Thursday , May 26 2022

Today’s Superstar: Does This Sound Vaguely Familiar?

The TODAY Show is holding an Idol-like competition – do you have what it takes?

    Think you have what it takes to be the next Faith Hill, Enrique Iglesias or Alicia Keys?

You mean they’re not looking for the next Iggy Pop?

    Tired of crooning in the shower and finally ready to take the world with your singing ability? Then here’s your shot to be the next singing sensation as NBC’s Today show launches a U.S. search for the next music icon called – “Today’s Superstar.”
    Here’s what you need to do: fill out the entry form, print it out, and send it along with your VHS demo tape and contestant release form. The demo tape should consist of the entrant singing two songs a cappella and solo, with the songs no more than one minute in length. One song can be of the entrant’s choice, with the second song to be selected from the list on the entry form. Single performers only, sorry no group performances for this competition. (Only TYPED entry forms will be accepted. Demo tapes WILL NOT be returned to entrants. Only open to residents 18 and older that reside in the continental U.S. Please read rules for complete eligibility requirements.)
    Up to six entrants will be selected to participate in a month long competition that begins in November. The person selected as “Today’s Superstar” will have the opportunity to perform live before a national audience in Rockefeller Plaza on NBC’s “Today” show. They will also have an opportunity to do a recording session with Warner Bros. Records Inc. Can you meet these requirements? Then begin your quest to become “Today’s Superstar” by clicking the next button.

Having clicked the button, this is what you will find:

    Official Rules
    October 10, 2002

    To enter, go to, (“TODAY Web Site”) and click on the “TODAY’S SUPERSTAR” Application Form, print and complete the application. Each entrant must also prepare a videotape (VHS format) no longer than three (3) minutes containing the following original footage: an introduction of himself/herself (no longer than one minute in length), the entrant singing one song (or portion of a song) of his/her choice a cappella and solo (no longer than one minute in length), and the entrant singing one song (or portion of a song) a cappella and solo from the list of songs on the application (no longer than one minute in length). Each entrant must also sign the Contestant Release (at the bottom of the Application Form) and submit it along with his/her videotape. Then mail (1) the Application Form and Contestant Release and (2) your application VHS videotape, as described above, to: TODAY’S SUPERSTAR, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Room 380 E, New York, New York 10112.
    Entrants may only enter once. Entries may be submitted beginning at 8:00 A.M. EST on October 10, 2002 and must be received no later than 11:59 P.M. EST on October 21, 2002. All entries, including application forms, videotapes and releases, become the property of NBC and will not be acknowledged or returned.

    You must be a legal U.S. resident physically residing within the Continental United States (residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Guam are excluded from entry and participation) who is 18 years of age or older as of October 10, 2002. Employees of the National Broadcasting Company, Inc., MSNBC Cable, LLC, Warner Bros. Records, Inc. (“Warner Bros.”) and their respective advertising and promotion agencies, their parent, subsidiary and joint venture companies, as well as members of their immediate families and households (including children, spouses and siblings and/or persons living in the same households as such persons (whether related or not)) are not eligible. In addition, you must not be currently represented by a talent agent or agency or have a contract or other relationship with a record or management company and agree that you will not, if selected as a Finalist, enter into a talent representation contract, a merchandising contract, or a recording contract until the concert opportunity awarded to the winner of this event as set forth below (the “Concert”) takes place. Also, you must agree that if selected as a Finalist or the Winner of this event, after the Concert, Warner Bros. will have the initial exclusive right of first refusal, i.e., that you will not sign a recording contract with any other record company without giving Warner Bros. the right to match its terms. Entrants must also be of good moral character, must have never been convicted of a crime of any nature (other than moving violations of a misdemeanor type that did not involve personal injury, drugs or alcohol), and must have nothing in their background that would be an embarrassment to NBC News or TODAY. Entrants may not be elected officials or currently running for any political office (local, state or federal). Entrants must be willing to sign an affidavit attesting to the truth of the facts in the application form and attesting that he/she meets all the eligibility requirements. Please note that by entering you agree to undergo a background check conducted by TODAY and, if necessary, to sign waiver forms authorizing the release of personal and background information.

