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Covington’s Bo Bice talks about his new gig on Broadway while gift wrapping

Bo Bice wraps gifts at Lenox Square Mall Tuesday, Dec. 18. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Bo Bice wraps gifts at Lenox Square Mall Tuesday, Dec. 18. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Season four runner up and Alabama native Bo Bice recently moved to Covington with his family from Nashville.

We’ve been in touch since 2005, more than seven years now. He’s always been a class act.

A few weeks back, Alex Gillespie - a publicist from day one with “American Idol” – asked me if I knew of “Idol” contestants who live local. I came up with three that I figured were local: Vanessa Olivarez (season two), Anoop Desai (season 8) and Bice.

I found out why she asked last week: they were holding a free “Idol” wrapping promotion at the Lenox Square mall from Dec. 18 through Dec. 23 and wanted an alumni appearance. Bice said yes to show up Tuesday and meet fans, promote season 12 of “Idol” and talk about his new Broadway gig in the lead role of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.”

He was joyful and festive to all the customers who came up to get gifts wrapped whether they knew who he was or not. If they were vaguely familiar, he would simply say, “I came in second to Carrie Underwood” and in many cases, there’d be a glint of recognition. And he wasn’t half bad at boxing and wrapping.

A super fan and Clayton resident Jayne Pleasants was there, too, and they hung out like old friends. (He said he had maybe five who were a bit too fan-like and are “on a list,” including one who did stop by his church and wasn’t there to see God. Pleasants was just pleasant.)

I asked him apropos of nothing the strangest lineup he ever worked with and it was a Six Flags lineup that featured Nick Lachey, Lifehouse, Bice and… Mary J. Blige. He went on roller coasters with Lachey but never got close to Blige, who apparently had a massive entourage.

He said he didn’t ask for the Broadway gig. It came to him. He had no thought about theater, having never done it before. But he’s game to try. And he said he got a classy congrats from fellow season four rocker Constantine Maroulis, who was nominated for a Tony for his role in “Rock of Ages.”  He will start rehearsals in January and will start in March.  He also has a gospel album coming out.

Here’s my video interview with Bice, where he “talks” to Mariah Carey and Keith Urban – or cardboard cut outs thereof.

Bo Bice with one of his most dedicated fans Jayne Pleasants, who drove more than 100 miles to see him at Lenox. She has seen him all over the country over the past seven years.

Bo Bice with one of his most dedicated fans Jayne Pleasants, who drove more than 100 miles to see him at Lenox from Clayton, GA. She has seen him all over the country over the past seven years.

Bo Bice with a fan.

Bo Bice sharing a laugh with Decatur's Jerome Tyson.

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13 comments Add your comment

Deirdre

December 20th, 2012
8:49 am

Bo has always seemed like a guy I’d love to meet. Down to earth, friendly, funny and interesting. Thanks for the interview, Rodney. It’s great to see him again!

Leisa

December 20th, 2012
9:15 am

I saw Bo in concert at the Cox Capitol Theater in Macon, GA a couple of years ago. It was one of the best concerts I have seen in a long time. Good, old Southern Rock! I hope he does great on Broadway. He deserves it!

Jayne

December 20th, 2012
9:54 am

Rodney you know how much I love Bo, but it was fun hanging out with you too! Thanks for always supporting Bo so grandly!

Rodney Ho

December 20th, 2012
9:56 am

Jayne-email me your contact info at rho@ajc.com

JTesla

December 20th, 2012
10:03 am

Thanks for the story Rodney, Bo is a good guy! We need more like him.

Mercedes S.

December 20th, 2012
10:21 am

Good Luck to Bo on Broadway!may as well milk his Idol fame… hope he was properly compensated for his wrapping chore too!

Mercedes S.

December 20th, 2012
11:28 am

Recommendations on Holiday movies to follow!

Harm

December 20th, 2012
11:30 am

Hey! I’m still lurking around!
Some of you received a friend request on facebook (I finally gave in) from a person you do not reconize, that would be me!

missnadine

December 20th, 2012
2:33 pm

That season was the best IMO, in terms of a finale. I am surprised he hasn’t been more successful, but maybe that is also due to not having many rock stations around.

JTesla

December 20th, 2012
3:10 pm

Let the stalking commence Harm ;)

Kelli

December 20th, 2012
4:30 pm

Bo is and has always been a class act. He is going to shine on Broadway.

Lisa

December 20th, 2012
4:54 pm

Bo is a very special person, genuine and classy. He is talented and funny and will be wonderful on Broadway. Thanks for the interview and article!

[...] Since he has no experience in theater, he says he’ll be relying on producers to “make me look good.” Check out the interview here. [...]