American Idol: Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj Announce Departure As Judges

Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson and Nicki Minaj shown in this photo won’t be returning for Season 13 after Carey and Minaj announced they will be leaving the show recently.


Rumors were swirling around that all four American Idol judges would not be returning for Season 13, before the end of Season 12, but it looks like those rumors are coming true.

Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj have announced they won’t be returning, while Randy Jackson had announced he was leaving the show before the finale.

We may never know if the producers told the three judges, that they were leaving the show and gave them a chance to make it look like they were leaving on their own volition.


Keith Urban is the only remaining American Idol judge who has not announced that he is leaving the show as his status is uncertain.


Keith Urban may also be leaving the show, but no announcements have been made to that effect, that I am aware of at the present time. He has stated that he has no idea, if he will be returning or not as recently as yesterday.

Urban may be retained if only because of monetary reasons, since he only earned $5 million as a judge last season, while Mariah Carey earned $18 million for her stint as a judge, while Nicki Minaj collected $12 million for her time on the judging panel.

The falling ratings for American Idol in Season 12 apparently have the producers going in another direction as they choose their Season 13 judges.

Plus, they don’t want a repeat of the Carey-Minaj feud, which was a major distraction last season. Fans tune in the show to hear the contestants and don’t want to see a feud between two of the judges.


Jennifer Hudson could be first former American Idol contestant to become a judge on the show.


Jennifer Hudson’s name has been mentioned as a possible judge on American Idol for the Season 13 season. We could even have a judging panel of all former American Idol. She is reportedly in negotiation to sign on with American Idol.

Other names mentioned as possible judges are Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken. This article says Urban will not be returning, but have yet to have seen an official announcement on his leaving.

Yahoo has listed the ratings of American Idol for each finale and the drop this season, as compared to the finale in Season 11 has to be a cause of alarm for the producers:

Wed-09/04/2002  8-10 PM  23.021M  10.8/30

Wed-05/21/2003  9-10 PM  38.060M  16.8/37

Wed-05/26/2004  8-10:02 PM  28.839M  12.0/32

Wed-05/25/2005  8-10:01 PM  30.269M  12.5/31

Wed-05/24/2006  8-10:04 PM  36.383M  14.2/36

Wed-05/23/2007  8-10:09 PM  30.755M  11.5/31

Wed-05/21/2008  8-10:06 PM  31.688M  11.4/30

Wed-05/20/2009  8-10:07 PM  28.838M  10.0/28

Wed-05/26/2010  8-10:07 PM  24.215M  8.2/24

Wed-05/25/2011  8-10:07 PM  29.288M  9.2/26

Wed-05/23/2012  8-10:07 PM  21.5M      6.4/18

Thurs-05/16/2013 8-10:07 PM  14.3M     3.6/11

17 million fewer viewers tuned in for the 2013 finale, compared to 31 million viewers watching the 2008 finale. The 14 million viewers this year saw a drop of 15 million viewers since 2011.

It will be interesting to see who comprises the Season 13 judging panel, but it is incumbent on the producers, to reverse the downward trend in the ratings.

The ultimate sign that the show is not drawing well as in the past, is when Duck Dynasty a A&E cable network reality show recently attracted more viewers, than American Idol in the 18-49 demographic.






Blast From The Past: RC Cola and Moon Pie

Royal Crown Cola and Double Decker Moon Pie.


RC Cola and Moon Pies have been staples in the south for many years. Even better is a RC Cola with a Double Decker Moon Pie that is in the above photo.

The combination of RC Cola and Moon Pies became popular in the 1950’s, when workers enjoyed them with their lunch.

The RC Cola ginger ale was founded in 1905 by pharmacist Claude Hatcher in Columbus, Georgia. Royal Crown was the first company to sell cola in a can in 1954 and would also be the first company to sell cola in an aluminum can.

The cherry flavored RC Cola was one of my favorite cherry cola drinks, which came closer to duplicating the flavor of a soda fountain cherry coke than most cherry flavored drinks.

Union Bottling Works was the first name of the company and it was later changed to Chero-Cola, then the name of the company was changed to Nehi in 1928.

Nehi Orange Soda.


There were few sodas, that were as refreshing as a cold Nehi orange soda, on a hot summer day in Louisiana in the 50’s and 60’s.

Mr. Hatcher dies on December 31, 1933 and the RC Cola soda we know today was developed in 1934. The Nehi company would change its name to Royal Crown Cola in 1959, due to the immense popularity of RC Cola.

