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Archive for November, 2011

Who won ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ season 13?

J.R. Martinez won "Dancing With the Stars" over runner-up Rob Kardashian. CREDIT: ABC
J.R. Martinez won “Dancing With the Stars” over runner-up Rob Kardashian. CREDIT: ABC

Who do you like the most of the three new judges so far?

  • Mariah
  • Nicki
  • Keith

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J.R. Martinez, the 2002 Dalton High School graduate, took home the 13th mirror-ball trophy tonight on “Dancing With the Stars.”

This was not a surprise. His credentials as a war hero, his vibrant personality and his exuberant dancing style all contributed to his victory.

“First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who voted for us for 10 weeks,” Martinez said. He then credited Karina Smirnoff, his partner, for her first mirror-ball trophy.

He is the second consecutive winner with Georgia ties after UGA grad Hines Ward. Martinez’s mom still lives in Dalton and though he only spent senior year at Dalton High, he considers it his hometown.

Going back to my predictions ten weeks ago, I made some really smart picks and some bad ones. I predicted Rob …

Continue reading Who won ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ season 13? »

‘The X Factor’ top 9 performance show: giving thanks

Is Lakoda Rayne in trouble? CREDIT: Ray Mickshaw/ FOX

Is Lakoda Rayne in trouble? CREDIT: Ray Mickshaw/ FOX

Who were your favorite three tonight? (pick up to three)

  • Drew
  • Lakoda Rayne
  • Josh Krajcik
  • Leroy Bell
  • Astro
  • Chris Rene
  • Melanie Amaro
  • Rachel Crow
  • Marcus Canty

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Two hours and only nine songs so we have extended intros explaining who each contestant is thankful for.

Surprisingly, this wasn’t as schmaltzy and eye-rolling as it could have been. Acts generally avoided cliched songs, sometimes picking relatively unknown ones that mean a lot to them. The theme gave the acts  a chance to truly emote and connect. Most did so.

This was in fact the best night to date now that more chafe is gone (not missing Stacy Francis!). Even Lakoda Rayne was tolerable.

So it’s double elimination time tomorrow, with the lowest vote getter gone and the second and third lowest having to sing for their lives.  Who do I think will be the bottom three? Lakoda Rayne, Astro and Leroy Hill. …

Continue reading ‘The X Factor’ top 9 performance show: giving thanks »

A first-person experience of winning on ‘Family Feud’

The Avila family were on "Family Feud" Tuesday - and lost, after winning Monday. CREDIT: Family Feud

The Archila family were on "Family Feud" Tuesday – and lost, after winning Monday. (from L-R) Juan's father Jose, his youngest brother Felipe, his mother Pilar, Juan and his younger brother Santiago CREDIT: Family Feud

Juan Camilo Archila’s family from Dublin was on “Family Feud” this week hosted by Atlanta’s own Steve Harvey. They won at least once, which aired Monday. Today, the Archila’s lost four out of five rounds, including the tie-breaker: “What is something with a hump?”

I asked Juan to give me his first-person experience of being on the game show, which was shot over the summer at the Atlanta Civic Center:

Thanksgiving is a time for families to come together around the dinner table and celebrate the many blessings of life. We, the Archila family from Dublin, are no different. However, this year, we will celebrate Thanksgiving gathered not around food, but around the television. You see, earlier this year, we were blessed with the opportunity to compete on one …

Continue reading A first-person experience of winning on ‘Family Feud’ »

Scotty McCreery talks about Thanksgiving and the Macy’s Tree Lighting at Lenox

Scotty McCreery at the "Idols Live" tour at Gwinnett Arena earlier this year. CREDIT: Robb D. Cohen

Scotty McCreery at the "Idols Live" tour at Gwinnett Arena earlier this year. CREDIT: Robb D. Cohen

“American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery is doing double duty Thanksgiving.

In the morning, he’ll perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, then fly to Atlanta for the Macy’s Great Tree Lighting at Lenox Square Mall in the evening to sing George Strait’s “Christmas Cookies,” the hymn “Mary, Did You Know?” and the Burl Ives classic “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.”

