DAILY DIRT: Ahh … the days of Underwood, Aiken, Simon, Paula and Randy

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Daily Dirt for Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022

Remember those marvelous evenings when “American Idol” was must-see TV, when more than 30 million Americans tuned in? Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end. But, alas, they did … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 473 of The Daily Dirt.

1. I think it’s safe to say there will never again be anything that will compare to the glory days of “American Idol.”

Those days of Simon, Paula and Randy, plus memorable contestants like Clay Aiken and Carrie Underwood. 

We watched the singing, then listened to the often cruel remarks from Simon … and then we’d rehash it all the following day at work.

Yeah, I still miss that show. A lot. Which got me thinking about how many of those old Idol phenoms enjoyed the most post-show success? 

A little research found the following Idol stars to have been the most successful, judging by their net worth today:

  • Carrie Underwood. Net worth: $80 million. I’ve always wondered why no winner from “The Voice” has ever come close to the level of success enjoyed by the major stars from the Idol era. 
  • Kelly Clarkson. Net worth: $28 million. It seems every time I turn on the TV I see her in some form, either as an entertainer, host or in a commercial.
  • Jennifer Hudson. Net worth: $20. She’s arguably the most accomplished of all the old Idol stars. She has spanned several genres and is a genuine headliner.
  • Chris Daughtry. Net worth: 10 million. To say his recording career has been a bit more successful than the singer who won Idol his year would be a major understatement. (If you’re wondering who that year’s winner was, does the name Taylor Hicks ring a bell?)
  • Kat McPhee. Net worth: $8 million. She’s now both an accomplished singer and actress.

2. Some rather disturbing news from CBS this weekend.

The network has canceled the Backstreet Boys’ Christmas special in the wake of a sexual assault lawsuit against group member Nick Carter, according to Variety magazine.

“A Very Backstreet Holiday,” originally scheduled to air Dec. 14, was set to showcase Carter and bandmates Kevin Richardson, A.J. McLean, Brian Littrell and Howie Dorough, plus Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, Rob Riggle and Nikki Glasser.

People magazine quotes representatives of Carter claiming the suit is “legally meritless and entirely untrue.”

Carter, 42, was sued by a woman named Shannon Ruth, who alleged that she was 17 years old when Carter, then 21, sexually assaulted her on his tour bus after a concert in 2001, according to documents obtained by PEOPLE.

3. As promised yesterday, here are our picks for the five best bowl games to watch:

  • Peach Bowl: Georgia (13-0) vs. Ohio State (11-1). The winner of this national semifinal will likely win the national championship. (Dec. 31, 7 p.m., ESPN)
  • Fiesta Bowl: Michigan (13-0) vs. TCU (12-1). Michigan should crush the Frogs, setting up a potential rematch with Ohio State for the title. (Dec. 31, 3 p.m., ESPN)
  • Rose Bowl: Utah (10-3) vs. Penn State (10-2). Penn State coach James Franklin’s resume in major games is not strong. I look for Utah to blast the Nittany Lions. (Jan. 2, 4 p.m., ESPN)
  • Holiday Bowl: Oregon (9-3) vs. North Carolina (9-4). The Holiday Bowl is normally a wide-open, high-scoring affair, and these two clubs seem like an ideal match for just that. A 50-40 final is not out of the question. (Dec. 28, 7 p.m., Fox)
  • Cure Bowl: UTSA (11-2) vs. Troy (11-2). This is the only bowl game match conference champions. Troy won the Sun Belt, UTSA is champ of Conference-USA.  (Dec. 16, 2 p.m., ESPN)

Steve Thought O’ The Day — What I would give for an Ohio State-Michigan rematch …

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He’s going to be sad when Georgia trucks tOSU.

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