For years, singers have done just about anything they could to get the attention the judges on “American Idol.” There have been wacky costumes, shameless flirtation with the panel and some truly horrible original songs . But one surefire way to pique the interest of Randy, Steven and J.Lo (not to mention Simon and Paula in the past) is to reveal in your bio that your dad is already a bold-faced name.
The latest case-in-point is Jane Carrey, the 24-year-old daughter of actor Jim Carrey , who tried out for the show Sunday night. The judges enjoyed her rendition of Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About,” while former Fly Girl Jennifer Lopez remembered seeing baby Jane on the set of “In Living Color” when she shared the stage with Carrey.
But she’s just the latest “Idol” wannabe to use her name to get in the door. Just last week, we met lanky Shannon Magrane , whose father was the starting pitcher in two games for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1987 World Series. Magrane is among a long list of athlete offspring who’ve given “Idol” a shot.
In season seven, we briefly got to know Alyonka Larionov, daughter of former National Hockey League star Igor “The Professor” Larionov, who helped pave the way for Russian hockey players to join NHL teams back in the late 1980s. There was also season-four crooner Nikko Smith, son of Hall of Fame baseball player Ozzie Smith. “Being around my dad and him being in the spotlight kind of prepares you and you have an outlook on things that’s a little bit different, because you’ve been around celebrities and people in the spotlight,” Nikko told MTV News in 2007.
But perhaps the biggest jock descendant to make it to the “Idol” stage is Jordin Sparks, the season-six winner whose father is former NFL cornerback Phillippi Sparks. The year she won “Idol,” Jordin recalled to MTV News taking pictures with her family for national magazines and seeing fans swarm her dad for autographs. “He actually told me the other day that when he would sign autographs, I would just be watching so intently,” she remembered. “He said it was really weird, because he was watching me [sign autographs] the other day, and now it’s all turned around.”
It also helps to have some music-industry blood pumping through your veins. In season eight, that meant some extra shine for David Osmond, who made it to Hollywood Week that year thanks to his famous singing family’s pedigree and some very smooth vocals but flamed out due to laryngitis. Season-six contestant Sundance Head, son of “Treat Her Right” singer Roy Head, ended up in 13th place on the show.
Before he surprised the political world by winning late Democratic stalwart Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in 2010, Republican lawmaker Scott Brown’s basketball-playing daughter Ayla made it into the top 16 on the show in season five.
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