Superstar USA

Superstar USA

Superstar USA Finalists
 
Season 1 (2004)
 
Jamie Fosswinner
 
Mario Rodgersrunner-up
 
Rosa McIntyrethird
 
Joseph "Jojo" Cranefourth
 
John Michael Zimmertop 8
 
Nina Oh
 
Omar Kramer
 
Tamara Lindsey
 
Ash Snydertop 12
 
Emily Hobart
 
Frank Glynn
 
Ross Ecklund

The WB's Superstar USA was a television show that spoofed the popular show American Idol. Essentially that show's polar opposite, Superstar USA told contestants they were looking for the best singer when they were actually looking for the worst. Hosted by Brian McFayden (Ryan Seacrest's double), people first audition before three judges (the sarcastic Briggs, who also produces the show and could be considered the "Simon" of the show; rapper Tone Lōc, the show's answer to Randy Jackson; and singer Vitamin C, put into Paula Abdul's role) in four cities across the United States. Finalists were chosen based on the lie that they were the most likely to be able to parlay their win into a successful recording contact based on talent. However, the audition process was the opposite of American Idol as good singers were mocked and told no while bad singers were given gushing praise and passed to the next round.

Said finalists were subjected to makeovers where they were encouraged to emulate pop stars. Contestants would then be falsely encouraged and praised by the judges as well as the stylists, cheorographers and vocal coaches; particularly they would be encouraged to try and stretch their vocal range far beyond what they could actually reach. Contestants with particularly inflated egos, such as the emphatic cheerleader Nina "Diva", were heavily encouraged to speak highly of themselves to the camera.

Eventually the contest was "won" by a singer named Jamie Foss, a buxom young blonde girl (who bore a resemblance to Jessica Simpson) who could barely carry a tune. Throughout the competition she was constantly mocked by judges with thinly veiled references to the largeness of her breasts. She was awarded $50,000 in cash and a $50,000 budget to produce a record, which has not yet surfaced. The truth was revealed to her on stage in front of the audience she had just sung for, but Foss did not seem very upset with the truth.

One producer worried that the live audience members would not be able to respectfully compose themselves during the final performances, deceived the audience by falsely informing them that the singers were all terminally ill young people, who were having a wish fulfilled by a charitable organization. The LA Times reported the organization named by the producer was the Make a Wish Foundation, which later received an apology from the WB. In an interview with USA Today, executive producer Mike Fleiss straightened out the details: "First of all, it was me. But I did not say 'Make-A-Wish.' I said, 'Who's heard of the One Wish Foundation?' and people raised their hands. There is no One Wish Foundation. It was a prank on top of a prank. It was the only way to get it to work."

See also

References

  • Oldenburg, Ann. (May 17, 2004). "Can't sing or dance? Give 'Superstar' a shot". USA Today, p. 3D. Read

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