Radio and TV Talk 

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

‘American Idol’ bits: Ryan Seacrest, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Phillip Phillips

  • 5:30 pm Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10: Tv personality Ryan Seacrest attends the 2014 Variety Power of Women presented by Lifetime at Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Variety)

Ryan Seacrest called his alma mater’s principal this week after the school named two special needs kids as Homecoming King and Queen.

Seacrest, Dunwoody High School Class of 1993, called Tom McFerrin about a story on NBC’s Nightly News about Gus and Hannah during his radio show.

“If you saw the clip, and I know you did,” McFerrin said.

“Oh my gosh,” Seacrest said. “My mom is in town, so we watched it together.”

“It was an unbelievable moment for me,” McFerrin said. “I’ll never forget that moment.”

“In a world where there are so many stories about bullying, this is a story [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: Adam Lambert sub judge, anticipated songs ‘Idol’ contestants will sing season 14

  • 10:27 am Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26:  Adam Lambert, looking a bit like George Michael circa 1988, performs on stage with QUEEN during QUEEN'S first tour of Australia since 1985 at Allphones Arena on August 26, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Adam Lambert will guest judge in place of Keith Urban during the upcoming New York auditions Wednesday.

He has expressed a past desire for a full-time judging job but it’s unclear if ‘Idol” ever seriously considered him.

He’d be the first former “Idol” to sit in even as a guest judge that I can recall. (If I’m wrong, please point it out.)

Urban is mourning the death of his wife Nicole Kidman‘s father.

The season 8 runner up was a mentor last year and did a fine job.

Lambert has been spending the summer fronting Queen in Australia and Europe.


Here are some songs we’ll probably [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]

‘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]

‘American Idol’ bits: Caleb Johnson debut numbers, Kelli Glover on ‘AGT,’ Kris Allen

  • 10:56 pm Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Testify caleb johnson

Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson’s debut album “Testify” dropped yesterday and HitsDailyDouble projects based on first-day sales that he will sell a mere 9,000 to 11,000 copies. That’s even worse than Candice Glover‘s 19,000 last year.

It would officially be the worst-selling debut of any “Idol” winner to date. Not surprising given how the show has disappeared off the pop culture radar screen and the fact album sales continue to slip away with each subsequent year.

His album is coming out sooner than any other winner in history, less than three months after the finale. Most winner albums debut in the fall.  [More]