The Orange County Christmas Extravaganza aired live Wednesday night (Dec 23) from the Arboretum at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. And for American Idol fans, the event was pretty spectacular, featuring EIGHT alums from the show, including a couple of winners.
Hosted by Ben Giroux, the event featured performances from Pia Toscano (S10), Ruben Studdard (S2 winner), Paris Bennett (S5), Elliott Yamin (S5), Tamyra Gray (S1), Jessica Sanchez (S11 runner-up), Ayla Brown (S5 Top 16), and Kris Allen (S8 winner).
The two hour show, which served as a fundraiser for The Jessie Rees Foundation, which helps kids battle cancer, aired on local TV stations and streamed live HERE.
A few of the performances were backed by cheesy dancers–can’t have a HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR without the Velveeta! The show COULD have done without sound problems. The mic cut out altogether during Elliott’s “Little Drummer Boy. To add insult to injury, the host introduced the singer before his next song as Elliott Lamin. OUCH.
Tamyra and Paris haven’t been seen on TV in a minute. Tamyra out did herself with a manger-ready costume for “Mary Did You Know,” and Paris needs to get out more. She’s still good. Ruben’s performances were spectacular. Kris delivered a musical and entertaining set. Jessica was a last minute addition, and was in good voice, as was Pia. Ayla was a pretty random pick. She sang an original Christmas song. Also: DUETS!
The Hollywood Christmas parade, taped a few weeks ago, was also an ode to Idol. If you haven’t seen those performances, from Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks, Candice Glover, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Clay Aiken and Ruben, click this link.
Pia Toscano – All I Want for Christmas is You
Pia Toscano & Ruben Studdard – The Christmas Song
Ruben Studdard – One Little Christmas
Ruben Studdard – Go Tell It On the Mountain
Ruben Studdard – Away in a Manger – Ruben and Paris Bennett – Silent Night
Paris Bennett – Twelve Days of Christmas
Elliott Yamin – Little Drummer Boy
Elliott Yamin – This Christmas
Tamyra Gray – That’s What Christmas Means to Me
Tamyra Gray – Mary Did You Know
Jessica Sanchez – Santa Baby
Ayla Brown – Spend Christmas with You
Kris Allen and Ayla Brown – Christmas Without You
Kris Allen – White Christmas
Kris Allen – Holly Jolly Christmas