Radio and TV Talk 

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

‘American Idol’ top 6 performance recap

  • 6:46 pm Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Rodney Ho

While the theme (“A little bit of country, a little bit rock and roll”) might evoke Donny Osmond, most of the acts tonight felt far more modern, which is a good thing.

There was only one truly disastrous performance and that was CJ Harris’s country song, a theme you’d think he’d excel. But he chose a mid-tempo Zac Brown tune and botched it big time. I think it will cost him votes and kill his shot at making the top 5. Yes, my prediction is simple: CJ goes home tomorrow.

Jena Irene’s “So Small” did nothing for me either but I think [More]

‘American Idol’ notes: Power 6, Katie Stevens on MTV show, Clay Aiken

  • 1:45 pm Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
AMERICAN IDOL XIII: Top 6: L-R: Caleb Johnson, Alex Preston, Jessica Meuse, Sam Woolf, Jena Irene and C.J. Harris. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright FOX Broadcasting 2014.

It’s amazing nowadays that I can go several days and not hear a peep about “American Idol.” It’s that low on the pop culture totem pole. There are hardly any stories written about the show either.

But alas, we are here for the run of the season and here is my power rankings for the top 6.

1) Caleb Johnson. He did nothing last week to change my mind that he will win the competition. He gave a Kings of Leon non-hit his own spin and got his usual plaudits. (last week 1)

2. Alex Preston. At worst, his performance last week was [More]

‘American Idol’ top 7 results recap

  • 6:16 pm Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
AMERICAN IDOL XIII:  Alex Preston performs on AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Wednesday, April 16 (8:00-10:00PM ET /PT) on FOX. CR: Frank Micelotta / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

Dexter Roberts, a seemingly nice guy and decent country singer, finished up at No. 7, eliminated tonight.

He picked a really obscure, somewhat darker song and did a good job with it but maybe it didn’t inspire enough votes. And besides, everyone did pretty well last night so it was a tough call.

He did far better than I had expected entering the top 13. I found him nondescript, a good bar singer but not much else. He lacks that “it” factor that would make me think he’s got a long career in country. He has a decent voice, a pleasant demeanor [More]

‘American Idol’ top 7 performance recap

  • 6:06 pm Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
C.J. Harris last week during 80s theme week doing Tom Petty's "Free Fallin.' " Will this be his week to fall? CREDIT: Fox

The theme tonight seemed rife with potential sabotage: the contestants picked songs for their fellow singers.

Why not force Dexter Roberts to sing R. Kelly? Or have CJ torture us with a Whitney Houston tune? Or Sam Woolf attempt Queen?

Instead, the top 7 basically helped their fellow rivals out with songs in their zones. The result: a solid night that lifted almost all boats.

The solo songs in general were all relatively modern and to some degree, lesser known, with Radiohead‘s “Creep” sung by Jena the closest to oldies.

The duets (and one trio) were enjoyable, even if the chipper Sam/Alex “Let It [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: ‘Idol’ tour at Verizon Wireless 7/24, Power 7, Nikko Smith, Ryan Seacrest

  • 11:20 am Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

“American Idol’ is still going to do a tour this year but they are changing to a slightly smaller venue in metro Atlanta: Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

The 41-city tour stops in Alpharetta on July 24. Tickets go on sale May 9. Details at www.americanidol.com/tour. I will update later with ticket prices.  The top 10 will be there.

Verizon’s peak capacity is 12,000 with 7,000 reserved seats and 5,000 on the lawn. Gwinnett Arena, where the concert was held for the past 10 years, has a capacity up to 13,000 though “Idol” has set it up for smaller than that. “Idol” was [More]

‘American Idol’ top 8 results show (part deux): no more save!

  • 6:00 pm Thursday, April 10th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Malaya Watson didn’t make it through the fire of her shaky performance last night and was ousted.

The excitable band geek with braces did make it far further than I expected when she entered the top 13. I was surprised she even made it to the top 13 in the first place.

She was an untamed lioness on stage, who had no clue what she was doing at first. Vocally, she was also all over the place. Even when she found her big notes, they lacked the fullness of more mature singers. She often sounded shrill, which is what happened last night.

I [More]

‘American Idol’ top 8 performance recap (again): 80s night

  • 6:59 pm Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

You have to wonder if the contestants are aware of the plummeting fortunes of ‘American Idol” among viewers as the show hits series low after series low week in, week out.  Past participants say they live in the ‘Idol” bubble, but in this day and age of social media, how can they not know? That has to be demoralizing for everyone involved to know the franchise is fading away before them no matter what they try.

But as the cliche goes, the show must go on.

“American Idol” went back to those moldy oldies of the 1980s, the period when MTV played [More]

‘American Idol’ bits: Power 8, 1980s theme, ‘The Voice’ tour

  • 11:17 am Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

I don’t think I’m going to change much in my Power 8 this week considering everybody performed decently last week.

The theme this week is the 1980s, which is pretty open. Season 7 winner David Cook will be the mentor.  That’s really oldies nowadays, isn’t it? Most of these contestants weren’t even alive during the 1980s! The song spoilers are out and it’s a bit disappointing. I won’t reveal them. (You can read them here.)

1. Caleb Johnson. He is so good with the rock genre, judges want him to go power ballad. “Here I Go Again.” “Love Bites.” “Wanted Dead [More]

‘American Idol’ top 8 results recap: who’s out next?

  • 6:54 pm Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Sam Woolf was the person I called to win this competition five weeks ago before the top 13 live show.

That was a mistake.

He hasn’t lived up to early expectations and has not improved enough to garner a bigger fan base.

Voters have placed him in the bottom three three times and he got the fewest votes this week.

But the  judges used their save for the first and only time this week. So nobody is eliminated.

Did Sam earn the save?

Marginally. His chances of winning over stronger performers such as Jena, Caleb and Alex are slim to none at this stage.

He clearly isn’t [More]

‘American Idol’ top 8 performance recap: audition song refrain

  • 5:53 pm Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho

This year’s producers have tried to change up the themes this season to shake things up and maximize success for the singers.

No more narrower Motown, country or Billy Joel themes. Instead, they’ve gone as broad as possible. They’ve had songs since 2010, songs that involve a band and this week, the same songs they sang during their audition week.

The reason these eight singers are even here was because they nailed their song choice and performance before the judges at the audition cities. How could they blow songs they’ve practiced umpteenth times already?

As a result, this theme worked like a charm. [More]