6 'American Idol' Contestants With Famous Family Ties
Jim Carrey's daughter Jane may be the talk of season 11, but she's hardly the first hopeful with name recognition to audition for the show.
While American Idol's inclusion of Jim Carrey’s daughter, Jane, sparked plenty of chatter this week, she certainly isn’t the first hopeful to try out for the show who's related to a celebrity -- or a previous Idol contender, for that matter. In fact, Carrey joins a growing list of siblings, sons, and daughters competing for the much coveted golden tickets and a shot at the title.
To wit: the following six alums, including one from this season, with famous family ties.
1) From this year’s Savannah auditions comes Shannon Magraine the daughter of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Magraine, who also had one of the most controversial moments of Season 11 thus far: when a leering Steven Tyler told her father that Boston, his hometown, is "Hot, humid and happening, just like your daughter." It is too early in the season to see if Magrane's celebrity and talent with outshine Carrey, but it should make for good TV nonetheless.
2) Speaking of pro sports offspring, who can forget Season 4's Nikko Smith, son of another St. Louis Cardinals player, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Ozzie Smith. Nikko auditioned in 2005 with "All I Do" by Stevie Wonder (see video), but was eliminated in the third round of the semi-finals. He was brought back to replace Mario Vazquez, who mysteriously dropped out of the race, and made it to ninth overall that season. In 2006, Smith performed "The Star Spangled Banner" in Game 4 of The World Series.
3) Ricco Barrino, the brother of Season 3 champion Fantasia Barrino, auditioned for the seventh season of American Idol, but missed his Golden Ticket when then judge Simon Cowell deemed him "terrible." Barrino continues his music career with appearances on records by B.O.B. (on the song, "5th Dimension"), and the Bone Thugz-N-Harmony reunion album, Uni-5: The World's Enemy. Barrino released a mix-tape on Jan. 12 called Twenty 12 Play.
4) Michael Castro, younger brother of Season 7 alum Jason Castro, showed great promise during his initial audition for Season 9 as he impressed the judges with Gavin DeGraw's "In Love With A Girl." However, he fizzled out in group auditions during Hollywood Week, later claiming he was very sick prior to the Hollywood Rounds. Castro continues to pursue music. He self-released a record last year called Against The Grain and performs live regularly.
5) Ayla Brown, daughter of United States Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts and WCVB-TV reporter Gail Huff, advanced to the top 16 in Season 5 after performing her audition song, "'Aint No Mountain High Enough," by the Supremes. She was eventually eliminated after judge Cowell deemed her "too robotic." She released several records through her label, Double Deal Records, but was dropped in 2010.
6) Last, but certainly not least: season 6's Jordin Sparks is the daughter of New York Giants defensive back Phillippi Sparks. She impressed the judges with Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me," but proved she had more to offer than just a famous last name when she made it all the way to the end and won the contest. Since then, Sparks has amassed several top 40 hits including "No Air," "Tattoo," and "Battlefield." Her debut album also sold more than 2 million copies. Currently, Sparks is set to play the lead role in Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 film that tells the story of The Supremes.
Bonus: David Cook wasn't yet famous when his brother Andrew decided to try out for Idol in 2008, but that fateful trip to Omaha would forever change the lives of both siblings as one went on to Hollywood -- and ultimately headed straight to victory -- while the other kept audiences entertained with his always witty musings.