Merck, the big pharmaceutical company, brought Randy Jackson into Atlanta this morning to talk about diabetes and their promotional website www.takingdiabetestoheart.com.
He sat down with me at the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s main conference room this morning.
His entourage (yes, he had an entourage) told me specifically to keep “Idol’ questions to a minimum. Then again, even if I asked him all “Idol” questions, I realized quickly that I wasn’t going to get anything substantial out of him about his status on the show, much less full sentences. I wasn’t surprised. Jackson has a knack for not saying anything remotely controversial. He diverts questions he doesn’t want to answer with glib jokes.
If he has anything newsworthy to say about “Idol,” he’ll tell Ryan Seacrest, People, EW, or “Entertainment Tonight.”
Rumors are that he will either stay on the judges’ panel for season 12 or move to a mentoring role. He also was mum about his client Mariah Carey joining “Idol.” So news? I got none.
But Randy was happy to gab away about his diabetes, a topic we were able to bond over since I have Type 1 diabetes. Growing up in Louisiana, he was used to eating fried foods and was sedentary until 2003, when he discovered his fatigue and illness was related to Type II diabetes. He had gastric bypass surgery, lost more than 100 pounds (from a peak of 350), ate better and started an exercise regime, including tennis.
He’s now healthier and ready to spread the word that diabetes can be managed properly and lessen the chances of heart disease and other complications. He doesn’t even need to take pills regularly. He’s handling his disease with diet and exercise. The publicist asked me to include that on the website, you can take a pledge to “take your diabetes to heart” and you’ll gain access to tools to help reach your goals
The man can pimp: he is selling a watch collection on HSN and is expecting an eighth season of “Randy Jackson’s America’s Best Dance Crew” on MTV. And he’s working on Carey’s album right now, which is about halfway done.
He was bemused when I showed him some of my “Idol” memorabilia, including a 2004 calendar, a “People Extra” magazine from 2003 and an original VHS tape of the second episode ever of “Idol” from Fox publicity in June, 2002.
- A former “Idol” winner got married. You may even remember the guy’s name!
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk