'American Idol' notes: Georgia's Luke Bryan, Jordin Sparks, Scotty McCreery


This was posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk 

The endless search for judges for "American Idol" is NOT over. Yes, it's almost October and time is running out. Good news: a second slot appears to be filled.

According to Variety, Leesville's own country superstar Luke Bryan has committed to the second seat along with pop star Katy Perry.

TMZ, which has moles galore inside the Fremantle/ABC camp, said there's a battle over who should fill the third seat. Already, they are constrained by their budget after filling much of it by spending on Perry.

"Idol" production company Fremantle wants young pop singer Charlie Puth but ABC insists having at least one minority judge, according to TMZ. So Lionel Richie may still be in play but is probably out of reach financially. TMZ has thrown out a new name: Troy Parker, a manager of singers like John LegendNelly, Meghan TrainorMiguel and Gaga. He is not a name brand but could be affordable and he's black.

Curiously, no female name has come up for the third chair. Is "Idol" against having two women and one guy?

Nonetheless, "Idol' will stick with three judges, which is more affordable than four.

***

Jordin Sparks sang the National Anthem during ESPN's "Monday Night Football" in the middle of all this Donald Trump-fueled "taking a knee" controversy.

She made a not-so-subtle gesture by having “PROV 31:8-9” on her left hand while she sang knowing full well the cameras could not avoid it.

That Bible verse addresses social justice: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

***

Clay Aiken Tweet of the week:

***

Scotty McCreery on Tuesday got engaged to his long-time girlfriend Gabi Dugal. They go a long way back -- to kindergarten. (Sure, they didn't date that early but they've been together for many years.)

According to People magazine:

When they were young, Dugal used to write “Mrs. Gabi McCreery” — with a lot of hearts — in her diary. They began dating nearly six years ago during their senior year of high school.

“I’ve been planning this moment for so long that it feels surreal for it to have finally happened,” McCreery said to People. “Gabi is the perfect girl and my true love, and I cannot wait to begin building our life together as husband and wife.”

***

Carrie Underwood helped fete Reba McEntire at her 40th anniversary of her first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. Dolly Parton showed up as well.

***

TMZ found a doppelganger for Ryan Seacrest. Unfortunately, his doppelganger was arrested for a meth charge:

***

NBC "The Voice" debuted Monday to its lowest premiere viewing numbers yet in its 13th season. This was Jennifer Hudson's first appearance as a coach on the show. She said she is seeking big voices like her. She won "The Voice UK" so the other judges are watching her warily.

It pulled in 10.6 million viewers and a 2.6 18-49 rating on Monday night.


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