“This will be my first Thanksgiving not at my grandma’s,” McCreery said in a quick phone interview from his home in Garner, N.C. Tuesday. “But I’ll have my family with me. We’ll probably have turkey on the plane!”

And this will be his third trip to Lenox. He was there two days after winning “American Idol” to open the Microsoft store. When “Idols Live” tour rolled into Atlanta in July, he had a day off and remembers walking around Lenox, cap pulled down, incognito.

He also made it to a Braves game …

Continue reading Scotty McCreery talks about Thanksgiving and the Macy’s Tree Lighting at Lenox »

Former Dalton resident J.R. Martinez poised to win ‘Dancing With the Stars’

J.R. Martinez with his partner Karina Smirnoff is in solid position to win the mirror-ball trophy Nov. 22. CREDIT: Adam Taylor/ABC

J.R. Martinez with his partner Karina Smirnoff is in solid position to win the mirror-ball trophy Nov. 22. CREDIT: Adam Taylor/ABC

First impressions matter.

J.R. Martinez, a favorite to win ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday, entered Dalton High School in 2001 as a senior from Arkansas. He could have easily been ignored, a late-comer facing cemented social dynamics.

But his infectiously positive spirit and personality made him instantly popular.  “Within weeks, everybody knew him – parents, kids, teachers,” said Susan Ward, the mother of one of J.R.’s best friends Aaron. “You know that smile he  has now? He always had that smile.”

A decade later, millions of TV viewers have embraced Martinez on the popular reality competition program.

“Positivity is my secret to success,” he said on the show Monday.

Ward, a middle school teacher in Dalton, said people have come up to her and said, “I wish I knew him.” “If you watch him on ’Dancing With the Stars,’ ” she said, “you …

Continue reading Former Dalton resident J.R. Martinez poised to win ‘Dancing With the Stars’ »

Yvonne Monet back on Dave FM. Jimmy Baron? Not so much

yvonne-125

Boy, that was quick.

Ten days after losing her job at Dave FM as a morning host, Yvonne Monet found her way back on the station.

She is subbing for Mara Davis this week and is doing the Radio-Free Lunch as I write this. (Topic: “Twilight”).

She is back in fill-in, weekend mode, her role before she got her morning show with Jimmy Baron two years ago.

From a prestige and paycheck standpoint, it’s sloppy seconds, but it’s better than nothing.

Baron and Monet were let go on Nov. 10, three days before Baron’s 50th birthday. Baron himself is seeking new climes for sure, though whether that’s radio is a big question given the current marketplace, especially in Atlanta.

Monet for many years was more of a solo radio jock. Baron has always been an ensemble guy. So Monet is going back to her comfort zone.

Dave FM itself has seen ratings crater in recent months and also let go its general sales manager.

Steve Craig was picked as the interim morning host though he could always end up …

Continue reading Yvonne Monet back on Dave FM. Jimmy Baron? Not so much »

Check out ‘Idol’-related AMA performances: Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry

<< Previous 5 of 88 Next >> American Music Awards | 11.20.11 Chris Daughtry, of the band Daughtry, perform at the 39th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

American Music Awards | 11.20.11 Chris Daughtry, of the band Daughtry, perform at the 39th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

No “Idol” alums won an American Music Award but Daughtry, Jennifer Lopez and Kelly Clarkson performed while Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson presented. (Judge Lopez did win a Best Latin Artist award.)

Also, “The Voice” judges Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera performed “Moves Like Jagger.”

Here is Clarkson in a big spangly red dress doing a big-band version of “Mr. Know It All.” The song is still gaining spins on the top 40 charts but is jammed in the teens, currently at No. 14 on the Mediabase 24/7 chart. (On Hot AC, it’s at No. 3). Clarkson will be at the Fabulous Fox Theatre Feb. 23.

