rendition of "Hot Stuff" in Season 2 of AGT.
Dancing Trombonist Jonathan Arons performed an incredibly entertaining version of "Bad Girls" during Season 3. If you get a knowing smile from The Hoff, you know you're doing well.
Donna Summer herself performed with Prince Poppycock during the show's Season 5 finale, which brought both the crowd and the judges to their feet. Plus, those outfits were insanely awesome.
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Carrie, Jenna, Tiffanie, Chrystina wowed fans with their sparkly rendition of "Dim All The Lights" in 2010. Now you can decide for yourself if it was a good wow or bad wow.
Katelyn Tarver performed Summer's "On the Radio" in the only season of American Juniors in the summer of 2003. She may be really young, but the girl's definitely got some talent.
Goodbye, Donna Summer: Neil Patrick Harris, Gloria Estefan & More Mourn on Twitter
Donna Summer, Music Legend, Dies at 63
Below are my assessments of Tuesday night’s country-themed (and Randy Travis-advised) performances, followed by a sure-to-be-dead-wrong prediction of Wednesday night’s bottom three and elimination.
Click here to play our Idol trivia game!
Michael Sarver: “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)”
Could there’ve been a more daunting way to start the show than trying to memorize and properly enunciate one of country’s most lyrically dense songs ever?! Sarver had fun and induced fun, but he seemed more at home hitting the high, long notes last week. All in all, his replies to each judge’s negative feedback were more entertaining than his performance. Translation: uh-oh.
Allison Iraheta: “Blame It on Your Heart”
Luckily, Iraheta was able to put a rock spin on this country tune, because a more faithful rendition might’ve exposed her lack of tenderness and, well, restraint. If nothing else, it didn’t hurt her position as the female front runner (sorry, Lil Rounds), but it wasn't her best. Once again, though, how is this girl only 16 years old?
Kris Allen: “To Make You Feel My Love”
A risky choice: It’s rare for a male contestant to brave the stage and croon, rather nakedly, a drumless song -- but it paid off for Allen, proving that he is, in fact, more than just a pretty face. The males’ heartthrob representative can sing, too!
Lil Rounds: “Independence Day”
Her performance seemed doomed from the get-go when she said, “[The contestants] spend quite a few time together.” Ouch. But then she sung. Lil seamlessly passed what will probably be her toughest test (country music) of the entire competition, making a country tune her own and then some. Disregard Simon’s “wedding singer” analogy, Lil!
Adam Lambert: “Ring of Fire”
Wow, Johnny must’ve been rolling in his grave from this version -- and probably in part because Lambert’s shrieky voice was audible six feet under! Look, the guy happily admitted he’s not a country singer, and Randy Travis’ disgusted reaction to Lambert’s nail polish summed up the country-fan consensus, but my knee-jerk reaction? Damn good and contemporary-sounding, and had it not constituted Johnny Cash blasphemy, Lambert’s performance wouldn’t have been “strange” or “weird” in the least bit. (That’s my gripe with all these “theme” weeks: It’s hard to judge a performance on its own merit.) At the very least, people won’t soon forget it.
Scott MacIntyre: “Wild Angels”
MacIntyre thankfully picked up the pace from last week and in so doing lost some of the inherent lameness, but the judges (shockingly!) made good points: He’s not doing enough. While MacIntyre possesses a solid voice and amazing musicianship, there is absolutely something missing, and it really might just be “the hotness,” as Randy so eloquently -- and frequently -- points out.
Alexis Grace: “Jolene”
Alexis was right in her element this week and stood to benefit from a perfect song choice, but she could’ve done much better -- namely with the high notes. Grace’s vocals were flat by her standards, and her trademark “dirty” edge was noticeably absent, turning what is supposed to be a highly emotional song into a robotic version.
Danny Gokey: “Jesus, Take the Wheel”
Expectations were low after the tape showed him repeatedly butchering the song -- which earned Gokey points when he simply got through the song during his performance. He still missed a few notes, especially during the chorus, but when Gokey gets it going -- and thus loosens up -- he’s one of the competition’s best, with infectious energy to spare.
Anoop Desai: “Always on My Mind”
Trouble seemed in the cards on country night for Anoop, whose talents clearly lie in the more energy-reliant pop/R&B genre, but he surprised a lot of people by bringing his downright impressive vocal abilities to the forefront while controlling his outsize personality until the end -- at which point he admitted to expecting perfect feedback from the judges! Simon loved that part.
