This was posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Four former "American Idol" contestants Saturday judged an Atlanta charity concert featuring children who either have fought childhood cancer or honored family members who had died from it.
Dubbed Rally Idol, the second event of its kind raised more than $135,000 for the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research at the Buckhead Theatre before more than 800 supporters. That doubled the amount from the first event in 2014.
The four judges were Clark Beckham (season 14 runner up), Haley Reinhart (third place, season 10), Casey Abrams (sixth place, Season 10) and Anthony Fedorov (fourth place, season four) Both Haley and Anthony had judged this before and felt compelled to return.
"I have quite a few people affected by cancer including my daddy," Haley said. "These kids are so fearless and fierce once they hit the stage. It's cool not to judge them but give them words of encouragement." She said it's more Paula than Simon.
Haley, Casey and Anthony now reside in Los Angeles. Clark is in Nashville. Those are the two cities a vast majority of "Idol" alum still in the music business reside.
I spoke to all four in pairs before the concert. Haley and Casey have both participated in Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, a popular rotating music collective begun in 2011. Check out Haley's cover of "Creep' for the group, which has been viewed more than 27 million times on YouTube:
And here's Casey's take on the "Family Guy" theme song replete with a pianist and tap dancer:
Both had even performed at the Buckhead Theatre before with the collective, along with places like Radio City Music Hall in New York City. As many of you may recall, two became fast friends on "Idol" with a common love for jazz, a genre seldom heard on "Idol" through its 15 seasons. They have performed with each other countless times. Haley's is set to come out in May with soul and funk. Casey is doing a live album. They are on each other's albums, too.
They both stay in Los Angeles because there is so many musical opportunities there. And the weather is great, too.
Neither was able to make it to the series finale. Both had gigs. Haley showed up the day before just to say goodbye. "It sucks we had to say no but it's cool we had to say no," Casey said.
Last year, Casey traveled the world for more than half the year, hitting Amsterdam, Asia and Australia.
Here are my Facebook Live videos. I apologize for how dark the video with Clark and Anthony was. We were in the back green room and there was minimal light. I had done the video with Haley and Casey on the stage, which is why there was more light there.
Clark heard about this from Haley, who he met as this season 14 finale. He met Anthony for the first time at the series finale. And he has gigged with both Haley and Casey.
Clark had just returned from Thailand, helping as part of the documentary crew for Far Flung Tin Can, which does missionary work. He will keep writing music in 2017 as an independent artist. "I've been traveling to make money, to raise money for the album," he said. He does events and opened for Jon Bellion.
"I'm waiting on God to show me where to go," he added. "Work as hard as I can, see the need and assess the means I need to take."
Anthony has been working on a new record, he crowdfunded, raising $11,000, passing his goal. He has a fiance and will do personal video of cooking chicken adobe for some of the donors. Nine folks received the honor of Anthony creating a special song for them.
Anthony, whose fiance does voice-over work for Atlanta-based Cartoon Network, said he was excited to return. "Their stories will inspire you and move you," he said. "I'm very intuitive with my emotions. I was very moved the first time. This won't be any different." He has a son who is turning four in April and appreciates how inspiring kids can be. "He reminds us what courage is," he said.
His upcoming album is based not just on his personal stories but what others have told him. "It's freeing stepping outside of yourself and focusing on somebody else's story," he said. "To nail someone's emotions and what they are trying to come across. It's a cool feeling."
He also wants to stop discrimination, citing recent events without even needing to name names. "I just felt like I had to do something," he said. "A lot of my songs target social change and diversity. It's going to give people hope."
This event was the vision of sisters Emily and Courtney Roach, with 13-year-old Courtney leading the charge this year.
- Rally Kid Audrey – age 14 – beating ovarian germ cell cancer
- Rally Kid Gage – age 19 – beating solid tumors
- Rally Kid Mary Tipton – age 10 – beating ovarian germ cell cancer
- Rally Kid Ruby – age 12 – beating soft tissue cancer
- Kenzie – singing in honor and memory of her sister Rally Kid Hailey (2008-2010)
- Meredith – singing in honor and memory of her sister Rally Kid Kylie (2002-2015)
Season 10 runner up and Georgia native Lauren Alaina, who released her new album this week "The Road Less Traveled," revealed she had bulimia for many years, even before performing on "American Idol" in 2011.
Now 22, she told Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" that the show made her eating disorder worse. Her current album addresses it. "I've gotten healthy. I lost 21 pounds without a single bad habit. I have done Atkins and a trainer," she said. "I went from flabs to abs!"
She said her past few years have been a challenge. Her parents went through a divorce. Her dad had to go in rehab for alcohol issues but has now been sober three years. She's also had vocal problems as well which required surgery.
Despite Adam Lambert as a judge, "X Factor Australia" was cancelled due to low ratings. Versions of "Dancing With the Stars" and "America's Got Talent" are gone down under. Only "The Voice" survives.
In the meantime, Lambert is touring with Queen this year, hitting at least 25 cities. No Atlanta stop yet, though.
Queen + Adam Lambert 2017 North American Tour
6/23 — Phoenix, AZ — Gila River Arena
6/24 — Las Vegas, NV — T-Mobile Arena
6/26 — Los Angeles, CA — Hollywood Bowl
6/29 — San Jose, CA — SAP Center
7/01 — Seattle, WA — Key Arena
7/02 — Vancouver, BC — Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
7/04 — Edmonton, AB — Rogers Place
7/06 — Denver, CO — Pepsi Center Arena
7/08 — Omaha, NE — CenturyLink Center
7/09 — Kansas City, MO — Sprint Center
7/13 — Chicago, IL — United Center
7/14 — St. Paul, MN — Xcel Energy Center
7/17 — Montreal, QC — Bell Centre
7/18 — Toronto, ON — Air Canada Centre
7/20 — Detroit, MI — The Palace of Auburn Hills
7/21 — Cleveland, OH — Quicken Loans Arena
7/23 — Uncasville, CT — Mohegan Sun Arena
7/25 — Boston, MA — TD Garden
7/26 — Newark, NJ — Prudential Center
7/28 — New York, NY — Barclays Center
7/30 — Philadelphia, PA — Wells Fargo Center
7/31 — Washington D.C. — Verizon Center
8/02 — Nashville, TN — Bridgestone Arena
8/04 — Dallas, TX — American Airlines Center
8/05 — Houston, TX — Toyota Center
Paula Abdul's tour commitments with New Kids on the Block will prevent her from judging this upcoming 14th season of "So You Think You Can Dance," which returns to an adult format.
“This season is about giving our loyal fan base what they’ve been asking for,” said executive producer Nigel Lythgoe in a press release. “We’ve decided to go back to basics by bringing the best of our past formats together for an exciting new summer featuring accomplished adult competitors partnered with fan-favorite All-Star dancers. And, of course, as in past seasons, there will be new surprises which are sure to wow our viewers.”
Covington's Bo Bice has taken down his Twitter feed since his whole Popeye's incident where an employee called him "that white boy" and he told Fox 5 how offended he felt after he didn't get a proper apology on Facebook. And he has not posted on Facebook since the controversy flared up. He's laying low right now.
And Kelly Clarkson's hubby Brandon Blackstock made a great move this week: