Radio and TV Talk

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

'American Idol' notes: Ryan Seacrest, Kelly Clarkson, Josh Gracin, Crystal Bowersox

This was posted on Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Rodney Ho/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

After the blockbuster move to sign Katy Perry to the rebooted 2018 version of "American Idol" for a reported $25 million (a salary which ABC has never confirmed so it may not even be the actual dollar amount), it's curious that the network has yet to name anybody else.

There's speculation in the trade publications and gossip sites that her payday is causing issues with Ryan Seacrest, who was offered significantly less. In his final years with Fox, he was paid $15 million. Of course, Seacrest is now spending a good portion of his week in New York City hosting "Live With Kelly and Ryan." That certainly complicates what he can do for "Idol," which will be shot in Los Angeles.

Variety magazine's co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein penned a piece questioning the wisdom (or desperation) of signing Perry to such a high-dollar deal.

For all her success in the music industry, Perry doesn’t necessarily possess the personality that pops in a very specific context, which is essentially telling amateur singers what she really thinks about the quality of their performances.

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He's not dissing Perry. He just thinks others might be more likely to provoke interest. Lady Gaga, for instance. Or Madonna, who strikes me as too divisive. He inexplicably called up Kanye West, too. Again, he doesn't strike me as a particularly warm judge type and even Simon Cowell has softened up on "AGT" vs. his early days on "Idol." And he brings up Rihanna though I don't know if her rather chilly personality would work on a show like this. He referenced Taylor Swift. She could work as a judge.

Wallenstein also speculated without any real conclusion whether Seacrest would be a smart move for ABC. Would he evoke too much of the old version or would he make it feel comfortable? Who knows?

The reality is for me whether a reboot of "Idol" this soon after its departure makes any sense at all. I agree with producer Nigel Lythgoe: too soon. But it's happening. I'll be there no matter what to judge the show itself and whether enough people care to watch.

Speaking of Seacrest, he's up for a National Radio Hall of Fame spot. You can vote. Here are details:

2017 Radio Hall of Fame voting


In an upcoming episode of "Celebrity Family Feud" on ABC, Kelly Clarkson will face off against Amy Schumer.

This will air June 11 at 8 p.m. And the teaser of course includes Amy going a little down and dirty. Of course.

Here's a teaser:


Simon Cowell's cute son loves to press the "America's Got Talent" rejection buzzer:


Season 2's Josh Gracin has gotten married to Katie Weir, a PR coordinator and graphic designer.

“We met while she was working through college at Tin Roof in Nashville,” he told People magazine. “We got to talking and realized we had a lot in common so I asked her on a date... Our motto is that there are no accidents, only reasons. How we found each other and fell in love is the reason we believe and live by that.”

I haven't seen a photo of the guy in years. I feel for him. At age 36, he now has a good ol' double chin. I'm there, too!

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 02: Singer Josh Gracin (L) and Katie Weir attend the 52nd Academy Of Country Music Awards at Toshiba Plaza on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)



Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox returns to Atlanta June 10, this time at the City Winery. Tickets are available here for $20 to $30. I am trying to interview her and will post that next week.

She has a new album coming out June 16.


Kathy Griffin has made a million jokes about Clay Aiken over the years. Surprisingly, he is empathetic over her bad decision making this week:


Airplay update via Mediabase 24/7:


Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban "The Fighter" No. 10 (still climbing)

Scotty McCreery "Five More Minutes" No. 66 (climbing)

Lauren Alaina "Doin' Fine" No. 67 (new)

Christian AC

Mandisa "Unfinished" No. 7 (climbing)

Jasmine Murray "Fearless" No. 12 (climbing, barely)

Colton Dixon "All That Matters" No. 20 (peaked at 18)

Danny Gokey "The Comeback" No. 22 (climbing)

About the Author

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

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