“I started signing up last Thursday and I’m almost done!” The Blown Away singer proceeded to help her co-host sign up for ObamaCare and “join the six other people” who have reportedly signed up successfully for the healthcare service.
The routine had the Nashville audience clapping their hands to the tune of newly crowned entertainer of the year George Strait’s Amarillo by Morning, but with the words changed to: “ObamaCare by morning/ Why’s this taking so long?/ I’m going to end up with hemorrhoids/If I sit here ’til dawn.”
The 2012 edition of MDA Telethon, now renamed the MDA Show of Strength (thus no longer referring to itself as a telethon), aired Sunday, September 2, 2012, and was reduced to three hours for prime-time broadcast.
The telethon was seen at 8:00 PM ET/PT, 7:00 PM CT/MT, and seen live in the Eastern and Central time zones.
Kicked off with the electrifying song This Is Love by Grammy-winning artist will.i.am, the all-new MDA Show of Strength presented three hours of prime-time entertainment while raising awareness of Muscular Dystrophy Association’s research and services missions, its sponsors and the people it serves.
The show, which aired Sunday night, September 2 and featured local segments produced by MDA’s Love Network of 150 stations across the country, redefined the tradition of MDA’s Labor Day Telethon with a faster pace and performances targeted to engage show viewers in MDA’s cause.
The 2012 edition of MDA Telethon, now renamed the MDA Show of Strength, was reduced to three hours for prime-time broadcast
“We’re truly grateful to members of the public who responded to our SHOW of STRENGTH with generous contributions made by phoning, texting or giving online,” said MDA Interim President and Medical Director Valerie Cwik, M.D.
“We hope that the momentum started by the show this weekend has inspired our viewers to learn more about MDA and be involved all year long.”
The show presented a variety of musical styles, from country sensation Carrie Underwood to rap artist Pitbull, aka Mr. Worldwide, who ended his performance by inviting MDA’s 12-year-old National Goodwill Ambassador Bryson Foster to be a guest at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas in late September and declaring: “We need you guys more than you need us. You’re the ones that are strong.”
Other performers included: B.o.B, Brandy, Hot Chelle Rae, OneRepublic, All-American Rejects, Gavin DeGraw, Karmin, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Luke Bryan, Eva Simons, Silhouettes and Alanis Morissette.
You’ve Got a Friend, performed by legendary singer-songwriter Carole King and accompanied by images of MDA families, provided the emotional, inspirational finale.
Also appearing were: Nancy O’Dell, Jann Carl, Alison Sweeney, Ryan Seacrest, WWE Champion The Miz, Paula Abdul, Khloé Kardashian Odom, Max Adler, Lou Ferrigno, Ace Young, Diana DeGarmo, Jesse McCartney, and Benji and Joel Madden.
People can visit mda.org to view performances, backstage interviews and exclusive online bonus performances that did not air on the September 2 broadcast.
As a way of saying “thank you” to viewers and the generous public for its ongoing support of MDA, the exclusive bonus performances include: Carole King singing Beautiful and OneRepublic with their smash hit Good Life.
Fans of Hot Chelle Rae can see them perform Whatever; Alanis Morissette sings You Learn; Gavin DeGraw delivers with his song Soldier; and B.o.B contributes two performances, So Good and Strange Clouds.
Families give new meaning to the word “strength”
Individuals and families affected by neuromuscular diseases – such as Bryson Foster, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy – were the real stars of the show and were introduced in profile segments.
In addition to Bryson Foster, the show featured 14-year-old Latondra Chappell, who has central core disease; 17-year-old Kennedy Healy, who has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA); 7-year-old Reagan Imhoff, also affected by SMA; and 12-year-old Justin Moy, a science enthusiast with congenital muscular dystrophy who says he wants to “become a biochemist and find a cure for muscular dystrophy.”
Featured adults included Veronica Niño and Shaun Probert, both of whom have ALS, and Angela Wrigglesworth, a fourth-grade teacher with SMA who shared that MDA summer camp helped her “to become an independent woman.”
Also appearing were MDA spokespeople Augie and Lynne Nieto, Luke Christie, Abbey Umali, Kelly Mahoney, Benjamin Cumbo, Mandy Beckham (formerly Mandy Van Benthuysen) and Lucas Cook.
Special acknowledgment was made of the crucial support provided by MDA national sponsors, including: Acosta, Burger King, CITGO Petroleum Corp., Harley-Davidson, International Association of Fire Fighters, Jiffy Lube International, Lowe’s, National Association of Letter Carriers, Safeway, 7-Eleven, and 7UP.
“In one night, we presented great entertainment, inspiring stories and the unwavering support of our national sponsors and called on the American public to join our <<muscle>> team,” said MDA Executive Vice President of Business Development Kevin Moran.
“MDA SHOW of STRENGTH is bringing a whole new energy to MDA and pointing the way to exciting new directions for all of us who are dedicated to advancing MDA’s mission.”
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.
In addition to funding some 300 research projects worldwide, MDA maintains a national network of 200 medical clinics; facilitates hundreds of support groups for families affected by neuromuscular diseases; and provides local summer camp opportunities for thousands of youngsters living with progressive muscle diseases.
This year MDA Telethon featured pop singers Carrie Underwood and Paula Abdul among other Hollywood celebrities at the September 2 TV event.
Former American Idol judge Paula Abdul and Idol winner Carrie Underwood had a special reunion. With their star power, much awareness was raised for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Carrie Underwood performed Nobody Ever Told You from the chart-topping Blown Away album.
Before she took the stage, Carrie Underwood was introduced by Paula Abdul: “Well, I’m not surprised our next guest’s tour is called <<Blown Away>>. I think back to where our journey first began on <<American Idol>> and I’m literally blown away by this beautiful talent. What a blessing it has been for me to be an up close and personal eyewitness to your youth, your talent, your passion and your amazing success.”
This year MDA Telethon featured pop singers Carrie Underwood and Paula Abdul among other Hollywood celebrities at the September 2 TV event
The telethon renamed as MDA Show of Strength played three hours of performances that were pre-taped. Viewers were encouraged to donate to support the continuous search for treatments and cures for the disease.
Muscular dystrophy affects over 1 million Americans. It is a disorder that weakens the muscles to the point of disability. Up until 2011, Jerry Lewis was the main spokesperson and chairman of MDA. He had dedicated his life to find a cure for the disease and have raised more than $2.5 billion dollars.
For many, this Labor Day is just not the same without Jerry Lewis. However, Carrie Underwood and many other performances were warmly welcomed as the potential for raising greater awareness of the disease is great.