    Representatives of TODAY will review and judge all applications and videotapes on a rolling basis (the “Judges”) — the Judges will begin reviewing all eligible entries as they are received and will end the selection process when six (6) finalists (the “Finalists”) are selected. The Judges may select these Finalists in their sole discretion based on the following criteria including the entrant’s talent, appearance, style and personality. Each of these Finalists will be required to submit to a background check. If for any reason any of the Finalists do not meet any of the above eligibility requirements in TODAY’S sole discretion, the Judges will select an alternate finalist. The decisions of the Judges are final and entrants agree to be bound by these decisions.
    The Finalists will be contacted in approximately the third week of October, 2002.

    Beginning on or about November 4, 2002 (“Round One”), the Finalists will appear on successive rounds of the competition on TODAY. In each of these segments, each Finalist will spin a wheel containing the names of several songs selected by TODAY and must sing the song (or segment of the song) on which the wheel lands at that time. The performances by the Finalists shall be at TODAY’s sole direction (including without limitation TODAY’s determination of the length, key and tempo of the songs). The order in which the finalists spin the wheel and perform will be chosen by TODAY at random and that order shall be binding on all the finalists. After all the finalists perform, TODAY viewers will be asked to visit the TODAY Web Site at and vote for the finalist they most want to advance. All votes must be submitted between 10:00 AM (EST) and 8:00 PM (EST) (“Voting Period”) on the day of Round One. Each viewer may vote only once. Multiple entries from any email address will be voided.
    The five (5) Finalists who receive the most votes after the Voting Period for Round One will advance to the next round, which will take place on November 7, 2002. One Finalist will be eliminated each round in this manner. The November 7, 2002 round and each remaining round will proceed in the same manner as Round One of the competition: each remaining Finalist will spin the song wheel, sing the selected song and TODAY viewers will vote for the finalist they most want to advance. TODAY currently anticipates that there will be six (6) rounds in the competition, beginning on or about November 4, 2002 and continuing on or about November 7, 2002, November 11, 2002, November 14, 2002, November 18, 2002, and November 21, 2002. The winner will be announced on or about November 22, 2002. All dates, as well as the number of rounds in the competition are subject to change as necessary by TODAY, in the sole discretion of TODAY. If there is a tie at any point during the competition (i.e., if more than one Finalist receives an equal number of votes by viewers), the advancing Finalist or winner will be selected by the Judges or in the manner selected by the Judges in their sole discretion.

    The Winner of TODAY’S SUPERSTAR competition will perform in concert on TODAY, at a date and time to be specified by TODAY, in the sole discretion of TODAY. One of the songs the winner will sing during the concert may in Today’s sole discretion be composed and arranged for the winner by Warner Bros. TODAY in its sole discretion shall determine and/or approve the length, content and nature of the concert, with emphasis on the demands of a live television program. The right to perform the concert cannot be transferred or rescheduled or redeemed for cash. The winner will also receive a recording session, courtesy of Warner Bros. The recording session will consist of a single day recording session with a producer and song(s) selected by TODAY and Warner Bros. The recording session shall take place on dates and at times designated by Warner Bros. or an alternate winner will be selected. The right to the recording session cannot be transferred or redeemed for cash. Entrants also agree and understand that if selected as a Finalist or Winner, all results and proceeds of entrants’ performances in this event, including without limitation entrants’ performances during the concert and the recording session, and all copyrights pertaining thereto and extensions and renewals thereof (“Results and Proceeds”) shall be considered a “work made for hire” under the copyright law, which means that NBC shall be deemed to be the author and owner of all rights, including copyright to the Results and Proceeds. If for some reason the Results and Proceeds are not a work for hire, entrants hereby assign and transfer irrevocably and exclusively all rights, title and interest, including copyright, to the Results and Proceeds to NBC and waive all rights, including moral rights, that entrants might have therein.
    TODAY reserves the right to substitute the concert and recording session or elements thereof with a prize of equal or greater value at their sole discretion. TODAY further reserves the right to postpone the concert or cancel the broadcast of the concert for any reason, in the sole discretion of TODAY. The winner shall be responsible for applicable taxes and other expenses. There will be no consolation prizes for any of the finalists who do not advance.


    Finalists must be willing and able to travel to New York and make themselves available to appear on TODAY and otherwise make themselves available to engage in public appearances and in photo shoots, as needed by TODAY in its sole discretion from November 4, 2002 until November 21, 2002. All reasonable travel expenses, including standard hotel, transportation and meals in connection with the Finalists’ appearance on TODAY, and any publicity and promotion activities required by TODAY, will be paid for by TODAY. Travel and hotel arrangements to be determined by TODAY. TODAY, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to provide ground transportation in lieu of air transportation. Travel to and from the competition must be taken on dates and times designated by TODAY or Finalist may be eliminated and an alternate Finalist may be selected. If any Finalist is a resident of Pennsylvania and under 21 years of age as of October 8, 2002, or is a resident of a jurisdiction that deems him/her to be a minor, he/she must be accompanied by his/her parent/legal guardian, whose reasonable travel expenses shall also be paid for by TODAY.
    Finalists agree during the competition to make themselves exclusively available to TODAY for publicity and promotion during the competition, and must agree that they will not allow interviews by other media outlets, including television, magazines, newspapers, radio, and internet, unless authorized by TODAY.
    Entry in this competition constitutes permission (except where prohibited by law) to use entrant’s name, city, state, likeness, appearance, voice, singing voice, appearances on TODAY, concert appearance, and vocal performance for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity without additional compensation.
    Finalists may not wear apparel that contains recognizable commercial logos during their appearances on TODAY.
    Finalists agree not to bring to New York or to possess while in New York for the competition, any illegal drugs, alcohol, firearms, or any other items determined by TODAY to be banned. The consumption of reasonable amounts of alcoholic beverages by individuals who are 21 years of age or older is permitted. However, Finalists, while in New York for the event must act responsibly with regard to the consumption of alcohol and with regard to compliance with local laws. In addition Finalists should do nothing that would be an embarrassment to NBC News or TODAY. TODAY reserves the right to intervene in the case of any person deemed by TODAY to be intoxicated or in violation of any law and/or to cancel that person’s participation in this event.
    All events will take place rain or shine, at TODAY’s discretion.
    The program reserves the right to make public personal information about the contestants on-air, either prior to, during, or following the competition. Contestants acknowledge that any negative information regarding a contestant that TODAY may disclose during the program may be more or less favorable than similar information disclosed by TODAY regarding other contestants.
    In all disputes, TODAY is the sole judge and its actions are final.

    All entrants and Finalists and their legal guardians if minors assume all liability for any injury or damages caused or claimed to be caused by their participation in this special event, including the acceptance of the concert and recording session. All entrants and Finalists and their legal guardians if minors release National Broadcasting Company, Inc., Warner Bros., and their respective advertising and promotion agencies, their parents, subsidiaries and joint venture companies, as well as their respective officers, directors, and employees, from any such liability.
    NBC, Warner Bros., and their respective advertising and promotion agencies, their parent, subsidiary and joint venture companies, as well as their respective officers, directors, and employees assume no responsibility for any injury, damage or losses of any kind to any entrant, or to any entrant’s or other person’s computer, relating to or resulting from participating in this contest, including downloading materials or software. NBC, Warner Bros. and their respective advertising and promotion agencies, their parent, subsidiary and joint venture companies, as well as their respective officers, directors, and employees are not responsible for technical, hardware, software, or telephone malfunctions of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications caused by the user or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this event or by any human error which may occur in the processing of the entries in this event.
    NBC and MSNBC Cable, LLC are not responsible for errors or failures of any kind, for inaccurate transcription of entry information, for errors in any promotional or marketing materials, for errors in these rules, for any human or electronic error, or for entries that are stolen, misdirected, garbled, delayed by computer transmissions, lost, late, damaged, or postage due.
    TODAY reserves the right to terminate the entry period prior to its scheduled end date and to choose among entries received prior to the date of such termination.
    Entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and by the decisions of the voting viewers whose decisions are final. Failure to comply with these rules may result in disqualification from TODAY’S SUPERSTAR. NBC reserves the right to permanently disqualify any person it believes has intentionally violated these rules.
    No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited or restricted by applicable federal or state laws and regulations.

No cash; no guarantees; an appearance on the TODAY show singing their song – maybe (no guns dammit!); a one day recording session with WB singing their song as a work for hire, ie no royalties: we give you exposure (if we feel like it), we own you.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected],, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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