Radio and TV Talk 

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

‘American Idol’ bits: Clay Aiken, Bo Bice, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson

  • 1:14 pm Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Clay Aiken during his first debate against Renee Elmers for the North Carolina 2nd Congressional seat. CREDIT: AP

The national press keeps writing stories about Clay Aiken’s unlikely (and most likely, unsuccessful) run for a House seat in North Carolina. The latest? Rolling Stone magazine.

Fed up with Republican Renee Ellmers, he decided to run after resisting for months.

“People recognized that it couldn’t just be a normal politician up against her,” he told Rolling Stone. “We needed somebody who was going to get people to pay attention.’ ‘Now it was time to give it a go.’ “

He sold his mansion and is pretty much going salary free this year to go for political office. I presume if [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Clay Aiken in Atlanta, Carrie Underwood

  • 5:03 pm Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Clay Aiken during his first debate against Renee Elmers for the North Carolina 2nd Congressional seat. CREDIT: AP

Clay Aiken will be in Atlanta to raise funds for his North Carolina House campaign. He’ll be at the home of of Dr. Jesse Cannon in Midtown at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Aiken is an underdog against incumbent and Republican Renee Elmers.

At least through July, he had not raised as much money as Elmers despite his “American Idol” fame, according to a Washington Post story last month.

One of Aiken’s consultants put it this way: “It’s tough because the people in the district all assume he has these big Hollywood connections so they don’t want to donate. But the truth [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Jordin Sparks, Kris Allen, Kat McPhee, Clay Aiken, ‘The Voice’

  • 1:36 pm Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 24:  Singers Jordin Sparks (L) and Jason Derulo attend the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Season 6 “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks tried to put a bright smile on the face of her break-up with singer Jason DeRulo on “The Wendy Williams Show” this morning.

“I’m good, really no really, I’m good. I know you think that I’m not good but really, I’m good.”

“It might not seem it now because you’re only 24 year old and you spent three years together,” Wendy said.  “You might not feel it now but this is one of the best things that could happen to you.”

Jordin replied, “Well thank you, I think I’m starting to feel it!”

Wendy: “This gives you [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Jordin Sparks, Phillip Phillips, Scott MacIntyre, Michael Johns

  • 6:58 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 24:  Singers Jordin Sparks (L) and Jason Derulo attend the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Season 6 “Idol” winner Jordin Sparks has broken up with her boyfriend and fellow singer Jason DeRulo.

People broke the news and that’s a pretty reliable source. They were together three years and were seen publicly last month at the MTV Video Music Awards. She was guest hosting last night on “E! News” but made no mention of their status.

She has not confirmed the news publicly.


Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips is coming to Atlanta Symphony Hall for a solo tour date November 6, 2014.

Tickets go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. with prices ranging from $39.50 to $59.50 before fees. [More]

TMZ: Friend claims Michael Johns death cover up

  • 12:50 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Michael Johns at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2008. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/

The story of “American Idol” season 8 finalist and former Buckhead denizen Michael Johns dying last month was sad enough.

The story TMZ ran yesterday just made things even sadder, a story that was chronicled in legal papers.

Torrey Gambill, a friend of Johns’, found him dead. Johns’ wife Stacey Vudurus, according to TMZ, filed papers in Orange County accusing him of sending her abusive texts blaming her indirectly for Johns’ death.

Gambill then filed papers of his own accusing Johns’ wife of creating a “cover story” about a blood clot in his ankle that ultimately killed him. The cops said he [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Jasmine Murray, Jordin Sparks, Katharine McPhee, Caleb and Jena Irene

  • 9:39 am Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Katharine McPhee plays the mother of a genius. Elyes Gabel plays Walter O'Brien, another genius who recruits smart folks to help solve complex problems. The story is based loosely on a true story. CREDIT: CBS

Season 5 runner up Katharine McPhee has landed another TV role after NBC’s two-season run of “Smash.” Now she’s on CBS in “Scorpion.” She plays a waitress whose son she considers “challenged” but is actually a genius. Ho does she find out? A genius tells her so. It’s a show full of socially awkward geniuses helping solve complex problems. It sounds very much like a show CBS would embrace and is based loosely on a true story.

“Scorpion” debuts Monday, Sept. 22. Here’s an extended trailer culled from the first episode:


Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene somehow work well as a duo. [More]

‘American Idol’ briefs: Harry Connick promises more seasoned performers; Ryan Seacrest, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson

  • 4:36 pm Monday, September 8th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Harry Connick Jr. CREDIT: Getty Images

For a time, “American Idol” espoused the “diamond in the rough” theory. And on occasion, it works.

In the early years, some performers improved markedly while on the show, with Elliot Yamin from season five one of the most notable ones. But it is true. Most of the time, this theory fails.

Sam Woolf, for instance, didn’t exactly magically turn into Adam Lambert. His improvement over the weeks was modest at best.  While promoting “Dolphin Tale 2,” Harry Connick Jr.  told press:

“I think Jen and Keith and I have raised the bar a little bit,” he says, noting that Kansas [More]

‘Idol’ briefs: Carrie Underwood expecting first child

  • 7:22 pm Monday, September 1st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 04: Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher attend the 2014 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on June 4, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)

Carrie Underwood announced on Instagram today that she’s expecting her first child with her husband Mike Fisher.

“In honor of “Labor” Day, Ace & Penny would like to make an announcement. Their parents couldn’t be happier,” she wrote with a picture of her two dogs, each wearing shirts saying “I’m going to be a big brother.”

She is due in the spring. She is 31. Fisher is 34. The couple married at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia in the summer of 2010.


In New Orleans, “Idol” released a snippet of Harry Connick Jr. jamming with a season 14 contestant.

Check it out here. [More]

‘American Idol’ briefs: Clay Aiken, Danny Gokey, New Orleans auditions

  • 9:11 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Clay Aiken is the likely winner getting the Democratic seat in a North Carolina district that is heavily Republican. CREDIT: AP

Clay Aiken campaigned in San Francisco to raise money for his underdog effort to become a House representative in a Republican-favored district in North Carolina. He is facing off against an incumbent Renee Ellmers.

According to the San Francisco Gate,  “Aiken’s speech to the crowd at Catch lasted 15 minutes without missing a beat on education, interest-free student loans, veterans support, his pre-Idol past working with disabled children, and why he’s seeking a seat in Congress now. Clay Aiken made articulate, well-rounded points. I don’t mean to sound shocked, but this is the guy who got beat by Arsenio Hall [More]

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

  • 8:01 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
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.

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!

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,

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


Sam Woolf on his website noted “Idol” has not signed him to [More]