New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady walks gingerly off the field at Gillette Stadium Sept. 7, 2008 after injuring his left knee during the first quarter of the team's home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. The injury turned into a season-ending one for the quarterback. Backup QB Matt Cassel picked up a win in that game. (Staff photo by Keith Nordstrom)
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The 2008 BCS National Championship Game (branded as the 2008 Allstate BCS National Championship Game for sponsorship reasons) was played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Monday, January 7, 2008, and featured the No. 1 and No. 2 college football teams in the United States as determined by the BCS Poll (a combination of polls and computer formulas) to decide the BCS National Championship for the 2007 NCAA Division I FBS football season.
Prior to the last weekend of the regular season, it looked like the national championship game would be played between Missouri and West Virginia. However, Missouri lost to Oklahoma 38-17 in the Big 12 Championship Game and West Virginia was shocked by their arch-rival Pitt 13-9 in the Backyard Brawl. This threw the BCS and college football world into upheaval. By virtue of winning the Big Ten and having only one loss, Ohio State looked to be guaranteed a berth in the BCS championship game. After much speculation, LSU was revealed to be the number two team in the ratings, and therefore the Buckeyes' opponent in the title game.
This was the first national championship game in the BCS era to feature two teams that had previously won a BCS national championship. Louisiana State became the first school ever to win two BCS championships. The Tigers had previously defeated Oklahoma, 21-14, in the 2004 Sugar Bowl, which served as the 2003 season's BCS championship game.
The seventh season of American Idol, the annual reality show and singing competition, began on January 15, 2008, and concluded on May 21, 2008. Ryan Seacrest continued to host the show with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson returning as judges. David Cook was announced the winner of the competition on May 21, 2008, defeating runner-up David Archuleta by a margin of roughly 12 million votes out of over 97 million, which was at that time the highest recorded vote total in the show's history. The split was 56 to 44%.
The seventh season was the first season during which neither the winner nor the runner-up was ever in the bottom group during any week before the finale on May 21, 2008. It was also the second season during which both the winner and the runner-up were male contestants, with the second season being the first.
Prior to the start of the seventh season, Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe admitted that the sixth season had placed more focus on the guest mentors than the contestants. Changes were planned for the seventh season designed to return attention to the contestants by providing more information on their backgrounds and families.
A major change for the seventh season was allowing contestants to play musical instruments, an element that originated on Australian Idol and can also be seen on Norway's Idol and Canadian Idol. A brand new set was built, and a new introduction credit sequence was created. The season finale also moved from the Kodak Theatre to the larger Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, which would be the venue for the live series finale for the next six years.
Contestants were required to be between the ages of 16 and 28 on July 28, 2007, and eligible to work in the United States. Those ineligible include former contestants who had previously reached the semifinal of the first through third seasons, or the last phase of Hollywood round of fourth through sixth seasons (top 44 of the fourth and fifth seasons, top 40 of the sixth season), those holding recording or management contracts, or those who were not US citizens or landed immigrants (i.e. permanent residents).
One auditioner this year, Alexis Cohen, gained media attention due to her outraged reaction and profuse profanities after the judges rejected her in the Philadelphia audition. She also returned in season eight to audition in New York and her audition was featured. She was later found dead in a hit-and-run accident.
The first round of individual performances lasted two days. For the first time ever, contestants had the option of either being accompanied by the band or playing an instrument themselves, such as a keyboard, guitar, or drums. If the judges approved of the contestants performances, they received a "free pass", exempting the contestant from performing the second round, and 48 contestants were awarded. Unlike previous seasons, contestants whose performances are not considered good enough may award them a second chance in the second round rather than elimination. They lined up on stage in groups of 10 and each sang a short segment of a song a cappella. After each group had performed, the judges eliminated about 100 contestants.
The live show portion of the semifinals began on February 19, 2008. Similar to previous seasons since season four, starting with 12 women and 12 men, the women and men perform on weekly separate shows and on the result shows, each performing a song from a given decade (sixties, seventies and eighties songs in order), and the bottom two contestants each night are eliminated from the competition. The semi-finals took place over three weeks, meaning that six from each gender will be eliminated over the course of the competition, leaving the other six to form the top 12. The males performed on the first night, followed by the females thereafter.
David Archuleta (born December 28, 1990, in Miami, Florida, 16 at the time of the auditions and 17 at the time of the show) is from Murray, Utah, who auditioned in San Diego with John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change". In 2003, at the age of 12, he sang on several episodes of the television show Star Search and went on to win the season finale and the $100,000 grand prize. In one episode, he competed against Alexandréa Lushington, who was a fellow semifinalist this season. He suffered from vocal paralysis after that show, which affected one of his vocal cords. He impressed the judges with his performance of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" and Bryan Adams's "Heaven" during the Hollywood round. He was never in the "bottom three" and finished as the season-seven runner-up. He was signed to Jive Records.
Syesha Mercado (born January 2, 1987, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 21 at the time of the show) is from Sarasota, Florida, who auditioned in Miami with Aretha Franklin's "Think". She is a student at Florida International University and has been singing and dancing since she was a child. During Hollywood week, she became ill and almost completely lost her voice. In preparation for her final Hollywood performance with Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools", she went on voice rest and wrote down everything she had to say on a pad of paper. Prior to American Idol, she appeared on the short-lived US version of Star Academy (known as The One: Making a Music Star when it aired on ABC in July 2006 for two weeks). Kara DioGuardi, who was one of the coaches on the Endemol franchise, joined Idol for season eight. She was voted off as a third-place finisher.
Carly Smithson (born as Carly Hennessy on September 12, 1983, in Dublin, Ireland, 24 at the time of the show) is a professional singer and bartender/waitress from San Diego, where she has been living for the past three years. Smithson previously signed a recording contract with major US label MCA Records and released an album in 2001 entitled Ultimate High under her birth name, Carly Hennessy. The album sold about 300 copies in the first three months following its release. Smithson was originally auditioned in Las Vegas during the fifth season, but was dropped from the show due to a problem with her visa. She auditioned in San Diego with Whitney Houston's "I'm Every Woman", and performed Leo Sayer's version of "When I Need You" and Heart's version of "Alone" in the Hollywood rounds. She finished sixth in the show.
Chikezie (born Chikezie Eze on September 11, 1985, in Inglewood, California, 22 at the time of that show) is a Nigerian American from Inglewood, California, who auditioned in San Diego with Luther Vandross's version of "All the Woman I Need". During the competition, he dropped using his last name because it was so frequently mispronounced ('eh-zee' and not 'EE-zee'). He previously auditioned for the show's sixth season, and made it into the Hollywood round, where he was cut before the top 44. Before auditioning for Idol, he worked as a Transportation Security Administration officer at Los Angeles International Airport.
Amanda Overmyer (born October 26, 1984, 23 at the time of that show) is a Harley-riding nurse is from Mulberry, Indiana, who auditioned in Atlanta with Janis Joplin's "Turtle Blues" and Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Travelin' Band". She received a nursing degree from Ivy Tech Community College and deals predominantly in respiratory issues. She has been the lead singer of several local hard rock bands, including Steeleto and Ruinaces. A week before the Hollywood week, she was injured in a serious car accident. She performed The Doors' "Light My Fire" at the Hollywood rounds. After the season ended, she married her fiancé Casey Taylor. 041b061a72