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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Randy Jackson talks diabetes, not much else

Randy and me

Randy Jackson and me at the AJC on Monday, July 23, talking about diabetes and tangentially about "Idol." I have a stash of "Idol" related stuff, including a VHS promo tape of the 2nd episode of "Idol' from 2002 which I had Randy hold up. That's a "People Extra" cover from 2003 I'm holding. CREDIT: Melissa Ruggieri/ajc.com

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!

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

63 comments Add your comment

Deirdre

July 23rd, 2012
12:00 pm

Ok, so he talked to you about what he was there to talk about. Unfortunately, besides talking to a fellow diabetic, he was talking to an Idol blogger. He really needs to do a better job at answering questions. How about a funny contestant story or maybe a list of possible judges that he has heard rumors about? Something that he has prepared ahead of time in anticipation of Idol questions. He doesn’t have to give away anything(I honestly doubt that he even KNOWS anything) but he should be prepared to give you something.

JTesla

July 23rd, 2012
12:00 pm

Thanks Rodney.

Rodney Ho

July 23rd, 2012
12:01 pm

I agree but alas, not to be. No funny “Idol” stories were in the offing…

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
12:13 pm

Good afternoon! Randy looks like he doesn’t even want to be bothered in that pic.

Sam-A

July 23rd, 2012
12:15 pm

Randy should rememer that before Idol few had ever heard of him – Idol gave him his fame and fortune, and he should be happy to at least talk about past seasons!

bknsty14

July 23rd, 2012
12:21 pm

Randy let us down all year with biased and over the top, bad all around judging. Why would he not continue to let us down now. Idol should cut the cord with him right now. They made him, and if they let him go he could go ahead and fade off into oblivion where former bass players usually end up.

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
12:23 pm

Randy should rememer that before Idol few had ever heard of him – This may be true….HOWEVER,

Idol gave him his fame and fortune, – I beg to differ. Randy was a much sought after guitarist long before Idol.

Fred &trade

July 23rd, 2012
12:24 pm

Yo Rodney: I don’t recall you asking my permission before you took vacation. Make sure you do that next time. :lol:

JTesla

July 23rd, 2012
12:24 pm

I wasn’t expecting much from Randy, especially considering that “Merck… brought Randy Jackson… to talk about diabetes and their promotional website”. Randy did well to talk about what he is paid to talk about. Since he didn’t have Rodney removed for daring to ask about Idol he seems like he is at least a nice guy about it.

Fred &trade

July 23rd, 2012
12:31 pm

Idol gave him his fame and fortune, – I beg to differ. Randy was a much sought after guitarist long before Idol.

Beg to differ all you want but that’s a factual statement. There is a difference between being a sought after studio musician and “fame and fortune.” How many people ever heard of Paul Schafer before he got with Letterman? Or Donald “Duck” Dunn (just to name of many)? Sure those of us DEEP into music but the majority of folks? Hell no. How about probably the best bass player alive today, Victor Lamont Wooten? how many folks have ever heard of him? Make him an Idol judge and virtually everyone in the world (except me lol) will see him and know him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVQEe8OI3zk

(And for a double treat, if you click that youtube link, after you listen check the side and click onthe video of Victor with Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miler).

Fred ™

July 23rd, 2012
12:33 pm

Messed up my name lol

Tito

July 23rd, 2012
12:47 pm

Randy WAS sought after as a bassist. He also toured with Journey for years, that alone is enough to call him successful. I agree with Pitchy on this….

Who cares?

July 23rd, 2012
12:51 pm

Much ado about nothing – used to be when there was nothing happening newsworthy, nothing was reported – but alas, in the modern days of blogs and Us Weekly, National Enquirer and Entertainment Tonight, even the nothings are reported now …. Nothing personal, Rodney, just an observation.

Rodney Ho

July 23rd, 2012
12:52 pm

No offense taken Who cares? You are right. We report even when there’s nothing much to report.

Rodney Ho

July 23rd, 2012
1:22 pm

Nigel Lythgoe at the Television Critics Association today: “I cannot make any comments about my participation in American Idol next season. We are currently in negotiations.”

Mercedes S.

July 23rd, 2012
1:28 pm

Might as well have interviewed Paula Deen (Dean?) about HER diabetes… at least she seems to be a good talker.

Mercedes S.

July 23rd, 2012
1:28 pm

PS At least you warned us beforehand, RoHo, so our expectations were low.

