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Archive for April, 2012

‘Idol’ fans: talk amongst yourselves

AMERICAN IDOL: Elise Testone (L) is eliminated on AMERICAN IDOL airing Thursday, April 26, (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  Also Pictured: Ryan Seacrest. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

AMERICAN IDOL: Elise Testone (L) is eliminated on AMERICAN IDOL airing Thursday, April 26, (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Also Pictured: Ryan Seacrest. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

I’m off Monday and Tuesday. Feel free to use this space to talk about “Idol” stuff until I’m back Tuesday evening from the West Coast.

Deirdre will surely be your guide and your confidante on breaking news.

Although I completely botched my prediction last week, I did have Elise Testone on the bottom of my Power 6 last week. The week before, I had Colton Dixon at the top.

At this point, we know each singer’s strengths and weaknesses. Will someone do something as gutsy as Bo Bice did during the top 3 show and sing a capella on a song hardly anybody knew? Will someone screech their way out like Danny Gokey on that Aerosmith song?

My power 5

1. Phillip Phillips. Although he was just okay last week and picked a Dave Matthews Band song that only big Dave Matthews Band fans would have embraced, he remains …

Continue reading ‘Idol’ fans: talk amongst yourselves »

TV best bets with season finales of ‘The Amazing Race,’ ‘The Biggest Loser,’ ‘GCB,’ ‘In Plain Sight’

gcbAs we enter May, season finales (and one series finale) are hitting the calendar but the floodgates have yet to open.

On Sunday, May 6, “The Amazing Race” ends its 20th journey around the world in Hawaii on Sunday but the show has been renewed for at least two more rounds in 2012-13. USA closes shop on U.S. Marshall Mary Shannon’s fugitive work on “In Plain Sight” after five seasons on Friday. ABC’s controversial “GCB” ends its short spring run on Wednesday with a reasonable shot at netting a second season.

And metro Atlanta could have its first “Biggest Loser” Tuesday if former wrestler Kim Nielsen can lose the greatest percentage of weight as that show wraps its 13th season.  And that show is guaranteed a return visit next season.

MONDAY, April 30
“Antiques Roadshow” 8 p.m. GPB — The third and final hour out of Atlanta.
“Bones” 8 p.m. Fox — A corpse found in the woods may be connected to a family feud.
Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — A serious dose …

Continue reading TV best bets with season finales of ‘The Amazing Race,’ ‘The Biggest Loser,’ ‘GCB,’ ‘In Plain Sight’ »

‘HGTV Design Star’ judge Vern Yip hosts big Atlanta fundraiser for UNICEF Sunday

Vern Yip at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball in 2010 in New York City. He does the design for the party every year. CREDIT: AP

Vern Yip at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball in 2010 in New York City. He does the design for the party every year. CREDIT: AP

Atlanta interior designer Vern Yip is best known for critiquing color palettes, layouts and furniture selection as a judge on “HGTV Design Star.”

But his heart is with his two young adopted children and his role as a UNICEF ambassador. He’s helped organize a second annual fundraiser in Atlanta, this year at Georgia Public Broadcasting Sunday evening. Along with event chair Rebecca Gupta (Sanjay’s wife) and founding co-chair John Terracino, Yip will be a host at the UNICEF Experience, an interactive event which gives guests a taste of what children in more than 150 developing countries deal with every day.

Besides UNICEF programs which improve water, sanitation, education and health for the kids, the experience will feature a “digital drum,” a solar-powered device that provides Internet connections in remote places.

Tickets start at $250 and can be purchased …

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Update: Atlanta’s Greatest Hits 106.7 to become an all news station May 29

d382cumulus-logo1

Would you listen to an all-news radio station?

  • Yes, regularly
  • Yes, but only occasionally
  • Nope

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Atlanta-based Cumulus Media has hired several former CNN Radio staffers who had been laid off in March but for what?

Update on Friday, April 27, 2012, 2:34 p.m.: Cumulus confirmed with the Atlanta Business Chronicle that it will turn 106.7 into an all-news station in mid May. This would be Atlanta’s first all-news radio format in 12 years and the first on the FM side.

Update on Monday, May 21, 2012, 6:03 p.m.: On 106.7, Cumulus announced that the start date will be Tuesday, May 29 for All News 106.7. The company has also filed with the Federal Communications Commission to move its signal from 40 miles east of downtown to just two miles east of downtown, with its city of license moving from Gainesville to Sandy Springs. The new signal would move to 106.5, if approved, and give the station better metro area coverage.

Update on Friday, …

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‘American Idol’ top 6 results recap: are we experienced?

Hollie Cavanagh escaped elimination tonight. CREDIT: Michael Becker/FOX

Hollie Cavanagh escaped elimination tonight. CREDIT: Michael Becker/FOX

Elise Testone going home

  • No! It should have been someone else!
  • I’m fine with it.

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After two surprise eliminations, the woman who was near the bottom five times before finally found herself out completely on “Idol” tonight: Elise Testone.

The oldest contestant remaining at age 28, the New Jersey native and South Carolina resident clearly knows her own voice and understands what she likes. I enjoyed her when she channeled Stevie Nicks.

But experience also meant she didn’t particularly enjoy the judging process, questioning them at times and making faces at other times. I also found her stage presence a bit remote, her vocal stylings a bit mechanical, like she wanted to show off without entertaining us.

Last night, she did an adequate job with her Queen song, then did a self-indulgent Jimi Hendrix tune that felt more fussy than inspirational. Others were equally …

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Jennie Garth starring in Lifetime Movie Network film based on a Nancy Grace novel

garth

Jennie Garth (“Beverly Hills, 90210”) will star as an Atlanta assistant district attorney in a Lifetime Movie Network film based on Atlanta talk show host Nancy’s Grace’s “The Eleventh Victim” novel, according to Deadline.com.

“The Eleventh Hour” includes elements from Grace’s own life since she herself worked as a special prosecutor in the Fulton County District Attorney’s office. The 2009 mystery thriller follows a young psychology student, Hailey Dean (Garth), whose fiancé is murdered just weeks before their wedding. Dean (like Grace) goes on to prosecute violent crime. But it’s hardly autobiographical. The fictional Dean then becomes a therapist. Once the accused is released from prison on appeal, he starts to kill off Dean’s patients.

Grace, who hosts her own show on HLN, will be one of the executive producers.

Garth, 40, is now on a reality show on CMT, “A Little Bit Country,” and is in the midst of a divorce.

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‘American Idol’ top 6 performance recap: the show must go on!

Who did you like the most tonight? (pick up to three)

  • Skylar
  • Jessica
  • Elise
  • Hollie
  • Phillip
  • Joshua

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AMERICAN IDOL: Elise Testone performs on AMERICAN IDOL airing Wednesday, April 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

AMERICAN IDOL: Elise Testone performs on AMERICAN IDOL airing Wednesday, April 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

Ryan Seacrest almost skipped his very first “Idol” hosting night due to illness. But he hung in there and though he looked a little rough, was a typical pro.

This is arguably the most evenly matched final six in the history of  “Idol.” When I asked the live bloggers who will go home tonight, it was split among all six contestants. I’ve never seen that before.

Overall, this was a curious night. I really enjoyed the Queen covers, perhaps because I absolutely love Queen songs period. The “personal choice” picks were more eclectic and not necessarily more successful though you have to give several of the singers credit for being gutsy and going for unfamiliar tunes. I do find it annoying …

Continue reading ‘American Idol’ top 6 performance recap: the show must go on! »

‘American Idol’ top 6 performance live blogging

This is the spot to live blog tonight’s show, featuring songs by Queen and “free choice”! The “free choice” songs have leaked and they include songs by Miley Cyrus, india.arie, Jason Aldean, Jimi Hendrix, Luther Vandross and a band they aren’t identifying. Feel free to either live blog or make comments below.

‘American Idol’ top 6 live blogging

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

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Travel Channel comes to Atlanta for ‘Baggage Battles’

Lawrence Martin (left) and Sarah Martin (right) are a couple who loves to find a good bargain for their antiques store in El Segundo, Calif. CREDIT: Travel Channel

Lawrence Martin (left) and Sarah Martin (right) are a couple who love to find a good bargain for their antiques store in El Segundo, Calif. CREDIT: Travel Channel

A&E, TruTV and History Channel have all gorged on the whole antiques/auction/pawn shop phenomenon. Now Travel Channel has jumped in with “Baggage Battles.”

In it, bargain seekers go to auctions held at airports around the world where people who forget to ID their lost baggage and freight see their stuff auctioned off. It definitely has a lottery element to it, very much like “Storage Wars.” You can’t open the bags so you buy the bag and hope something cool is inside – and not just someone’s dirty underwear.

I talked to spirited El Segundo, Calif. antique shop owners Laurence and Sarah Martin, regulars on the show who have also appeared several times as appraisors on the crazy popular “Storage Wars” on A&E.

In tonight’s episode at 10 p.m. of “Baggage Battles,” they visit Atlanta for a few days and attend a freight …

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‘Idol’ bits: another talk with Phillip Phillips; my Power 6; Justin Guarini’s play performance

Phil Phillips on April 18. CREDIT: Michael Becker/FOX

Phil Phillips on April 18. CREDIT: Michael Becker/FOX

A few years ago, “Idol’ had to fend off the media coverage from the likes of Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, E!, Access Hollywood, et. al. I suspect this year, the buzz isn’t quite as heavy.

So for the first time, the “Idol” publicists are offering me interviews, unsolicited, to our Georgia man Phillip Phillips. This week, they said I could talk to him for a third time. He is not a very gabby guy, not a deep thinker. But that simplicity is part of his charm. He lets his music do the talking, so to speak. It helps that he’s aw-shucks likable, too.

“So it’s been two months since the live shows started,” I began.

“It feels like years!” he said.

Phillips said his kidney stones (and stent) are causing regular discomfort, with some days better than others. He acknowledged he tries to get as much rest as possible and bowed out of the Ford commercial last week. (”This boy here likes to sleep,” he said.) How was yesterday, when I …

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