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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Jordin Sparks at Star 94’s Jingle Jam

CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

I attended the Star 94 Jingle Jam last night to see Jordin Sparks. This is the third year in a row Star has had an “Idol” on its lineup. In 2007, it was Elliott Yamin. Last year, David Archuleta. I felt incredibly old, surrounded almost exclusively by 12 to 16 year old girls who were there to scream for Justin Bieber and Cobra Starship and such.

Sparks was her usual bubbly – if slightly awkward – self. (That’s her charm.) I was about 300 feet away so I apologize for the mediocre photograph above. Robb Cohen has better shots here.

She hasn’t been hit by a true sophomore jinx since her first single of her latest album “Battlefield” landed in the top 5. But single #2, “S.O.S,” bombed, peaking in the 30s on the top 40 radio charts. It’s basically a ripoff of Shannon’s 1984 gem “Let the Music Play.” The crowd did love the song and she did it with plenty of energy.

On stage, Sparks wore a more mature haircut (with mixed results) and a less-than-flattering red dress. But there’s no doubt she has improved her stage presence. She even pulls off a few simple dance steps though nobody will ever mistake her for Jennifer Lopez. Disappointingly, she dispensed with a live band for this radio tour, using backing tracks along with four backup singers.

At the Z100 Jingle Jam earlier this week in New York, she sang her big hit “No Air” with Bieber but she went solo this time. The elegant ballad (originally sung with Chris Brown) still gives me chills.

She then gave us a Christmas song, a lovely a cappella version of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” before ending with “Battlefield,” which sounds better live (or semi-live, given the backing tracks) then on tape.

Here’s her “No Air.”

And here’s a snippet of her doing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”

14 comments Add your comment

kelly&carriefan

December 18th, 2009
10:03 am

Thanks for the review, Rodney. You get my sympathies for listening to the screaming girls. (Assuming you were around for Justin Bieber’s set).

I’ve liked Jordin and enjoyed her singles, but backing tracks at a concert? Wow, that’s just incredibly disappointing.

Mercedes S.

December 18th, 2009
10:12 am

First? Good Morning, to another rainy, flash-flood threatening day in Atlanta.

Thanks for Sparks review, Rodney. Singing certainly better than outfit.

This week’s Have to See at the movies: “Avatar”. I don’t often say this, but I was Blown Away at an early screening. James Cameron keeps re-inventing the movie-going experience, and this time he has outdone himself with technical wizardry involving “motion capturing”, and 3D – watching “Avatar” with those stupid glasses somehow makes you feel like you’re IN the movie. $200,000,000.00 is predicted for “Avatar”’s opening weekend and it doesn’t sound preposterous at all. I can’t wait to go back.

JTesla

December 18th, 2009
10:41 am

Come on Rodney, we know you went just to see Justin Bieber! Jordin looks good, at least in that one picture as the other site isn’t pulling up for me. Nothing wrong with having some hips. I think Jordin is one who, when we talk about Idols who have made it, we forget to mention. It’s good to see her doing well as she seems to be a very nice person.

Thanks Mercedes for the Avatar review, I was about to ask you for your impression of it.

idolblogwatcher

December 18th, 2009
11:46 am

My daughter and her friend went to Jingle Jam last night and really enjoyed the show. I won tickets by calling into Star 94 the 1st day they opened up the contest. They said Jordin Sparks was great, could dance, and they put her right up there as one of the top 3 performers last night. Of course they, like most teen girls were screaming their heads off for Justin Bieber and bought $30 Justin T-shirts. Surprisingly they said Leona Lewis…or as they named her
‘HE-ONA Lewis’ was terrible…so evidently didn’t look like herself and lip synched her set.

Nana

December 18th, 2009
11:55 am

Good Morning or early afternoon everybody.

Welcome back Harriett and glad you had a safe trip.

Rickster, if you read this before you leave, I sincerely hope you and your family have a wonderful and bless Christmas and New Year’s. We will see you when you return.

Jordin sounds good but, I think she chose the wrong attire to wear. She is such a pretty young lady.

Rodney, I hope your ears are okay this morning since you were among the screaming girls last night

JTesla

December 18th, 2009
4:17 pm

Prediction time: coming to a Wednesday night Idol show to perform in 2010 – Justin Bieber.

NBW

December 18th, 2009
7:44 pm

the backup singer in the blue shirt and black vest is Leah LaBelle from season 3. She’s managed to get a gig… shocking.

Mercedes S.

December 19th, 2009
1:22 pm

Saturday morning – guess everybody is out looking for presents. Daughter-in-law, driving home to Atlanta for Christmas, left DC at 7 pm last night, thinking she’d beat the snow blizzard. She was wrong. She called this morning at 6:30, saying she got as far as Richmond, VA, and had just checked in at a motel for some shut-eye. Solid traffic jams the whole way, ice on the road, cars and trucks in ditches.

Highlander

December 20th, 2009
9:05 am

JT, I guess that safer than predicting Leah LaBelle (NBW’s post, 12/18, 7:44pm) will be asked back to perform on an Idol results show! Leah who???

I nominate NBW as the blog’s weekly trivia award winner! …Well, that’s if we had a weekly trivia award! :-)

woogidy

December 20th, 2009
10:03 pm

Nana

December 21st, 2009
6:13 am

Good Morning Everybody.

Today’s Quote: “Teach us to value most eternal things…To find the happiness that giving brings.
To know the peace of misty, distant hills…To know the joy that giving self fulfils.
To realize anew this Christmas Day…The things we keep are those we give away.”

Mercedes – Hope your daughter in law made it home safely.

Highlander

December 21st, 2009
7:41 am

Nana, are you sure you don’t work for Hallmark?? :-)

Nana

December 21st, 2009
8:33 am

Highlander, I’m sure. I just like that saying.

rob555

December 22nd, 2009
3:23 pm