American Idol Rules the MDA Telethon

No wonder the Muscular Dystrophy Association was quick to ditch longtime chairman and host, Jerry Lewis after he slammed American Idol and other reality shows at the Television Critics Association press tour a couple of weeks ago.

MDA has issued a press release announcing their annual Labor Day telethon, and their are Idols all over it. Idol producer, Nigel Lythgoe will co-host, judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will appear, as will Idol Season 6 winner, Jordin Sparks.  Additionally, Season 5 Idol, Ace Young, will co-host the New York City telecast.

The show will air during primetime on Sunday September 4.  Read the press release below

TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Muscular Dystrophy Association today announced an outstanding and diverse talent roster is being finalized for its 2011 MDA Labor Day Telethon, with still more top acts expected to confirm their performances between now and the show’s primetime broadcast on Sunday, Sept. 4.

Entertainment icons including Celine Dion, Lady Antebellum, Jennifer Lopez, Darius Rucker, Martina McBride, Steven Tyler, Jon Secada, Randy Jackson, Richie Sambora, and Jimmy Webb, as well as Michael Feinstein, Maureen McGovern, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, and Ellen DeGeneres protege Greyson Chance, plus the inter-galactic music phenomenon Voca People, are making special appearances on the MDA Labor Day Telethon.

“Songs and appeals by these outstanding artists, as well as extraordinary Penn & Teller magic and so much more, undoubtedly will captivate tens of millions of viewers, ” said long-time Telethon Producer Lee Miller. “Then, when America sees and hears from remarkable families served by MDA, people once again will find it near impossible to not respond generously.”

Joining these music artists in encouraging even greater public support to help MDA speed treatments and cures for progressive muscle diseases are JabbaWockeeZ, winners of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew; The View’s Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck; plus NFL legend Kurt Warner and NBA great Dwight Howard.

The original reality television show, getting its start in 1966, the MDA Labor Day Telethon also will feature three national winners of the ultimate music talent show – the second annual “Get Discovered!” competition that this summer attracted more than 4, 000 entrants and was judged first by Internet response popularity and now by a distinguished group of radio industry leaders.

MDA 2011 national Telethon co-hosts are Nigel Lythgoe (executive producer of American Idol plus judge and executive producer of So You Think You Can Dance); Nancy O’Dell (Entertainment Tonight anchor); Alison Sweeney (host of NBC’s The Biggest Loser and author of The Mommy Diet); and Jann Carl (Emmy-winning journalist and executive producer of SOLD – Ozark Auction on the History Channel).

“Thanks to generous public support and the truly unrivaled year-round involvement of thousands of local, regional and national sponsors, ” underscored MDA President and CEO Gerald C. Weinberg, “MDA-funded research is making rapid progress toward treatments and cures. Equally important, our 200 hospital-affiliated clinic network has already achieved significant quality of life and longevity gains for people living with progressive muscle diseases.”

MDA national sponsors appearing on the 2011 Telethon to thank their employees, members and/or customers for helping advance MDA’s lifesaving mission include: A&P, Acosta Sales & Marketing, Augie’s Quest, Bally Total Fitness, Beta Club, Burger King, CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Clear Channel Radio, ClubCorp, DECA, ERA Franchise Systems, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Jiffy Lube, Kappa Alpha Order, Lowe’s Home Improvement, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), National Coalition of Association of 7-Eleven Franchisees, Safeway, Seven Up, SuperValu, Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America, Universal Cheerleaders Association, Valero Energy Corporation, and Walgreens.

Grammy-nominated singer songwriter and Broadway star Ace Young will host the Telethon’s New York City telecast. Olympic Gold medalists Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci will reprise their roles as the Telethon’s Chicago telecast co-hosts.

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!