Radio and TV Talk

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

TV/radio briefs: record 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' ratings, 'Dancing With the Stars' tour Dec 31 at Cobb, Rock-T, 'MasterChef Junior'

"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"  had by far its biggest debut ever Sunday night with 3.8 million viewers watching it live. Counting repeats, the number bumped over 5 million and will likely hit at least 7 million counting repeats and DVR usage.

That 3.8 million is up from 3.12 million last year and 3.2 million for the season 5 launch in 2012. The average live viewership last season for the show was 3.8 million viewers and with DVR usage included, well above 5 million. Amazingly, Bravo's most popular show hit its peak last season. It has seen steady growth outside of season four, the year before Kenya Moore arrived. She truly infused the cast with some new energy.

It's too early to say if the newcomers Claudia Jordan and Demetria McKinney will help the show out. Neither appeared in the first episode.

Here's the teaser for this Sunday's episode:

Kandi decides to buy her mother a new house down the street from hers, but Mama Joyce is up to her old tricks.  Meanwhile, Apollo shows up to Ayden's dentist appointment, which catches Phaedra off guard as the extreme tension between her and Apollo continues.  It’s opening night for NeNe in Vegas, and the nerves are starting to kick in. Meanwhile, Cynthia celebrates her new-found sexiness with a fabulous party, purposely leaving some of the ladies off the guest list.  While the party is in full swing, Apollo shows up and drops a bomb that leaves everyone but Kenya in disbelief.


Mark Ballas, shown here from season 18, will be part of the "Dancing With the Stars" tour. None of the celebs have been named. He is dancing here with Candace Cameron Bure. CREDIT: ABC

"Dancing With the Stars" is coming to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre New Year's Eve with tickets going on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. (You can buy them here.)

Prices are not outrageous for a New Year's Eve: $37 to $62 plus applicable fees.

The twist: you'll be buying the tickets semi-blind because as of today, only five professional dancer names have been announced and not a single celebrity. Two of the dancers are paired with likely finalists this season: Mark Ballas (currently dancing with Sadie Robertson) and Witney Carson (currently dancing with Alfonso Ribeiro.)  Now will Sadie and Alfonso be joining them? I do not know yet.

Ballas is hugely popular and puts together great choreography. Carson has great chemistry with Ribeiro.

Three more include Kym Johnson (seasons 3-16 including season 9 winner Donny Osmond), Keo Motsepe (new pro dancer season 19) and Sasha Farber (another dance troupe member).


Rock-T, a member of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, is excited about a new bit he's posted on YouTube. It's called "Was That a Question?" Basically, he offers a random person on the street a premise, like a pop-culture news tidbit, then appears to be setting up for a specific question. Instead, Rock-T starts saying something nonsensical. He hopes to mine humor from their reactions. Will they still try to answer the non-question or just act really confused? He plans to do one once a month:


MASTERCHEF JR.: Contestant Logan, 10, from Memphis, TN. CR: Greg Gayne / FOX. © 2014 FOX Broadcasting Co.

Logan Guleff, a kid on "MasterChef Junior" was in town today promoting the Fox show. I didn't pay close attention to what the publicist and came to meet him, thinking he was from Atlanta. But given my poor due diligence, I discovered after driving to Aurora Coffee in Little Five Points and meeting Logan and his gracious mom Kim that they are from... Memphis. None of the 16 kids who have competed on season two of the show are from metro Atlanta.

My bad! But I felt obligated to talk to the cute kid. So I did.

If you watched last Tuesday's episode, Logan was not given a lot of air time. He was neither a top cook nor eliminated. Presumably, we'll be seeing more going forward.

Logan was very gracious, and not surprisingly, quite precocious for an 11 year old.

When he watched the first season, he immediately wanted to be on the show. He's been cooking since he was a wee toddler, starting with his mom's coffee... at age two. "He soon made it better than me,' Kim said.

When he fell in love with sushi at age four,Kim knew he was special.

She considers herself cook, not a chef. She knows the 14 things that her family will eat and rotates them. Logan, on the other hand, is truly an aspiring chef, constantly experimenting with new methods of cooking and new ingredients. And she said his 11-year-old palate is 50 times more discerning than hers.

"He takes rosewater and turns it into rose salt," she said. "I just know it makes nice perfume."

Kim said he began yearning for chef status as early as age eight, when he finished top 5 three years ago in a Jif peanut butter sandwich recipe contest and pocketed $2,500 plus a trip to New  York City.

Logan recently sold $500 worth of his very own spice rub for Cub Scouts at $3 a pop. When I asked how much it cost him, he was at first evasive, saying "That's 'Shark Tank' stuff," but admitted that it cost him $1, not a bad margin.

Since Kim is allergic to most seafood, she had a seafood chef teach Logan ways to cook shrimp, lobster, crab and salt-water fish. Otherwise, he learns on his own or takes ideas off the Web. He is trying to replicate a scallop with cranberries he saw online but can't quite get it right yet. He's learning to smoke meats. And he writes about his food adventures in a popular blog on UrbanSpoon.

He isn't intimidated by "MasterChef" host and judge Gordon Ramsay and wouldn't even mind getting yelled at by him, "Hell's Kitchen" style. (Ramsay, believe me, is far nicer to these kids than he is to adults.)

And unlike most kids, Logan does not have a sweet tooth. He'd rather make a bacon creme brulee than chocolate cake.

TV preview

"MasterChef Junior," 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Fox

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About the Author

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

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