Megan Joy: “Walkin’ After Midnight”
Let’s be honest: If Megan wasn’t supermodel hot, she’d probably be long gone by now, and even her best performance to date might not be enough to save her at this point. But for what it’s worth, she sounded and (as always) looked great on Tuesday night, despite being visibly and audibly sick. And, at long last, that hip-swirling she calls dancing was more subdued. Too bad viewers/voters haven’t been privy to this caliber of performance all along.
Matt Giraud: “So Small”
How fitting that the oft-overlooked Giraud closed out the show with the only true standout performance of the night. As always with Giraud, there was a genuine, unforced soulfulness in his performance, and he transformed Carrie Underwood’s country-tinged pop song into a radio-ready version all his own. Everyone (or at least Paula) seems to think that a Lambert-Gokey finale is inevitable, but watch out for the multitalented Giraud -- who is a genre chameleon whereas the others all seem to have a weakness.
Bottom Three: Megan Joy, Michael Sarver, Anoop Desai
Eliminated: Megan Joy
Season 8 of American Idol has been a looong, strange trip up to this point, but Tuesday night marked the return of the good stuff: the top 12, er, 13. In a twist last week (one that was mercilessly cut off by most DVRs; damn their punctuality!), the contestant field was expanded to a baker’s dozen … perhaps because the judge panel this season was also increased by one? Whatever the reasoning behind Idol’s umpteenth format change of the season, it’s hard to complain about one more pop-star hopeful being added to the fray (Anoop Desai in this case).
Below are my assessments of Tuesday night’s Michael Jackson-themed performances. Update: Jasmine Murray and Jorge Nunez were, unsurprisingly, the two contestants eliminated on Wednesday night.
Click here to test your knowledge of Idol trivia! Lil Rounds: “The Way You Make Me Feel” The down-on-her-luck mother of three kicked off the show in superb fashion (wardrobe notwithstanding), capping off her pitch-perfect performance with a flawless gospel-y end note. It’s rare that an Idol show begins this well, and Lil should have no problem surviving Wednesday night’s elimination show. Grade: A- Scott MacIntyre: “Keep the Faith” The visually impaired fan fave has quite the feel-good story going, but his rendition of this relatively obscure (yet apropos) Jackson song was, for lack of a better word, corny. MacIntyre’s inspirational Idol journey will carry him through to the next round, but possibly not much further. Grade: C+ Danny Gokey: “P.Y.T.” Gokey, who also boasts an uplifting back story, seemed a safe bet to soulfully croon his way through MJ night, but he surprised everyone, and surprises on Idol are almost always a good thing. Gokey brought unforeseen energy to his performance, answering the only real question about whether he had what it takes to stick around in the competition. He even got Paula, Randy and Kara to sing into the mic -- and Simon to crack an unironic smile! Grade: A- Michael Sarver: “You Are Not Alone” Perhaps because his day job as an oilrig roughneck has been emphasized ad nauseam, Sarver’s soft song choice seemed destined to backfire. Funnily enough, it suited him just fine, as evidenced by his masterfully restrained performance. Grade: B+ Jasmine Murray: “I’ll Be There” The teenager’s got the looks, charisma, stage presence and voice of a natural-born star, but she didn’t do herself any favors with this safe, somewhat uneven performance -- and remember, she’s a wild-card survivor. To borrow one of Simon’s favorite blanket criticisms: utterly forgettable. She could be in trouble. Grade: C Kris Allen: “Remember the Time” The resident heartthrob (sorry, ladies -- turns out he’s married) benefitted from singing one of the more fun songs in the Jackson catalogue and, of course, his looks, but there will come a time when vocals matter more than -- or at least as much as -- looks … happens every year. And did that guitar emit a single sound?! Grade: B- Allison Iraheta: “Give in to Me” Iraheta is the anti-Jasmine Murray: She doesn’t yet have that star quality, but her voice might be the ladies’ best -- and she’s 16 years old! Tuesday night’s angsty performance wasn’t quite as memorable as when she sang “Alone” during the top-36 round, and she’s got some serious work to do in the personality department, but Iraheta is still near the top of this season’s class. Grade: B+ Anoop Desai: “Beat It” Anoop ‘Dog’ got the ultimate second chance (he was last week’s surprise 13th contestant in the, um, top 12), but he blew it on Tuesday night for possibly the last time. Desai once again