Carrie Underwood took the Emmy Awards stage Sunday (Sept. 22) night for a melancholy-but-heartfelt performance of the Beatles’ 1965 ballad “Yesterday.” But that’s not the real story. The bigger picture, I think, is the seamless way actor Don Cheadle transitioned from talking about the coverage of the JFK assassination 50 years ago to Underwood winning American Idol. Seriously.
It went something like this:
“That [day in 1963] was the moment when the television generation came of age. It happened during an era when, for the first time, more people got their news from TV than newspapers.”
“Our national tragedy gave way to another event that, in its own way, brought us together for a very different reason. On Feb. 9, 1964, it was almost as though the dark cloud was suddenly lifted. Four young men from Liverpool invaded the stage of The Ed Sullivan Show and in just two minutes and 40 seconds told us it was OK to begin to experience joy again. Actually, they didn’t just tell us, they screamed it to 73 million captivated viewers.”
“Just as Ed Sullivan introduced new artists to Americans audiences, TV continues to be a starting place for superstar musical talent. This next performer’s rise to six time Grammy-winning status began in your living rooms. With her tribute to the historic events of 50 years ago, Carrie Underwood.”
Underwood was stunning as she sang in a navy blue one-shoulder gown and what looked like sapphire teardrop earrings. As actor Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) said before she took the stage, Underwood is “as sexy as she wants to be.”