Rodney Ho

July 23rd, 2012
1:42 pm

@Mercedes I actually mentioned Paula Deen to Randy and he acted (sincerely) as if he had never heard of her.

Get Real

July 23rd, 2012
1:46 pm

Did he call you “DOG”?

DanJ

July 23rd, 2012
1:48 pm

I did read an article that goes along with what I mentioned on another post. And that is that Carrie Underwood and Adam Lambert were being considered for judges. Personally I’d prefer Carrie, Chris D, & Jennifer H. But that’s just me. I do think EX-contestants would make for a far more interesting show.

JT

July 23rd, 2012
1:49 pm

If you go back to the late 80’s and the 90’s, Randy was playing on ALL the hot joints. Almost EVERY contemporary jazz album made, he was on it….so he was not hurting when Idol came calling, much like Luther Vandross, who sang backup and did commercials(campbell soup) for years before he took front and center…that was to a tune of over a 1/4 million dollars a year, so to people who know music, he’s no stranger…so, with that kind of money, I could care less WHO knew me!LOL!

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
1:49 pm

Fred ~ I will continue to disagree. Since you, nor I know the entire population and who knows who, I’m sticking with my words..thanks.

Oh, btw, I’m one of those who knew who Paul Schafer was before he got on lettermen!

G

July 23rd, 2012
1:51 pm

No let down on my end. The past 5 seasons of Idol have let me down, so this doesn’t even register. Regardless, people will still watch in the tens of millions and there will continue to be a WGWG to win in the end. When you get as big as Idol, Randy can afford to stiff a couple of fans. meh….

I am happy that Randy is healthy and a diabetes survivor. African Americans are at high risk and I’m glad he’s using his “Idol” platform to spread the news.

Good to hear there will be another ABDC! No word on the new host?

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
1:57 pm

Thank you very much JT.

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
1:59 pm

And, its a different generation that would know who Victot Lamonte was. My mother’s generation helped me appreciate music. So, there are many of “me’s” walking around knowing music, just like there are many walking around who could give a care!

richard whiskey

July 23rd, 2012
2:00 pm

remember when he produced that album for that old washed up has been travis tritt,sold maybe three copies,what a joke that was,you need to stick with idol randy

JTesla

July 23rd, 2012
2:02 pm

Paul Schafer was on SNL before Letterman, not the best of comparisons.

Was Randy successful? Yes, that is how he got the Idol gig. Is the statement “few had ever heard of him” accurate for his time before Idol? Yes, as evidenced by the number of people who thought he was related to Michael Jackson and clan when the show first started.

Rickster

July 23rd, 2012
2:07 pm

So you were invited – in your role as an Idol blogger (not as a diabetic) – to interview Randy Jackson – who is using his position of celebrity (which stems from his history on Idol) to push diabetes awareness – but you’re told to limit your questions to diabetic related topics only?

Makes sense to me.

Treetop Flyer

July 23rd, 2012
2:13 pm

I thought this was about a baseball player. Who is this Randy Jackson?

Sam-A

July 23rd, 2012
2:18 pm

No one I know every heard of the dude before Idol, and I’ve asked a bunch of people! Never had heard of Simon either, so Paula was seemingly the “big get” for the show.

RoHo, for a “diabetes-only” interview, you’d have thought they could have gotten someone a bit more interesting, ie Mary Tyler Moore, Halle Berry (I can see JT panting now), or yeah, even Paula Deen!

Rickster

July 23rd, 2012
2:18 pm

Rodney, I hope you got some of that stuff signed by Randy. That would make it even more valuable on E-Bay! :-)

Tami

July 23rd, 2012
2:19 pm

In my humble opinion, I’m thinking it’s time to retire “Idol”. Nigel seems to pre-occupied with SYTYCD and other business ventures. If what one of the blogsters mentions is true about Nigel (Nigel not committing to the very next season coming up) as well as “musical chairs” once again at the judges’ table, then there’s too much chaos around the show which equals rapid disinterest. Unless an eleventh hour save from a producer who cares emerges as well as interested and committed judges, there’s no real reason to keep “Idol” going.

Tami

July 23rd, 2012
2:20 pm

CORRECTION (from original post): Nigel seems to b>be pre-occupied….

Sorry about that.

Rodney Ho

July 23rd, 2012
2:21 pm

@Rickster It’s already borderline tacky for a reporter to get a photo taken with their source but given what I do, I do it anyway. But to have stuff signed? I have to draw the line there, eh?

