Radio and TV Talk

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

'American Idol' notes: David Cook interview (City Winery 7/18), Fox buys 'Idol'-like show, Kelly Clarkson

This was posted on Friday, July 7 2017 by Rodney Ho/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Season 7 "American Idol" victor David Cook, the charming rocker, is back on tour and has released a single as well.

"Gimme Heartbreak" is a departure from his previous hits, a bit edgier and bluesy than "Light On," "Come Back to Me" and "The Last Goodbye."

"I wanted this to feel fresh and new and different," Cook said in an interview Thursday from Philadelphia. "I really went into it wanting some cinematic pop elements." He felt inspired by the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Massive Attack. He also cited Halsey's first album and an ethereal singer named Aurora .

"I try to find stuff that hasn't been in my orbit before as well as leaning on stuff I've kind of poked and prodded at before," he said.

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He is writing more songs that focus on emotion and imagery more than a specific lyrical story with a beginning and end.

Cook, who last performed in Atlanta at Terminal West last year, will be at City Winery Atlanta July 18. Tickets are available here for $24 to $30.

While he prefers venues where folks are standing and vibing like they did at Terminal West, the wine-sipping crowd is okay with him as well. "We've played City Wineries before," he said. "I think if we attack it the right way and put the right set list together, the City Winery vibe can work. Hopefully we'll do it justice."

Cook is even thinking of making it more of an acoustic show. "It gives me more opportunity for the audience to engage," he said. "That's through banter and conversation and maybe a little story telling on what the songs are."

He admits, at age 34, he is no social media maven. Indeed, when he won "Idol" in 2008, both Facebook and Twitter were in their nascent phase and Instagram didn't exist. "I'm still kind of trying to figure out Twitter," he mused," which is horrible... I feel like I woke up and was behind the eight ball. I have an eight-year-old nephew who can run circles around me on the computer and iPad." (He has 314,000 Twitter followers, which isn't half bad, plus 831,000 likes on Facebook and 30,000 followers on Intsagram.)

Naturally, I had to ask him about "Idol" and its pending return.

"I think it's too soon to say it's too soon," Cook said, "if that makes sense. It's really going to depend on what the show is." He felt the show focused too much on the judges toward the end of the run, following the tale of "The Voice." He said he felt fortunate he was on the show when fans were invested in his career when he left the show.


David Cook

8 p.m., Tuesday, July 18


City Winery

650 North Ave. NE, Suite 201, Ponce City Market

Atlanta GA

Buy tickets here. 


Fox dropped "American Idol" last year and didn't bother picking it up again when it became available so soon after the fact. ABC did instead and it will return next year.

But Fox isn't completely out of the reality music competition world. It just bought the rights to an Israeli music competition show called "Final Four."

It gets rid of auditions and gets straight to great singers. Variety broke the story but details are in his story.

The judges pick four finalists up front. New competitors come in each week to oust them. The show tagline is "We start with the best and only get better."

Given that "Final Four" is a common term used in the NCAA tournament, Fox will change the name.


Jennifer Lopez's reality show "World of Dance" has gotten an early renewal for 2018. It has performed extremely well after the durable "America's Got Talent."


NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 18: Kelly Clarkson looks on prior to singing the national anthem before Game Four of the Western Conference Final between the Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 18, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Kelly Clarkson responded to a lame troll earlier this week calling her fat with a lovely four-word response: "and still f***ing awesome!"

She is also planning a second children's book.

According to People, the mom of two is following up her New York Times bestselling debut "River Rose and the Magical Lullaby" with this year’s sequel "River Rose and the Magical Christmas"


LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Simon Cowell attends the first day of auditions for the X Factor at The Titanic Hotel on June 20, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Simon Cowell banned a Jennifer Hudson song from "The X Factor UK" auditions because she is a judge on rival "The Voice."

When a woman in Manchester began singing "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going," he stopped her and said it is "too heavily linked to another show."

Hudson will be on "The Voice" this fall in the United States as a coach as well.


NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 01: Bucky Covington attends the Folds of Honor/CMS Nashville Songwriter of the Year Party during the 50th annual CMA Awards week on November 1, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMS)

Bucky Covington is being inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. He finished eighth season five and had a handful of minor country hits after that.


Kellie Pickler fell ill before the live "A Capitol Fourth" concert and PBS had to air her dress rehearsal. She sang "Small Town Girl" and 'This Land is Your Land."

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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