Reality Flashback: Donna Summer on ‘Idol,’ ‘AGT’ & ‘Platinum Hit’

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks (New)

I always thought Donna Summer would have been a fantastic reality TV judge. She had the rich life experience. She'd crossed genres, from her early days in theater and blues-rock; to her pioneering electro with Giorgio Moroder; to high-MTV-rotation new wave with "She Works Hard For The Money" and "Romeo"; to reggae-pop with her Musical Youth collaboration "Unconditional Love"; to her many, many disco megahits, more than you could shake a disco stick at. And of course, she had THAT voice. She could've taught some invaluable life lessons to countless prospective singers out there.

But sadly, it was not meant to be. Today, Donna Summer died from cancer, at age 63.

But Donna did make a few reality television appearances in the 2000s,  and I've decided to run them here just in case you missed them. My favorite clip is her duet with "America's Got Talent" dandy Prince Poppycock, from the Season 5 "AGT" finale. In this absolutely fabulous pairing between the good Prince and the disco Queen, Donna was extremely well-matched. Bedecked in a cotton-candy-pink wig with high-heeled granny boots to match, America's most beloved fopera singer almost managed to upstage the amazing Donna--but of course, Donna was still the star of the show. This sure was one hot Summer night.

Donna also appeared twice on "American Idol," in 2004 and 2008. I sure wish Nigel Lythgoe had hired her instead of Jennifer Lopez, when he had the chance.

And finally, just last year, in one of her last televised appearances, Donna was a guest mentor on Bravo's highly underrated songwriting competition show, "Platinum Hit," on an episode fittingly titled "Dance Floor Royalty." She was still looking good, and it seemed like she still had a lot of great music left in her.

R.I.P., Donna Summer. Today's news was a harsh dose of the kind of reality I really don't like.

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