Daughtry was the only rock band on the show (unless you count Maroon 5 as “rock”). They performed “Crawling Back To You.” The song edged into the top 10 this week on the Hot AC chart. He’ll be headlining the …

Continue reading Check out ‘Idol’-related AMA performances: Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry »

TV best bets with ‘Dancing With the Stars’ finale, a Gaga Thanksgiving, the Soul Train Awards

A VERY GAGA THANKSGIVING - On Thanksgiving night, NOVEMBER 24 (9:30-11:00 p.m., ET), the ABC Television Network will air a 90-minute special, ÒA Very Gaga Thanksgiving.Ó The broadcast, which was conceived and directed by Lady Gaga, offers an intimate look inside the private life of the award-winning artist as she performs eight songs in front of a small audience filled with her close friends and family, as well as an Intimate Interview with Katie Couric and special guest appearances by Tony Bennett and Chef Art Smith.    (ABC/ SHAREIF ZIYADAT)

A VERY GAGA THANKSGIVING – On Thanksgiving night, NOVEMBER 24 (9:30-11:00 p.m., ET), the ABC Television Network will air a 90-minute special, ÒA Very Gaga Thanksgiving.Ó The broadcast, which was conceived and directed by Lady Gaga, offers an intimate look inside the private life of the award-winning artist as she performs eight songs in front of a small audience filled with her close friends and family, as well as an Intimate Interview with Katie Couric and special guest appearances by Tony Bennett and Chef Art Smith. (ABC/ SHAREIF ZIYADAT)

It’s now the first week After Regis and the world isn’t quite the same.

But thank goodness for Thanksgiving! We get a new Charlie Brown special on Fox (and a classic one on ABC), plus Lady Gaga on ABC. Actually, some folks wouldn’t be thankful for more Gaga. And just think: the Kardashians return three days later, less tasty than leftover turkey.

Over on ABC, “Dancing With the Stars” Wednesday is wrapping up a less-than-enthralling …

Continue reading TV best bets with ‘Dancing With the Stars’ finale, a Gaga Thanksgiving, the Soul Train Awards »

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap: season 4, episode 3: Who you callin’ Papa Smurf?

watch-what-happens-season-3-video-410-after-showFor once, it’s not the women who get into a tiff.

Now it’s the Real Househusbands of Atlanta, featuring Apollo vs. Peter!

At Kim Zolciak’s baby shower at 200 Peachtree, the former downtown Macy’s space, Peter Thomas and his wife Cynthia Bailey showed up five hours late, no explanation.

“Did they come for the refreshments?” said a typically wry Phaedra Parks. “Did they not have have snacks at the house?”

Peter peeved some of the housewives by making nasty comments about some of them to Uptown magazine (which has nothing to do with Peter’s shuttered Uptown Lounge).

Phaedra couldn’t help but bring it up, saying she didn’t expect to be invited to Peter’s new lounge, Bar One. (How was Peter able to so quickly scrounge up cash to open a new bar? Thank you, new wife Cynthia!)

“Honey, I love you,” Peter said to Phaedra, disingenuously.

Papasmurf1“That’s not what you said,” Phaedra said.  Earlier, Kandi had said she thought Peter didn’t like her after Phaedra last season unknowingly said within …

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A talk with Lewis Black at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Nov. 19

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpgAnger is not always a bad thing. It can be cathartic as long as it’s not hurting someone else.

Lewis Black has taken his black moods and funneled them into a successful stand-up comedy career. And it doesn’t matter what the topic is, the 63 year old will find a reason to be peeved. Even Mother Nature doesn’t get a pass.

“I try to tour in the South in the winter but that’s become meaningless,” he griped in a recent phone interview.  I was in Dallas last February and they had an ice storm! Memphis was like, 15 degrees. Comes the [bleep] off it! Seriously!”

And lucky him. Predicted high temperature for the day he’s performing on Nov. 19 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre: a fetching 53 degrees, about 10 degrees below normal. By 8 p.m.? 48 degrees.

Global warming means more extreme temperatures, Black noted, up and down. “So it’s either that or we’ve sinned before the eyes of God!”

Onto other topics: how about Occupy Wall Street?

“I’m glad to see them out there. The problem …

Continue reading A talk with Lewis Black at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Nov. 19 »