OHIO, USA — *Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from an October 8, 2021.
It's hard to believe that the year 2021 is already coming to a close, but the time has come for all of us to reflect.
While locally and nationally, we've seen both good times and bad times, specifically with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic dominating the vast majority of news headlines. However, the fact remains that there was certainly enough entertainment to go around.
From Nightbirde's journey on America's Got Talent to Cedar Point updates, here's a look at the top 10 entertainment stories from 2021.
WKYC Studios tries out the Bernie Sanders meme after senator's Inauguration Day look goes viral
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is no stranger to the corner of the internet dedicated to memes. In fact, the Democrat has been the subject of many in the past.
During Joe Biden's inauguration, however, the senator from New England was photographed sitting in a chair, slumped over, wearing a parka and mittens, a look that quickly was labeled "a mood," and "meme material."
Willoughby native wows judges during American Idol audition
In its 19th season, American Idol is still in search of the nation's most talented vocalists. Throughout the years, several Northeast Ohioans have competed and seen success on the show, and 2021 is no different.
In February, 19-year-old Willoughby-South graduate Mary Jo Young's audition in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan will air on national television. Nervously walking into the room, Young introduced herself and explains how her journey with music began.
Drew Carey wins more than $55,000 for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank during an appearance on "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune"
The comedian and host of "The Price Is Right" appeared on "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune" back in January and managed to win some big-bucks for his local charity of choice.
"Well it's the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, and I'm from Cleveland, and you know, there's a pandemic going on. There's a lot of people out of work and food banks need help," Carey told host, Pat Sajak, during his appearance on the show. "So, support your local food bank, and I'm going to support my local food bank."
3News Exclusive: Northeast Ohio tapped as filming location for new Netflix movie starring Adam Driver
In February, 3News exclusively learned that the greater Cleveland area would be the site of an upcoming Netflix film starring Adam Driver ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens") and Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird") and directed by Noah Baumbach ("Marriage Story," which also starred Driver). The project is an adaptation of the novel, "White Noise" by Don DeLillo.
'The Haunted House Restaurant' replacing Melt in Cleveland Heights
As first reported by Douglas Trattner in Cleveland Scene, Ryan “DJ Ryan Wolf” Gullatt is a part of a group that opened "The Haunted House Restaurant" at 13463 Cedar Rd. Melt Bar & Grille previously closed its location at the same address after its lease came to an end amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020.
The Haunted House Restaurant resembles a movie theater, with a ticket booth taking the place of a traditional host stand and staffers dressed in ushers uniforms. Additionally, the space will feature original artwork depicting horror movie icons such as Pennywise, Slimer and Frankenstein’s monster.
Is Cedar Point removing its Wicked Twister roller coaster? Here’s what park officials are saying about the rumors
Cedar Point fans have speculated for years that the Wicked Twister roller coaster will be removed from the park. Although Cedar Point has never said it plans to ditch the ride, speculation spiked again in recent days after a trio of Twitter posts brought fresh attention to the rumors (scroll down for Cedar Point's response to the rumors).
‘Still got dreams’: Ohio singer Nightbirde shares powerful posts amid battle with cancer months after leaving America's Got Talent
More than two months after leaving America’s Got Talent because her health had “taken a turn for the worse,” Jane Marczewski – a Zanesville woman who goes by the stage name Nightbirde – offered two updates on social media back in October.
“If something so impossibly catastrophic and unimaginably awful can happen, then doesn’t that also mean something impossibly beautiful and impossibly redemptive can happen?” she tweeted with the hashtag #stillgotdreams.
Legendary Cleveland rocker and radio personality Michael Stanley dies at 72
If you grew up in Northeast Ohio in the 1970s and '80s, chances are, Michael Stanley and his band, the Michael Stanley Band, wrote the soundtrack to your formative years. For the last three decades, Clevelanders were also lucky enough to have had Michael take us through afternoon drive time, playing classic rock songs on 98.5 WNCX.
The beloved musician-turned-DJ had been battling a serious illness for some time, and his former manager and best friend David Spero confirms to 3News the local entertainment legend passed away in his sleep in March at the age of 72.
WNCX later wrote that Stanley had been battling lung cancer for the past seven months "with the same strength and dignity he carried throughout his life."
Cedar Point closing the Wicked Twister roller coaster forever
Cedar Point said goodbye to one of its roller coasters this year.
After years of speculation, Cedar Point closed the Wicked Twister roller coaster for good. Park officials provided its last rides on Monday, Sept. 6.
3News asked park spokesperson Tony Clark for additional details about the ride's removal, but he wouldn't budge. Instead, he referred us to the park's blog, which says the decision was made "as we prepare for future park improvements."
Zanesville singer known as Nightbirde ends ‘America’s Got Talent’ journey as health takes ‘turn for the worse’
The woman who captured America’s heart with her powerful audition on America’s Got Talent left the competition in early August.
Jane Marczewski – who goes by the stage name Nightbirde – announced the news on Instagram.
“Since my audition, my health has taken a turn for the worse and the fight with cancer is demanding all of my energy and attention,” she wrote. "I am so sad to announce that I won’t be able to continue forward on this season of AGT. Life doesn’t always give breaks to those that deserve it—but we knew that already.”
*Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous, unrelated report.