Reality TV fans will want to pay close attention to ‘Family Feud’ in the coming months as the two most popular shows see their stars go head-to-head. Announced to compete for ‘Survivor’ starting February 14th will be Rudy Boesch, Rupert Boneham, Jon Dalton, Richard Hatch, Susan Hawk, and Ethan Zohn, with four others not named. The seven announced for the ‘American Idol’ edition in March were Amy Adams, Diana DeGarmo, Julia DeMato, AJ Gil, Jon Peter Lewis, Kimberley Locke, and Rickey Smith.
Viewers of Tuesday’s ‘American Idol’ audition episode from New Orleans were likely drawn to the antics of 23-year-old Leroy Wells of Grand Bay, Alabama. The excitable and incoherent young man with different teeth for TV and for yo mama entertained the judges with unparalleled energy and unintelligible renditions of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Baby, I’ve Got Your Money” and James Brown’s “I Feel Good”. Unfortunately Wells was only able to catch his fleeting fame from the confines of Mobile Metro Jail where he was being held for failing to appear in court on charges related to an incident where he fired a gun into an occupied vehicle and shot a man in the hip. The inmates were allowed to watch Wells’ appearance, and he was able to pay his $12,500 bail the following night.
NBC has once again blinked in the reality battle with Fox, moving last fall’s ‘The Contender’ from the previously announced Tuesday slot opposite ‘American Idol’ starting March 1st to a Wednesday night slot beginning March 9th. Surprisingly large ratings for ‘American Idol’ are to blame. ‘The Contender’, produced by Mark Burnett (‘Survivor’/’The Apprentice’) and featuring Sylvester Stallone was announced last summer as a boxing-themed reality program, and quickly became the most expensive reality show ever produced. However, when Fox rushed their hackjob ‘The Next Great Champ’ to air, and then promptly failed, NBC grew scared and quickly moved to distance their show from the Fox knock-off. The decision to attack ‘American Idol’ head-on had been made after a similar decision with ‘The Apprentice’ had seen surprising results against TV’s highest rated drama, ‘CSI’. Those interested in ‘The Contender’ will want to schedule Monday, March 7th for the special premiere episode, at which point it will settle into its regular Wednesday slot.
TVGuide.com reports former ‘American Idol’ contestants Joshua Gracin (the marine) and RJ Helton have signed recording contracts. At press time we were unable to find out which labels had signed the two.
Former ‘American Idol’ winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Clay Aiken have announced a 30-city tour starting in February, but unfortunately Canada isn’t in the plans. The “Independent” tour will feature the two alternating as headliners and hit Charlotte (02/24), Duluth (02/25), Tampa (02/27), Miami (02/28), Raleigh (03/01), Philadelphia (03/02), Long Island (03/04), Washington (03/05), Wilkes Barre (03/07), Worcester (03/08), Columbus (03/10), Detroit (03/11), Winston-Salem (03/13), Houston (03/16), Austin (03/17), Grand Prairie (03/19), St. Louis (03/21), Chicago (03/22), Omaha (03/24), Salt Lake City (03/26), Las Vegas (03/27), San Diego (03/30), Sacramento (03/31), Glendale (04/01), Anaheim (04/03), Los Angeles (03/05), San Jose (04/06), Seattle (04/08), Spokane (04/09), Denver (04/13), Kansas City (04/15), and St. Paul (04/16).