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Rodney HoRodney Ho

‘American Idol’ bits: ‘Idol’ tour at Verizon Wireless 7/24, Power 7, Nikko Smith, Ryan Seacrest

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AMERICAN IDOL XIII: Top 7: (Clockwise from left) Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, C.J. Harris, Jena Irene and Sam Woolf backstage at AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Thursday, April 10 (9:00-9:30 PM ET / PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: Top 7: (Clockwise from left) Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, C.J. Harris, Jena Irene and Sam Woolf backstage at AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Thursday, April 10 (9:00-9:30 PM ET / PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

“American Idol’ is still going to do a tour this year but they are changing to a slightly smaller venue in metro Atlanta: Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

The 41-city tour stops in Alpharetta on July 24. Tickets go on sale May 9. Details at www.americanidol.com/tour. I will update later with ticket prices.  The top 10 will be there.

Verizon’s peak capacity is 12,000 with 7,000 reserved seats and 5,000 on the lawn. Gwinnett Arena, where the concert was held for the past 10 years, has a capacity up to 13,000 though “Idol” has set it up for smaller than that. “Idol” was at Philips Arena the first two years. Most years, “Idol” has sold out Gwinnett Arena. Season 5, the show was so popular, they came twice. But seasons three, nine and 12? Definitely not full houses. Last year was the first time I skipped the tour. (My parents were visiting.)

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Tonight’s theme is picking songs for the other contestants. Realistically, how much control will the individuals really have and how many songs could they choose from? I doubt there will be much sabotage going on but since each person will have six songs to choose from, a couple of oddball selections might spice things up. Only Alex or maybe Jena might pick a song totally outside their comfort zone for kicks.

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Last week’s mixed bag changed the equation all that much for my Power 7:

1. Caleb Johnson. Although he has said a few things that may have turned off voters, I’m not sure that’s enough to keep him from the crown. His “Faithfully” last week drew plenty of his older fans back in, for sure. (last week-1)

2. Alex Preston. He changed up “Every Breath You Take” in a risky way and pulled it off on the most part. He is who he is. That will carry him to the finals (2)

3. Jessica Meuse. For the first time, I’ve placed Jessica this high. She is gradually getting better though her lack of warmth may keep her from the finals. I still think she has yet to find her comfort zone on the big stage. It’s not too late. (4)

4. Jena Irene. There are a lot of folks who don’t like her. She can be very affected and stylized. Her intonation is odd. A lot of folks found her “I Love Rock and Roll” offputting. I was fine with it. (3)

5. Dexter Roberts. I still find him less than compelling but he is the only true country guy left so it seems he has a shot at the top 5. (7)

6. Sam Woolf. He survived last week simply because of the save. His “Time After Time” was good enough. I’m losing hope his level of improvement will get him much further. (6)

7. C.J. Harris. He is riding on his personality and emotional resonance more than his voice at this point. If he only had the voice! He has lasted longer than anybody would have expected but his time is running short. (8)

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I wrote a couple of days ago about a “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” star Mimi Faust taping a porn video with her boyfriend Nikko Smith. TMZ originally wrote it was Nikko Smith of season four “American Idol” fame. But nope, it wasn’t. Smith himself had to come out and deny it.

“There could be worse things linked to my name. At least the guy didn’t murder someone,” he told TMZ.

Question: what the heck is the “Idol” Nikko Smith doing anyway?

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Ryan Seacrest’s two-year deal with “Idol” is coming to an end. Will he return next year? He’s also in talks with NBC now that his deal with them is almost over. Seacrest has said he’s loyal to “Idol’ and will stay as long as they want him. If he knew “Idol” would have one more glorious final 14th season, would he stay – even at a reduced salary? We shall see. No word from Fox yet in terms of the future of “Idol” though it’s certain to be back for a 14th. The question will be: will they make it a splashy goodbye or try to drag it out longer?

This Variety story notes that not only does his production company have 10 series on air, but he is now investing in tech companies such as Pinterest!

His radio morning show deal runs through 2015.

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David Cook, who was a good mentor last week, said he liked the way Sam Woolf and Alex Preston responded to his critiques, he told USA Today.

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Jordin Sparks sighting at “Dancing With the Stars’ taping on Monday but she was just eye candy as the girlfriend to Jason DeRulo.

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Jennifer Hudson released a new single “Walk It Out” with Timbaland yesterday. Listen to it here.

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