Best One-Hit Wonders of the Decade
By Amy Wilkinson Posted Dec 25th 2009 06:00AM
With Daniel Powter's 'American Idol' farewell song 'Bad Day,' earning the dubious distinction of Billboard's top one-hit wonder of the decade, we got to thinking of the other blink-and-you-missed-it stars of the aughts-from actors and musicians to authors and reality-show hosts. Their popularity may have fizzled as quickly as William Hung's, but here at PopEater, we'll always remember them for their contribution to the crazy first decade of the 2000s.
Actor: Brandon Routh
Brandon Routh beat out some of Hollywood's hottest young hunks to don Clark Kent's Coke-bottle glasses in "Superman Returns." Though the film soared like a bird (and/or a plane) at the box office, the role may have been career kryptonite for the actor seeing as he's been in little since.
Actress: Lindsay Lohan
As a child actress, Lindsay Lohan gained moderate fame playing scheming twins in the 'Parent Trap' remake, but it was as transfer student Cady Heron in 2004's 'Mean Girls' that the New York-native gained starlet status, for better or for worse. Nowadays, LiLo's known more for her addiction problems and relationship quarrels than her acting chops, with her last effort 'Labor Pains,' released directly to the ABC Family channel.
Singer: Vanessa Carlton
American audiences must have a thing for unrequited love. Much like James Blunt's 2005 hit 'You're Beautiful,' Vanessa Carlton's popular piano ballad 'A Thousand Miles' dealt with the loss of a lover, and just like Blunt's song, became a staple of radio airwaves. Follow-up singles 'Ordinary Day' and 'Pretty Baby' just couldn't go the distance.
Author: James Frey
Technically, author James Frey scored two bestsellers in the aughts with his gripping addiction memoir 'A Million Little Pieces' and its follow-up 'My Friend Leonard,' though the former eclipse the latter by leaps and bounds when it was dubbed one of Oprah Winfrey's book club picks. When it came to light portions of the work had been fabricated, Frey was dropped by his publisher and received quite the rebuke from Winfrey. Reemerging as a novelist, Frey recently published the fictional 'Bright Shiny Morning' and is reportedly working on a second novel based on the Bible.
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Debut novelist Audrey Niffenegger single-handedly supported the facial tissue industry in 2004 with her weepy sci-fi romance 'The Time Traveler's Wife.' Though it became a bestseller, the film version starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana didn't fair so well at the box office. Her hotly anticipated and similarly fantastical follow-up 'Her Fearful Symmetry' also failed to garner the same reception as her stunning debut.
Documentarian: Morgan Spurlock
If you forsake Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets in the mid-00s, it likely had something to do with a little documentary called 'Super Size Me,' in which intrepid filmmaker Morgan Spurlock set out to see what would happen if he subsisted on a McDonald's-only diet for 30 days. Spurlock went on to produce a spin-off TV series called '30 Days' and film other docs like 2008's 'Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?' but neither left us with the McSweats quite like 'Super Size Me.'
Reality Show: 'Joe Millionaire'
Reality shows come and go, but nothing tickled the zeitgeist in 2003 quite like 'Joe Millionaire.' The show followed faux millionaire Evan Marriott-he was really a construction worker-on his search for love, wining and dining women who had no idea he wasn't loaded. The show's finale garnered 40 million viewers, but a follow-up 'The Next Joe Millionaire' didn't attract viewers quite like the original.
Reality Show Host: Brian Dunkleman
'American Idol''s youngest fans likely can't recall a time when Ryan Seacrest shared hosting duties for the wildly popular talent competition. But he did. And that co-host's name was Brian Dunkleman. The one-time emcee left after the show's first season and went on to appear on VH1's 'Celebrity Fit Club.' With Seacrest pulling in a reported $15 million a year hosting the FOX series, Dunkleman's gotta wonder 'What if?' every now and then.
Television Maid/Butler: Jane Leeves
Perhaps the poor economy is to blame, but hired help just isn't as de rigueur as it used to be. No one did it better in the aughts than Jane Leeves, who played quirky housekeeper/physical therapist Daphne Moon on the series 'Frasier.' We couldn't have been happier when her and neurotic Niles finally tied the knot.
'Friends' Star: David Schwimmer
Everyone's favorite Central Perk patrons have had mixed success since the end of their series in 2004. Courtney Cox has seemingly found a home in "Cougar Town," Jennifer Aniston's rife with movie roles (and tabloid covers) and Matthew Perry had a hit with "17 Again" (though we think Zac Efron might have had something to do with that one). Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc have had series of their own that didn't last, but it's David Schwimmer who's kept the lowest profile of the bunch, sticking largely to directing and stage productions. Could we be any more bummed the 'Friends' star hasn't become a fixture on our television sets?
Who are your favorite one-hit wonders of the 00s?
- Jennifer Aniston
- Paris Hilton
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