Radio and TV Talk 

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

‘American Idol’ bits: Catching up with Phillip Phillips, the two Davids reunited, chart update

  • 12:29 pm Monday, July 28th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Phillip Phillips comes to Atlanta's Chastain with O.A.R. July 26. CREDIT: Getty

Georgia’s own season 11 “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips performed Saturday night as co-headliner with O.A.R. during his first appearance at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

Given the rocket launcher of a song “Home” to propel his career, Phillips is now onto his second album and has bagged two more hit singles “Gone, Gone, Gone” and “Raging Fire.” (American Family Insurance is still using “Home” in its ads in 2014.)

He has recovered from his kidney stone issues that plagued him in 2012 and in an interview last week sounds thrilled to be touring around the country almost nonstop since he left “Idol” two [More]

‘American Idol’ live tour photos and recap from Verizon Wireless July 24

  • 10:44 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson were a worthy final two with contrasting styles. They sang Rolling Stone's "Gimme Shelter" during the tour. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

“American Idol” is definitely a case where you can look at it as the glass half empty (cratering ratings, no recent breakout stars) or glass half full (great judges’ panel, decent talent from season 13).

The same can be said about the tour itself, which has always been a way for the contestants to remind paying customers why they voted for them in the first place with no pressure of judgment and the ability to choose songs they know they can sing. That hasn’t changed.

From a glass half empty perspective, “Idol” tour producers cut costs by slimming down the stage, recycling [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Jena Irene interview for Atlanta tour stop July 24; Fox chief comments;

  • 4:32 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
AMERICAN IDOL XIII: Jena Irene performs on AMERICAN IDOL XIII at the NOKIA THEATRE L.A. LIVE airing Tuesday, May 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET / PT) on FOX.  CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

‘American Idol” runner up Jena Irene had her share of critics on this blog this year. Many just found her style grating, her enunciation poor.

But you have to give her credit for working on her craft, taking critiques seriously and improving week by week. She was also far more versatile than most of her competitors. able to work behind a piano a capella and rocking it with the live band. And the bottom line is she has charisma and can sing, two important components for any artist.

I spoke with her in an advance of the upcoming stop at Verizon Wireless [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Dexter Roberts disappearance from tour, Taylor Hicks, Clay Aiken

  • 11:35 am Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Dexter Roberts is off the "Idols Live" tour with no explanation. CREDIT: Fox

Where is Dexter Roberts?

He did four “Idol Live” tour shows, then disappeared, last seen July 1.

The Alabama singer, who finished seventh,  left under mysterious circumstances. This story wonders if perhaps he was sick but he’s been seen around Alabama not looking so sick.

I did just receive at least a confirmation that he’s out but it doesn’t explain what happened behind the scenes:

“Both parties mutually agreed that he would be released from his contractual obligations to continue performing on the tour,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.

I’m not clear if Dexter’s departure will really hurt the show in a [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Chris Daughtry interview, Caleb Johnson, Fantasia

  • 9:06 am Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 05:  Chris Daughtry performs the national anthem prior to the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal between the Connecticut Huskies and the Florida Gators at AT&T Stadium on April 5, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Yesterday, I spoke with Chris Daughtry for the first time in nearly three years. Like Taylor Hicks, he’s part of the most popular “Idol” season ever and like Hicks, he has managed to thrive in his post “Idol” career.

Daughtry’s path, though, is more traditional: four albums, gargantuan amounts of touring and more than a dozen hit songs. This Friday, he co-headlines with the Goo Goo Dolls at Chastain, his first visit to that venue.

“At one point, I feel like I had a residency at the Gwinnett Arena,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday from Raleigh, N.C., not far from [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Taylor Hicks headlining Centennial Olympic Park July 4th fireworks show

  • 10:54 am Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Taylor Hicks, the winner of the most popular “American Idol” season ever in 2006, is going to headline the Centennial Olympic Park July 4th fireworks show Friday night.

An Auburn graduate and Birmingham native, Hicks has plenty of friends in Atlanta so he told me late last week that he’s thrilled to be able to spend the 4th with them.

He expects to sing three or four songs, effectively the warm-up act for the fireworks. Don’t be surprised if he slips in “Georgia on My Mind.” (Why not a crowd pleaser, eh?)

Hicks finished his 28-month run in Las Vegas a few months [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Ryan Seacrest, all judges coming back, tepid tour sales

  • 3:20 pm Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Fox finally confirmed what we’ve known for weeks: the entire season 13 “American Idol” judges panel and host will be back for season 14.

For the loyalists we have on this blog, we mostly agree that this is the best judges’ panel “Idol’ has ever had in terms of quality and chemistry. Too bad they didn’t put Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. together, say, three years ago. Now, hardly anybody cares. But the producers decided not to mess with a solid formula.

And Ryan Seacrest is back, of course. He, like many of us, is sticking with this show [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Orlando experience shutting down, Kelly Clarkson, Carly Smithson, ‘True Believer’

  • 10:00 am Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Singer Kelly Clarkson (R) and Brandon Blackstock attend the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

The Disney World Orlando “American Idol” experience is shutting down after five years, another obvious sign that the show’s popularity has basically nosedived.

More than 2,000 contestants have been able to audition for the regular”Idol’ series to date. The show will shut down in January. It opened in 2009. Each day, the winner among theme-show guests is given a “front of the line” ticket to an audition.

Finalists from this year who made it through the “experience” include Majesty Rose, Ben Briley & Emily Piriz.

More details here.

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Kelly Clarkson finally had her baby over the weekend. She really couldn’t wait. Her [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Daughtry, auditions, Mark Burnett, Kelly Clarkson

  • 10:58 am Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Ryan Seacrest taking direction during the Atlanta early audition round. He did all his takes a single time. Why? He's Ryan Seacrest!

Season 14 auditions for ‘American Idol” start next week, believe it or not, first in Minneapolis June 18.

Atlanta is not part of the auditions this year. The closest will be New Orleans June 25 and Nashville July 30. Else, you can go onto Long Island (my home island) on July 23 or San Francisco Sept. 29. These are the fewest audition cities “Idol” has done since season one, not surprisingly considering Fox is scaling back the show in multiple ways. There will also be a bus tour that is probably far cheaper that will run through Portland, OR; Portland, ME; [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Caleb/Jena Irene at the prom, David Archuleta, Paul McDonald

  • 5:02 pm Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25:  American Idol Season 13 Winner Caleb Johnson performs at the 25th National Memorial Day Concert at U.S. Capitol, West Lawn on May 25, 2014 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)

Caleb Johnson attended Jena Irene’s prom a few days ago fulfilling a promise he made during the show.

Sure, he’s 23 years old and way too old for a prom but they say they are just good friends.

You can see photos of Jena Irene in a prom dress here. Caleb did not wear a tux.

This is how People described their attire:

Asciutto, 17, looked stylish and sweet in a strapless cream-colored gown, while rocker Johnson, 23 – who declared himself “probably the antithesis” of previous American Idol winners – eschewed the traditional tuxedo in favor of a [More]