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Rodney HoRodney Ho

‘American Idol’ bits: optimism out of Kansas City auditions, Josh Gracin, Michael Johns, Ryan Seacrest, Carrie Underwood, Sam Woolf

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I’m on vacation this week so I’m leaving this space for you regulars to talk amongst yourselves. I apologize if all this news if a bit old but I needed to fill the space with something while I’m gone!

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: L-R: Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr, on AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Thursday, April 24 (9:00-9:30 PM ET / PT) on FOX.  CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: L-R: Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr, on AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Thursday, April 24 (9:00-9:30 PM ET / PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

The ‘American Idol’ judges last week liked what they saw in the Kansas City auditions.

“I think we did find some future superstars,” said Lopez, wearing a sparkling black blouse with sparkly shoes, according to the Kansas City Star. “Yesterday morning we had an amazing run. It was like one person after the other after the other. And it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, how many people did we put through in a row?’”

They continue to do press in each major audition city.

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While the ALS ice bucket challenge has been a massive boon to the ALS Association, which is raking in the donations for the often fatal neurodegenerative disease, I found the videos quickly tiresome since almost every celebrity on earth feels pressured to do one. Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Melinda Doolitle and Kris Allen are among the “Idol” alums who have shot videos. MJ has compiled a bunch here.

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MJ also found video of David Cook noting during a concert that he is a real rocker, not just pop/rock, as Caleb Johnson alleges. Cook  did a blistering Led Zeppelin cover to prove the point. Caleb, Caleb, Caleb, you are a troublemaker aren’t you?

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Poor Josh Gracin, season two finalist who had a few country hits about a decade ago. Suffering from depression, he wrote what sounded like a suicide note on his Facebook page and was placed in a hospital last week for observation. He has since released this statement: “I want to thank you all for your prayers and support. I take responsibility for my actions and apologize dearly for what I have put my family through. With the help of my family and friends, I am getting help. Again, thank you for your love and I will see you very soon.”

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Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray was a top 12/13 finalist on "American Idol" season eight.

Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray was a top 12/13 finalist on “American Idol” season eight.

Jasmine Murray, who finished 12th/13th season eight, is Miss Mississippi. She competes for Miss America in Atlantic City next month. No doubt she is the first “Idol” finalist to achieve a pageant spot at this level.

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Busy boy Ryan Seacrest inked a two year deal with CBS TV Studios to develop programming for them. Of course, he is the notorious man who spawned “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and the 37 spinoffs.

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According to MJ’s Big Blog: “A small group of loved ones gathered for a private ceremony in memory of American Idol finalist Michael Johns at Los Angeles’s Forest Lawn Memorial Park on Friday. Johns’s family began traveling from his native Australia to be with his wife, interior designer Stacey Vuduris, shortly after they learned of the singer’s sudden death from a blood clot on Aug. 1. Johns is expected to be cremated and taken back to Australia.”

Some local Atlanta friends also held a mini memorial this past Sunday in his honor at Tin Roof Cantina. It was private so I wasn’t invited. (I am in Florida anyway and would have missed it even if I had been invited.) Here’s the program:

Michael johns memorial

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Scotty McCreery released a set of tour dates this fall but nothing closer than Columbia, S.C. from Atlanta.

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Sam Woolf on his website noted “Idol” has not signed him to a record deal. It’s likely they won’t sign anybody but the winner this go around. Even if Sam had been on season 6 or 7, I doubt he would have been signed by a major label. He lacks fundamental charisma and needs a lot more maturing.

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If you want to see Jennifer Lopez’s “Booty,” she provided it here on Instagram to promote a new single. Folks on this blog last week talked about it and thought she was acting a bit desperate given her age. (She’s 45, a month younger than me!)

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This is far less sexy but Carrie Underwood crushes a Coke can on her forehead for her buddy Brad Paisley and his latest song “Crushin’ It.”

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