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updated: 12/30/2010 12:45 PM

2010: The year the suburbs shined

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  • Naperville native Evan Lysacek waves the U.S. flag during the victory ceremony after winning gold at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in February.

      Naperville native Evan Lysacek waves the U.S. flag during the victory ceremony after winning gold at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in February.
    Associated Press

  • Lee DeWyze made Mount Prospect proud as the winner of "American Idol."

      Lee DeWyze made Mount Prospect proud as the winner of "American Idol."

  • Biggest Loser winner Michael Ventrella of Bartlett lost half his 526-pound starting weight.

      Biggest Loser winner Michael Ventrella of Bartlett lost half his 526-pound starting weight.

  • Mauro Fiore accepts the Oscar for best achievement in cinematography for "Avatar" at the 82nd Academy Awards.

      Mauro Fiore accepts the Oscar for best achievement in cinematography for "Avatar" at the 82nd Academy Awards.
    Associated Press

  • Mount Prospect native Ian Brennan, 31, drew on his own show-choir experiences to cocreate and cowrite "Glee."

      Mount Prospect native Ian Brennan, 31, drew on his own show-choir experiences to cocreate and cowrite "Glee."

  • "Shakey," filmed partly at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Naperville, was among numerous movies shot in the suburbs.

       "Shakey," filmed partly at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Naperville, was among numerous movies shot in the suburbs.
    TANIT JARUSAN | Staff Photographer

 
 

Across the big and small screens, the suburbs shined in 2010.

Throughout the year, suburban natives became hotshots in the entertainment world -- earning prestigious awards, landing top jobs and securing celebrity status. They made us proud and provided bright spots in a year that had its share of challenges and sadness.

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So looking back on 2010, we recall some of the suburban residents and places that shared the limelight:

Naperville's favorite son:

Naperville native Evan Lysacek had his best year ever, winning the Olympic gold medal in men's figure skating in January and following up in May with a second-place finish on the TV show "Dancing with the Stars."

Lysacek became the first U.S. competitor to win an Olympic gold medal in men's figure skating since Brian Boitano in 1988.

While he hopes to return to competitive figure skating in fall 2011, he'll first tour Japan, Canada and the U.S. headlining the "Smuckers Stars on Ice" tour, which stops March 12 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

Lysacek also is planning to put out his own line of vitamins and nutrition supplements.

Vote 4 Lee:

Lee DeWyze, the low-key, guitar-playing paint salesman from Mount Prospect, won American Idol in May, in part because of his gigantic fan base in the Northwest suburbs.

He also put Mount Prospect on the map, with a nationally televised "hometown tour" that included a visit to Mount Prospect Paint and a concert at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights. He brought the suburbs national exposure, especially for the finale night celebration broadcast live from downtown Mount Prospect.

Last month, DeWyze released a new CD, "Live it Up."

And the Oscar goes to:

In March, Palatine native Mauro Fiore won an Oscar for Best Cinematography for his work on the movie, "Avatar."

The Palatine High School alumnus managed to impress writer/Director James Cameron and did an award-winning job.

Fiore, who now lives in Nebraska, has since worked as the director of photography on "The A-Team" and as the cinematographer on the soon-to-be-released boxing drama starring Hugh Jackman, "Real Steel," according to IMDB.com.

And the Golden Globe goes to:

Mount Prospect's Ian Brennan cocreated and wrote the popular TV show "Glee" based on his experience in the Prospect High School show choir in the mid-1990s. His creative, funny approach won him a Golden Globe Award in January for Best Comedy or Musical show.

He loses and wins:

Bartlett resident Michael Ventrella lost literally half of his 526-pound starting weight to win the reality TV weight-loss show, "The Biggest Loser."

While still struggling to find his post-victory career niche, the former DJ at Medusa in Elgin has kept the weight off and is now a motivational speaker and is working on an Italian cookbook.

He's also still very close to his mother, Maria, who was his partner on the show, and she has lost more than 100 pounds.

Sean Hayes hosts the Tonys:

The Glen Ellyn native and former "Will & Grace" star got favorable reviews for hosting the televised 2010 Tony Awards, in which he dressed as Little Orphan Annie and Spiderman.

Suburban backdrops:

Not only were suburban people on the big screen, so were suburban places.

While the suburbs didn't see the explosions and special effects used to film "Transformers 3" on Michigan Avenue in Chicago this summer, plenty of Hollywood filmmakers had cameras rolling close to home.

Scenes from the Matt Damon action thriller "Contagion" were filmed at the old Sherman Hospital in Elgin and at Tellabs in Naperville. The 3-D kids movie "Shakey" also did shoots at a Naperville park near Mill Street and Diehl Road, and a food fight scene at Ss. Peter and Paul School in Naperville.

A scene in Ron Howard's new movie, "The Dilemma," which stars Lake Forest native Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, was filmed at the Alcatel-Lucent campus near Naperville.

All three movies are set for release in 2011.


• Daily Herald Staff Writer Josh Stockinger contributed to this report.

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