RK

July 23rd, 2012
2:26 pm

haha ” Jackson has a knack for not saying anything remotely controversial.”

You got to pill it to kill it!

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
2:26 pm

Sam-A, since you never heard of Randy before AI, were you at least impressed when they showed snippets of him performing with this “bass” guitar? How about when he played on stage with some of the idol contestants. I think that occurred once or twice?

DanJ

July 23rd, 2012
2:30 pm

G, don’t be down too long. X-Factor and The Voice will be on soon! Actually I’m looking forward to both. I enjoyed the second season of The Voice much more than the first and of course X-Factor and all it’s glitz still had some talented singers.

I also saw that Chris Rene’s audition on youtube has over 17 million views! Melanie, Josh K, Marcus, Drew, Rachel even Jazzlyn have millions of views. I guess Simon is stuffing the ballot box! Sorry just getting ready to defend the show. *laughing*

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
2:31 pm

“Beg to differ all you want but that’s a factual statement.”

Fred, I don’t even think we are close in our factual statements, so I’m going to take it mine outpaced yours (lololol). :wink:

JTesla

July 23rd, 2012
2:37 pm

DanJ “I also saw that Chris Rene’s audition on youtube has over 17 million views! Melanie, Josh K, Marcus, Drew, Rachel even Jazzlyn have millions of views.”

Think of the money they are making off that? Oh wait, they aren’t. The argument that keeps being thrown at Idol: where are the stars? If you buy into that then by all means apply it to X-Factor and The Voice.

I don’t buy the argument, it’s all about entertainment of the television audience.

Sam-A

July 23rd, 2012
2:38 pm

Pitchy: I very vaguely remember Randy playing onstage once, but couldn’t tell you what the occasion was – maybe one of the “Idol Gives” shows ?? Good while back. Maybe our “minutes secretary” Ms/ K&CF can remember what it was.

jay

July 23rd, 2012
2:40 pm

I know Randy Jackson was a much sought after producer and song writer before Idol. However, the show did make him a household name so how is he going to tell a person in the media to limit questions about Idol? That’s like Ric Flair deflecting any pro wrestling related questions.

JTesla

July 23rd, 2012
2:56 pm

Sorry Jay, but it’s not like that at all. It’s more like someone being kind to talk a little about Idol, but focusing on the real reason he is here. You know, focusing on the people paying him.

If Randy spent all his time on Idol talking about “Randy Jackson’s America’s Best Dance Crew” then people would be all bent out of shape. Why is this any different? He is here for a purpose, but nice enough to talk about his other big gigs.

If you people had someone sponsor your trip you’d really snub that sponsor by not focusing on them?

Rodney Ho

July 23rd, 2012
2:58 pm

I am with JTesla. I understood why he was there. I talked to him extensively about his diabetes but still needed to ask “Idol” questions. He could have answered my “Idol” questions more substantively but chose not to.

DanJ

July 23rd, 2012
3:09 pm

JTesla, it’s too early to judge X-Factor because Melanie, Josh, Astro and Chris have not released CD’s yet. All were signed which means they’re coming down the road. It as after all just their first year here in the United States. Kelly was he only Idol star from season 1 who made it. So until those signed from X-Factor release their music we’d be foolish to say there’s no stars there. I’m also not sure who else were signed from the show but it’s possible that Rachel, Drew or Lakoda Rhyne were signed.

While Idol has had it’s success it’s also had major busts but then again it’s been around 12 years as opposed to 1. Hardly a good comparison IMO. So I do think we have to wait and see about XF star power.

Seve

July 23rd, 2012
3:10 pm

Atlanta is full of Ignorant people.

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
3:21 pm

Seve ~ don’t limit it to Atanta. Bet there’s some in your hometown as well.

Mercedes S.

July 23rd, 2012
3:22 pm

New blog up !

Mercedes S.

July 23rd, 2012
3:24 pm

…and I’m all alone there! My one vote is responsible for the 100% on Rodney’s multiple choice question!

Captain Herb

July 23rd, 2012
3:38 pm

Huh? “You are right. We report even when there’s nothing much to report.” Maybe you should try to raise the bar on reporting rather than post pictures of non-stories and yourself w/ VHS tapes?

Captain Herb

July 23rd, 2012
3:40 pm

Also, did you really use the word “pimp” as a verb in a story?!?!