Why 2 ‘Idol’ Stars Will Be Working on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner

Getty Table set for Thanksgiving dinner

To kick off the holiday season, two “American Idol” stars will sing, dance, and float their way through New York City in the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Original “Idol” host Paula Abdul and season 6 winner Jordin Sparks will appear on separate floats in the televised parade — and Abdul’s includes a “one-of-a-kind turkey stage.” Here’s the scoop on what they’ll be doing and where to catch them…

Macy’s Announces All-Star Music Performances at 2022 Parade

Macy’s just announced the roster of stars scheduled to appear during its 96th annual parade, which will make its way down the streets of New York City on November 24, 2022. Each year, 50 million people tune into the parade as part of their holiday tradition. While many people will be watching on Thanksgiving morning in their pajamas, Abdul and Sparks will be among the celebrities who get up bright and early to perform during the parade.

Abdul will perform in the parade for the first time, on the “Big Turkey Spectacular” float sponsored by Jennie-O. Press materials say the legendary singer and choreographer will perform on the float’s “one-of-a-kind turkey stage” with backup dancers carrying fans to make the giant golden turkey’s two-story-tall tail feathers move. The big golden turkey also has a moving hat that periodically reveals two tiny turkeys atop its head.

Abdul shared Macy’s Instagram announcement to her Stories on November 1, adding a GIF of her waving her hands with excitement. In 2021, Tai Verdes performed on the Jennie-O float, performing his hit “A-OK,” but so far there’s no word on what song Abdul will be performing.

Meanwhile, 2007 “Idol” winner Jordin Sparks, fresh off her journey on “Dancing With the Stars,” will appear on an all-new float sponsored by Toys ‘R’ Us named after its mascot, Geoffrey the giraffe. “Geoffrey’s Dazzling Dance Party” float will include tons of colors, balloons, and cold pyro, with an inflatable giraffe costume worn by two people walking alongside.

This appearance should be smooth sailing for Sparks, who’s performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade multiple times. Her first appearance was months after she won “Idol” in 2007, performing her song “Tattoo” on Pillsbury’s “Holiday Lovin’ Oven” float. In 2015, she sang “Right Here, Right Now” aboard GoldieBlox’s “Girl-Powered Spinning Machine” float. In 2020, she was scheduled to appear on an African-themed float for Kalahari Resorts, but the number of performers was decreased drastically due to COVID restrictions and her appearance was canceled at the last minute.

Paula Abdul & Jordin Sparks Will Join Other Celebs in Parade

Macy's Parade

GettyDancers pose at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2021

In addition to Paula Abdul and Jordin Sparks, the 2022 parade will be jam-packed with other celebrities. Those scheduled to appear include Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, gospel star Kirk Franklin, Joss Stone, Dionne Warwick, Ziggy Marley, Big Time Rush, Gloria Estefan with her daughter Emily and grandson Sasha, the Sesame Street cast, and Mario Lopez with his family.

According to Macy’s, pulling off this year’s parade will require more than 5,000 volunteers, 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 40 inflatables, more than 700 clowns, 12 marching bands, and 10 performance groups. And, as always, Santa Claus will appear at the very end of the parade.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air on NBC, and will also be streamed on Peacock, beginning at 9 am in all time zones with hosts Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker from The TODAY Show.