DANCING WITH THE STARS - "2019 Season Premiere" - "Dancing with the Stars" is back and better than ever with a new, well-known and energetic cast of 12 celebrities who are ready to move out of their comfort zones and hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with a two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPT. 16 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Eric McCandless) GLEB SAVCHENKO, LAUREN ALAINA
Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC
Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC

‘American Idol’ notes: Lauren Alaina on DWTS, Kelly Clarkson, Katherine McPhee Foster, Jordin Sparks

Originally posted Monday, September 16, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Georgia native and season 10 “American Idol” runner-up Lauren Alaina opened her campaign to win “Dancing With the Stars”  with a solid cha cha Monday. 

Alaina, who was recommended by last year’s winner Bobby Bones, was paired with pro Gleb Savchenko. “I don’t know anything about dancing,” Alaina said. “I belong on a farm, not a ballroom.”

She did a cha-cha to Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” She possesses rhythm and that’s a start. She looked comfortable and did the basic steps. Overall, the judges were positive. 

“It was like watching a sultry Southern belle giving me a steamy cha cha the way I like it,” said judge Bruno Tonioli. He then offered up some constructive criticism. 

Carrie Ann Inaba: “You are a little loose. I like that because it didn’t come across stiff.” Once she builds core strength, she sees that as being “very powerful.” 

Len Goodman said the opening was not for him but “overall, I liked our cha cha cha very much.” 

Her score was 19 out of 20 (Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 6 Bruno: 6.)

Alaina, by the way, broke off with her boyfriend and comic John Crist, she told Bones in an interview

The first elimination is next week. 

The most dramatic point of the night was losing model Christie Brinkley, who tripped over pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy’s foot during rehearsal five days ago and fell on her right arm and broke it. (She was dancing to “Uptown Girl,” of course.) With three days to go, her 21-year-old daughter and model Sailor Brinkley-Cook took over. 

She has no dance experience, she said. But given the brief rehearsal time, she pulled off an impressive performance. 

And somehow Sean Spicer, um, danced in a ridiculous fluorescent pirate outfit. As his pro Lindsay Arnold said, “His dancing is at a pre pre-school level.” 

“There were some elements of salsa there,” said Bruno kindly. “Strangely entertaining.” Somehow, he got a higher score than a terrible Lamar Odom (12 to 11). 

Kellyoke of the week

Kelly Clarkson every day opens her syndicated talk show with a karaoke song picked by an audience member. 

Week one, she did Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker,” Sia’s ‘Chandelier,” Aretha Franklin’s “Think.”

Here is her “Chandelier” from Friday:

Here she is taking down Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man.”

Her reunion show with the three original judges will be airing on Wednesday! I will recap it during my next round up! It was pre-taped. Here’s a photo released in advance:

Photo: NBC

Justin Guarini swung by, too. And Ryan Seacrest said hello via satellite.

Ratings for her show opened strong. She opened with a 1.9 household rating, the best opener for a new syndicated show in seven years. We’ll see how she holds up as the weeks turn into months. 

And because we can never get enough of Clarkson singing, she joins the rest of “The Voice” coaches covering “More Than Words” to promote “The Voice” debuting next week. 

Plus, Carson Daly plays acoustic guitar! Who knew?


TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 09: (L-R) David Foster and Katharine McPhee attend the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival TIFF Tribute Gala at The Fairmont Royal York Hotel on September 09, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for TIFF)
Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for TIFF

Next year, Katharine McPhee is going on tour with her  new hubby David Foster and she now goes by Katharine Foster. We’ll call her Katharine McPhee Foster so you know who I’m talking about for the time being. 

“David has been part of my career since the beginning,” McPhee Foster tells PEOPLE. “I’m extremely proud to be featured on this tour and to sing some of the incredible songs he has written and produced. His live shows are thrilling so I’m really looking forward to it!”
Here are details for her show at the Atlanta Symphony Hall March 20, 2020.

David Foster with Katharine McPhee
WHERE: Atlanta Symphony Hall
DATE: March 20, 2020
TICKETS:  $119.50, $99.50, $69.50 and $49.50

ON SALE: Friday, September 20 at noon at Ticketmaster & Woodruff Arts Center Box Office


Antonella Barba appeared on "American Idol" in 2007 and also was on "Fear Factor" in 2012.
Photo: Norfolk Sheriff's Office

Season 6 top 16 singer Antonella Barba’s probation officer accused the reality star of violating the terms of her release. The P.O. accused her of not living with her father, which was ordered by the judge. Last month, Barba plead guilty to a charge relating to possessing and distributing fentanyl. The reality star reached a plea deal with prosecutors but is now facing 10 years in prison. 


Jordin Sparks debuted on “Waitress” on Broadway Monday night. 

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About the Author

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