‘American Idol’ notes: ABC stopping in 19 cities for auditions, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood

In 2015, Ebony Strong, 16, of Atlanta, didn’t make the cut for the first round of season 15 of “American Idol” in Athens after her “Syrup & Honey” by Duffy didn’t impress the producer Beau Dozier enough to give her a yes. (She wasn’t bad but didn’t blow away the joint.) She wasn’t upset and called it a “good experience.” Her family held up letters signifying her name while she auditioned. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

This was posted Monday, June 12, 2017 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

ABC is holding the first round of auditions for its revamped “American Idol” in 2018 this August and September. (More details here. You can also put in an online audition.)

It will hold two open auditions in Chicago and New Orleans, then more or less hug the two coasts with two bus tour auditions. The East Bus Tour will hit Atlanta August 22.

For much of its run on Fox, “Idol” did open calls in stadiums and arenas. It was very expensive from a production standpoint. Partway through, they began doing some bus tours to reach smaller cities but it was a secondary of main audition cities.

During the final season, for instance, “Idol” came to Athens, GA via the bus. ABC is flipping the script a bit with only two big auditions followed by 17 stops in cities across the country.  Oddly, the “West Bus Tour” also cuts across the South and ends up in Boston. There are some geographical pretzels to deal with there. The East Bus Tour does stay on the East coast, starting in Orlando and ending in Annapolis, Md.

Over the years, “Idol” received much of its talent from the South – from Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard all the way to La’Porsha Renae and Trent Harmon season 15. Eight of the 17 bus tour stops are in the South. The Northeast, despite some victories in the final years by the likes of Nick Fradiani, hasn’t been all that fruitful. Not surprisingly, Boston is the only Northeast stop, unless you count Maryland as the Northeast.

Technically, ABC doesn’t have to announce its full slate of judges until after the bus tour/open city auditions. The three (or four) judges won’t appear there. But it would be helpful to have a host. ABC has yet to announce a host. The only judge to date is Katy Perry.

“American Idol” auditions will be held as follows (subject to change):

West Bus Tour                                                            East Bus Tour
Portland, OR – Aug 17                                               Orlando, FL – Aug 17

Oakland, CA – Aug 20                                               Miami, FL – Aug 19

Provo, UT – Aug 23                                                    Atlanta, GA – Aug 22

Denver, CO – Aug 26                                                 Charleston, SC – Aug 25

Omaha, NE – Aug 29                                                  Asheville, NC – Aug 27

Tulsa, OK – Sept 1                                                      Louisville, KY – Aug 30

Shreveport, LA – Sept 4                                              Pittsburgh, PA – Sept 3

Muscle Shoals, AL – Sept 7                                        Annapolis, MD – Sept 5

Boston, MA – Sept 8

Open Audition Cities

Chicago, IL – Sept 11                                          

New Orleans, LA – Sept 14      

I didn't catch this guy's name but I just liked the photo. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

I didn’t catch this guy’s name but I just liked the photo from back in 2015. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

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Carrie Underwood will co-shot the CMA Awards for the 10th year with Brad Paisley later this year. They are amusing and ultimately innocuous. If something is not worth changing…

She, by the way, just hit 7 million followers on Twitter:

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James Corden, spending last week in London, met up with Jennifer Hudson, in the U.K. to coach “The Voice.” They decided to do a battle on the mic. Corden starts by dissing Hudson for coming in 7th on “Idol,” for not being Beyonce in “Dreamgirls” and not being a Brit. Inexplicably, he stated that “You lost a competition that Bo Bice won.” Fact check: he came in second… to Carrie a year after Hudson was ousted. He also mocked the fact she dates a pro wrestler.  Later, he said, “I’m not a fan. I’m into Kelly Clarkson” and sang her signature song “Since U Been Gone.”

In response, she went after Corden’s portly size, including the fact he’s too fat to see his penis. Then she backed herself up: “Yah, James, I lost Idol, you got me, you’re right but I won an Oscar, a Grammy, I won in life.” She proceeded to blow him out vocally.

When the audience was polled, JHud won, of course.

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And on Twitter, Clay Aiken complained about the old-school nature of the Tony’s last night:

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