Michael Johns only made it to eighth place in Season 7 of American Idol, but he was adored by countless TV viewers and music fans. During his time on what was then the most-watched show on television, he was one of the few contestants who managed to capture the nation’s attention, all the while still being well liked and uncontroversial.
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It’s hard to believe, but week marks the 74th birthday of Ringo Starr. He’s one of rock’s most accomplished drummers and a successful solo artist, but have you ever realized how many times he has been animated?
Many of us who are single hate this time of year with the fire of a thousand suns. Maybe that’s a little too dramatic, but what else can you say about a holiday solely focused on happy couples trading romantic gifts during what is often the coldest, slushiest month of the year? Plenty of singles will be stuck alone indoors this V-Day, forced to sit through mushy jewelry commercials on TV or sappy ballad requests on the radio.
We know what you’re going through, and we’re here to help. Here are some pop culture suggestions: movies, books, and video games designed to get your mind off the subject.
The start of the Sochi Olympics has been attended by all sorts of stories, sensational and informative, trivial and jingoistic. Some of these stories you might expect, like the security concerns, the new sports, or the hottest athletes, you may also have seen some that are more sobering, say, the stray dogs of the anniversary of Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death. Among the stories you might not have expected—or might rather not revisit—is occasioned by another anniversary, namely, the 20 years that have passed since the attack on Nancy Kerrigan.
While it’s easy enough to fall into tabloidy versions of this revisiting—helped along by Kerrigan’s new gig as a commentator for NBC—it may be more enlightening to reconsider the event by watching 30 for 30: The Price of Gold, now available on Netflix. Both careful and compelling, Nan Burstein’s film looks back on the rivalry between the golden girl Kerrigan and the hardscrabble Tony Harding as well as a number of related stories, not least being the TV coverage of every creepy or melodramatic moment. To that end, it offers a number of perspectives, primarily Harding’s, but also Kerrigan’s husband and manager, Jerry Solomon (Kerrigan herself declined to be interviewed for the film), as well as other skaters, coaches, and reporters, as well as Harding’s childhood friend. What emerges is a remarkable saga having to do with the vagaries of figure skating as sport, art, and industry, entrenched in all manner of corporate and commercial structures focused on selling product—from the Olympics per se to hair products to breakfast cereal. It’s an insight too often obscured by the lingering hysteria over Harding and Kerrigan.
See PopMatters’ review.
The Super Bowl is often the highest-rated event on television, and part of the reason why so many tune in to see it is the new commercials. Advertisers spent an estimated $4.5 Million for their thirty seconds of airtime, and many of them tried to surprise us, be inspiring, or just make us laugh.
While it was far from being the best Super Bowl ever, this year’s crop of ads can best be divided into certain themes. Here is PopMatters’ guide to great moments, big laughs, and some completely overblown time-wasters.
// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article