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'American Idol' notes: Dennis Lorenzo, Jennifer Hudson, Ada Vox


Posted Tuesday, May 1, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Performing last used to be a great deal on "American Idol" because voting would occur right afterwards, leaving (hopefully) a fresh and positive impression. Producers would go out of their way to include what they think is one of the best performances in that slot. We "Idol" regulars here would call it the "pimp spot."

But with real-time voting for the first time this past Sunday, that advantage disappeared. A bulk of votes had already happened by the time Dennis Lorenzo showed up.

Lorenzo was already at a disadvantage given that he had to fight for a wild-card spot from the judges a week earlier. Though he performed perfectly well Sunday night, he was quickly nixed. He complained to TMZ about it. He felt the voting window was closed too early. Indeed, my wife tried to vote for him, but we were a couple of minutes behind and it was too late.

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My Power Top 7 rankings

  1. Caleb Lee Hutchinson (last week: 1) He showed tenderness and warmth last week. It should keep him in solid shape going into Prince week.
  2. Gabby Barrett (last week: 2) I found her performance last week a touch boring but I'm not sure that matters much in terms of her popularity.
  3. Cade Foehner (last week: 4) He managed to find a new angle for himself with "Kiss That Girl."
  4. Maddie Poppe (last week: 3) She was super cutesy but I'm not sure if that will generate her a bigger fan base next week.
  5. Catie Turner (last week: 7) She had her best performance in weeks and showed she can do musical theater.
  6. Michael J. Woodard (last week: 5) He is all musical theater.
  7. Jurnee (last week: 6) She is a blank slate to me and nothing she did last week changed that impression. I still would have rather had any of the other three who were eliminated here rather than her.

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Jennifer Hudson will sing Diane Warren's “I’ll Fight,” for "RPG," a documentary about the life and legal legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The film comes out May 4. 

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Ratings last Sunday saw a nice uptick from a week earlier to its best numbers since the debut week: 8 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating. Counting the live telecasts on the West Coast, it drew 8.7 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. Clearly, the hype over real-time voting may have helped boost numbers.

This bodes well for the show's return on ABC next year.

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Ryan Seacrest outed an "Idol" romance in the making Sunday night between two front-runners: Gabby Barrett and Cade Foehner.

“Yeah, I was really off put by the call out, that was not scripted or anything so I wasn’t bouncing and happy,” Cade revealed in an interview after the live show to Hollywood Life. “But, you know, it is a TV show and we love each other. But, you know…. good times!”

My face was redder than a tomato," Barrett added. " That is why I had to cover it up, but we are really good friends and we will see what happens after the show.”

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While Marcio Donaldson complained about the lack of minority representation from the voting public, Adam Sanders (AKA Ada Vox) decided to focus on the positive in his comments after his elimination:

 “ I actually feel great,” he told Variety. “ Amongst people that are not biased by the whole drag thing or the gay thing, lots of people considered me a frontrunner. The competition ended where it ended for me and I am not mad about it, if America is not ready to be open to this that’s fine, because all it shows is that we have so much more growing to do, so much more love to spread. I’ve always said if I’m gonna spread anything it’s gonna be positivity. This was the platform that I needed to get my name off the ground so that I can start being a positive role model to people around the world.

Clay Aiken, by the way, argued that Ada didn't make it to the top seven because he wasn't the best vocalist in the contest, not because he was a drag queen.

"Vox is a star," he wrote. "And Vox can sing. Her performances of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” and “Circle of Life” were rousing spectacles ― but they were not master classes in singing." He felt her flawed singing simply didn't compel folks to vote for her, that "Idol" is not about people who vote against folks.

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"Idol" singles

Carrie Underwood's new single "Cry Pretty" is already up to No. 23 on the Mediabase 24/7 chart It has leapfrogged Lauren Alaina's "Doin' Fine" at No. 29 although her song has been around a whopping 36 weeks and is still gaining spins. Trent Harmon's "You Got'Em All" is at No. 42.

On the Christian pop chart, Danny Gokey's 'Masterpiece" is at No. 28.

Kelly Clarkson's "I Don't Think About You" is at No. 15 on the Hot AC chart in its 11th week.

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Underwood performed the National Anthem before the Nashville Predators playoff game:

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Jessica Sanchez's latest single "Caught Up":

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Clay Aiken Tweet of the Week:

He targets MSNBC's Joy Reid and her anti-gay blog posts from a decade ago, which includes a lame Aiken joke:


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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.