showcased his personality -- primarily during the pre- and post-performance interviews -- over his voice, and “Beat It” is more or less the forbidden fruit among Jackson songs. Here’s hoping he gets just one more shot. Grade: C Jorge Nunez: “Never Can Say Goodbye” There was something off-putting about Nunez even before his nauseatingly cheesy version of “Never Can Say Goodbye,” but at least he had some form of originality going into the night. On Tuesday, the usually wired, emotional Nunez was tame, lame and unoriginal, and he later played the bad-song-choice victim. Don't be surprised if he says "goodbye" again on Wednesday night. Grade: C- Megan Corkrey: “Rockin’ Robin” It’s been well established that Corkrey is gorgeous to a hyperbolic degree, but it’s also starting to become crystal clear that she just doesn’t have the full package (read: voice). Her limited, Amy Winehouse-esque range has never been more apparent than during Tuesday night’s one-note performance, and those “dance” moves are downright disturbing. She’s a candidate to be ousted on Wednesday. Grade: C- Adam Lambert: “Black or White” Clearly the one to beat thus far, Lambert must’ve been psyched about the inherent theatrics of Michael Jackson night -- and boy, did he deliver. I’m not saying I would ever have any interest in a future album of Lambert’s, but talent is talent, and this guy is in an entirely different league than everyone else (so much so that he could suffer voter backlash at some point down the road). “Black or White” was the absolute perfect song choice and Axl Rose-style interpretation. Grade: A+ Matt Giraud: “Human Nature” Giraud had the misfortune of trying to follow up Lambert’s show-stopping performance with a soft ballad, but the dueling piano dude’s mellow rendition turned out to be just what we needed. In extremely opposite ways, Lambert and Giraud are probably the two most contemporary singers in the competition. Grade: B+ Alexis Grace: “Dirty Diana” Grace didn’t fare quite as well as she did during her top-36 performance (which seems like ages ago!), but it was a pleasant enough way to close out the show. When she wasn’t overly shouty, Grace was smooth and sultry enough to draw a “naughty girl” compliment from Kara. Grade: B
There might be rumors that Rihanna and Chris Brown are reconciling, but she’ll have to testify against him if she’s asked to.
Donald Etra, who is representing the 21-year-old Barbados native, said Friday that Rihanna would be required by law to testify if prosecutors subpoena her, the Associated Press reports.
Brown was arrested Feb. 8 stemming from an altercation that police say he had with Rihanna in a car in an upscale Los Angeles neighborhood, in which he punched, bit and choked her.
Brown had to make an appearance in court on Thursday, in which he was charged with two felonies. His arraignment was postponed until April 6. He politely answered a court commissioner's questions during his brief appearance Thursday, but did not speak to reporters afterward, AP reports.
The attorney said Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, did not want a "no contact" order issued against Brown, but that she will report any violations of an order prohibiting the 19-year-old singer from threatening, harassing or harming his girlfriend.
Rihanna really just wants this all to be over quickly. "She wants to get along with her life and career," Etra told AP.
MORE NEWS: ‘Idol’ Anoop Desai Is Lucky Number 13
This whole wild card scenario on American Idol is really mixing things up -- in a good way.
Idol contestant Anoop Desa, who was originally voted off, won the coveted and previously unannounced 13th spot at the end of Thursday's wild card round, HuffingtonPost.com reports. Representing the judges, Simon Cowell announced that the much-loved 22-year-old college student from Chapel Hill, N.C. would move on to the final 12, er, make that 13.
"We decided recently we're going to make this a top 13," Cowell revealed. The three other wild-card finalists were Jasmine Murray, the big-voiced 16-year-old high school student from Starkville, Mississippi.; Megan Corkrey, the quirky 22-year-old single mother from Sandy, Utah; and Matt Giraud, the soulful 23-year-old dueling piano player from Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Desai, Murray, Corkrey and Giraud join previously picked finalists Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Scott MacIntyre, Jorge Nunez, Lil Rounds and Michael Sarver. The 13 finalists will start competing next Tuesday -- with one singer sent packing each Wednesday.
Do you think he deserved the 13th spot? Let us know!
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