It was quite a day at the Voice. No, not NBC’s new hit show. The studios Ryan Seacrest created at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston near Emory University.
Dozens of hospital employees, patients and family members crowded the main entrance to get a glimpse and if they were lucky, autographs and photos with the Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block and Jordin Sparks.
Mark Kanov, Ryan’s first boss and former general manager of Star 94, now runs the Voice. He has the Rolodex and sway with record labels to get big names to come by since the studio opened last November, including “Idol” alums Kellie Pickler, Crystal Bowersox and Kimberly Caldwell. (All of them I interviewed at the Voice.) It was impressive that Kanov got all the members of both bands to be there, including local resident Brian Littrell.
As for Sparks, she has gotten herself in the news thanks to her new svelte self, losing 30 pounds, according to People magazine, where she showed herself off in a bikini. She recently performed her dance-pop song “I Am Woman” on “Idol.” At age 21, she’s trying to show off a more mature Rihanna-Beyonce-ish side. Hollywood pressure to lose weight? Duh.
I figured I’d have no problem grabbing a few minutes with Sparks at the hospital. I mean, given that her first single is not getting any traction on top 40 radio, she could use publicity any way she could get. But her publicist Samantha Borenstein said she was on “vocal rest” and couldn’t do one-on-one interviews, save for some time with The Voice radio station.
After meeting with kids at the hospital too ill to come down to the studio, she came by to talk to Wendy Threatt, who is the lead jock for The Voice (which also brings in interns from colleges and Seacrest’s high school Dunwoody High). She spoke for 10 minutes, taking questions from a couple of kids (Her favorite number is 22, her dad’s football jersey number and her superpower would be to teleport so she could travel around easier.) She said she liked the final two on “Idol” this year and noted that she thinks she was younger when she won in 2007 than Scotty McCreery was when he won by two months.
Otherwise, she didn’t talk about her upcoming album or her current single, subjects I would have asked. I would have also inquired about her weight loss. Wendy said she ran out of time after ten minutes to get to those topics. Interview over, Jordin gabbed and too photos with kids for a few more minutes before jumping into an extended Hummer limousine. (The driver jokingly said the MPG is in the fractions of a mile.)
So much for “vocal rest.”
I didn’t get my interview but I did get a few photos of her and the boy bands: