Jordin Sparks returns home, and brings with her Sanjaya

Sanjaya Malakar sure knows how to steal the show. He did it on American Idol, and somehow he did it again Wednesday at the Skye Supper Club in Peoria. He's not incredibly talented, and he's less than sexy... but he still managed to be one of the main attractions on a bill with much more gifted musicians.

Jordin Sparks hosted the afternoon party, which benefitted The Solid Rock Center, Kids Across America and The Valley Youth Theater (VYT).


Mike Lawson

Jordin Sparks headlined an afternoon concert at Skye. Watch a slideshow from the concert.

VYT sent a group of young vocalists to open the concert. Think Kids Incorporated, but ethnically diverse. They performed a six-minute Dream Girls medley.

After the Valley Youth Theater group, the crowd needed a chaser to wash down the innocent high school chamber choir feeling. Thank God for Tragedy Andy. The Portland-based band played the longest set of the night (five songs). They've spent a lot of time in the Phoenix area, and they will be playing at ASU on March 1.

The American Idol contestants present performed in the order in which they were voted off of the show. Malakar was first. He sang only one song: Stevie Wonder's Superstitious. And just like when he was a contestant back in the sixth season of American Idol, the pre-pubescent girls went nuts.


Mike Lawson

Ladies (the young ones, anyway) love Sanjaya. Watch a slideshow from the concert.

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Idol contestant Chris Richardson was up next, sitting down to strum his guitar. Richardson sang a couple of songs that he wrote, and then a cover of the One Republic song Apologize.

The vocal heavy-hitters for the night, though, were Melinda Doolittle and Sparks. Doolittle opened with I'm a Woman which she sang originally in her last semifinal performance (the one that made Simon Cowell give a creepy critique about how he thought Doolittle was a "pussy cat"). Doolittle then sang Brand New Day from The Wiz.

And finally, after hours of filler, Sparks took the stage. After recalling the time that she spent at the VYT when living in Glendale, she sang Virginia is For Lovers, a bonus track only available through iTunes, One Step At A Time and her most recognizable tune Tattoo.

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