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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Idol Chatter with Randy Jackson

"American Idol" judge Randy Jackson was in town today to promote heart health for the American Heart Assocation, but he couldn't avoid "Idol" chatter.

Starting with my question: Could Fox bring "American Idol" auditions here? This is what he said:

"Cncinnati is definitely on the radar (for "Idol" auditions). We might venture here.. We always go to an East Coast city, a West Coast city, a Midwest city and a couple of southern cities. We've done Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland. If we come back to Ohio, this has got to be the city."

Jackson, 51, blitzed Cincinnati today to promote the American Heart Association's web site. He was diagnosed with the disease six years ago, after the first "American Idol" season. He came here to do publicity with fellow diabetic Harry Moore, 58, of Oakley, one of three people selected from a national campaign to tape a TV public service announcement with him in November. You can see it at the web site.

After his appearance on "Fox 19 In The Morning" today, Jackson and I talked about "American Idol" and his new album, "Randy Jackson’s Music Club, Vol. 1" due out March 11.

--On viewers eliminating the two youngest women, Alaina Whitaker and Alexandrea Lushington, each 17, last night:

"These two girls didn’t get much of a chance, but they're talented… They chose really rough songs. You never now who's going to make it. Once you hear "Welcome to Hollywood,"there is no guarantee. So many of those kids didn’t make it because they fell apart in Hollywood. Some kids fall apart as soon as they're on a (live) TV show, and the voting starts. What you're seeing now with these people being knocked out in the early rounds is because people's nerves just crumble. They realize that that 28 or 30 million people could be watching. And they go: Oh my god, I know I'm 17 and I aced my physics test, but this is something else! It's a different kind of pressure."

--What's different this season:

"This season is different. Because there are two strong front-runners – Carly Smithson and Dave Archuleta -- people are now zeroing even quicker on their favorites," he said.

--His take on this year's cast:

"This is one of the strongest seasons we've ever had. It could be the best top 10 -- potentially – if America votes correctly. Because ultimately it’s up to America."

--His new album due out March 11, the first day the 12 "American Idol" finalists sing:

"I wanted to do some music I could have fun with. And Paula Abdul and I have been talking about doing something together for a long time… I play on about half of it. It's an autobiographical compilation of sorts. There's a blues song, a rock song, a hip hop song and R&B. There's like every flavor of every rainbow on this record. It's all the music I've experienced in my life growing up.

"It's a fun record. Hopefully people will like it. And there will be multiple singles from this record."


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