Radio and TV Talk 

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

‘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]

‘American Idol’ bits: predictions, Caleb Johnson Keith Urban, Corey Clark

  • 11:06 am Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

A week has now passed since “Idol” has ended and most of America barely blinked. “Caleb who?” is the likeliest response you’ll get if you bring him up.

But life goes on and “Idol” auditions for season 14 start next month.

I did fairly well predicting who would be eliminated each week season 13. I got nine out of 13 right. I can take solace in that because my predictions before the finalist live shows? Not so hot.

Here is how I thought each contestant would end up and where they actually ended up.

predicted 13. Kristen O’Connor. She was very pretty and had [More]

My annual thank you to my ‘American Idol’ followers

  • 9:27 am Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
AMERICAN IDOL XIII:  The Final 2: L-R: Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene.  CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

This is my 10th year blogging about “American Idol” going back to Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice.

It’s been quite a journey, as every reality show calls it.

By the time I started doing episodic recaps in 2005, the show was a phenomenon, the biggest thing on TV. It kept growing into season five, its apex.The show then began a gradual decline but remained the “big” show even after Simon and Paula left.

As recently as season 10, the show as bringing in 20 million viewers a week and the season finale drew nearly 30 million.

Since then, it’s gotten ugly. “The Voice” stole [More]