1962 would bring Diet-Rite Cola, which was the first diet cola made by any company.

Royal Crown Cola would go into the fast food business in 1978, by acquiring the Arby’s fast food chain. RC Cola has been purchased by Triarc Companies, Inc. in 1993, Cadbury Schweppes in 2000, and Cott Corporation in 2001.


History of Moon PIes

Chattanooga Bakery was founded in 1902 in Chattanooga,Tennessee. There is an interesting story behind how the moon pies became their best known product. Coal miners were wanting something solid and filling, since they didn’t always have time for a real lunch break.

Mr. Earl Mitchell Sr. returned to the store after talking to the miners and noticed employees dipping graham crackers into marshmallow and leaving them in window to dry. They then came up with the idea of adding another cookie on top of the graham crackers and adding chocolate covering to the cookies. The first moon pie was sold in 1917 and went on to become one of the most popular products for the Chattanooga Baking Company.

Hundreds of thousands of moon pies were sent to soldiers serving overseas during World War II. Racegoers to NASCAR races in the 50’s were known to carry moon pies with them to the races.

The first Double Decker Moon Pie was manufactured in 1964 and it is my personal favorite, since it has three cookies and two layers of marshmallow in each Double Decker Moon Pie.

Moon pies started being thrown in Mardi Gras parades in the 1970’s, since they were softer, than the Cracker Jack boxes that had been thrown in previous parades.

Mini moon pies which debuted in 1998.

The larger moon pies were ruining the appetites of kids, before dinner so a mini moon pie was developed to give the kids the taste of a moon pie, without filling them up so much, that they wouldn’t eat their dinner.

Sam Walton the former owner of Wal-Mart was telling about how he motivated his employees, by having them tell about their favorite product. Walton then proceeded to talk about his favorite product and brought out a box of moon pies and extolling the virtues of the moon pies.


World’s Largest Moon Pie

The world’s largest moon pie weighs 50 pounds and consists of 14 pounds of marshmallow, 6 pounds of chocolate and contains 45,000 calories and is 40 inches wide. A person would be well advised to not try to eat it in one sitting.





Blast From the Past: Burger Chef

Burger Chef was founded in 1954.


Burger Chef at one time was the chief competition for McDonalds, but the company no longer existed after the last restaurant was closed 14 years ago in 1999.

The Burger Chef restaurant chain started with the opening of a fast food restaurant in Indianapolis, Indiana in the 1950’s.


Burger Chef featured a 45 cent combo, which consisted of 15 cent hamburger, 15 cent French fries and 15 cent milk shake . This same combo today would cost at least $3 and up since shakes aren’t usually included in combo specials.

This menu shows prices of a combo had skyrocketed to 60 cents with 23 cent hamburger, 22 cent French fries and  25 cent milk shake which was still a real bargain compared to what a value meal costs today.


The photo above shows coffee being sold for 12 cents. Try going to Starbucks and asking for a 12 cent cup of coffee and see the looks you get. Five apple turnovers for a $1 also sounds like a good deal. Noticed that you had to spring for an extra four cents to buy a cheeseburger for 27 cents.


Burger Chef saved on labor costs by having dogs cooking up the burgers.


Burger Chef was sold to General Foods Corporation in 1968. They started a Fun Meal for kids in the early 70’s and sued McDonalds, when they started serving Happy Meals, but lost their case in court.

General Foods would divest themselves of their ownership in Burger Chef, by selling the company to Imasco, a Canadian company which also owned the Hardee’s chain of fast food restaurants.

There may no longer be any Burger Chef’s in operation, but will always have the memory of the store in Alexandria, Louisiana too many years ago to remember.

Burger Chef no longer exists, but their competitor McDonalds is still going strong with over 34,000 stores operating worldwide with 1.7 million employees.

McDonalds may have won the burger wars, but they can’t take the memories away from Burger Chef fans.


Smokey Joe’s Cafe Final Performance: Keep on Rollin’ and Searchin

Victor Trent Cook, Ken Ard, Adrian Bailey and Frederick Owens are featured in Keep In Rollin’ and Searchin’, two of the songs featured in this final performance of Smokey Joe’s Café.

Smokey Joes Cafe Last Performance: Fools Fall in Love – B.J. Crosby


B.J. Crosby sings Fools Fall In Love in this emotional last performance of the long-running play Smoky Joe’s Café. The song builds to a crescendo in the last moments of the song, that you will never forget.

Disregard the foreign language captions, since the main thing is the song itself and the fantastic job B.J. Crosby does singing with so much emotion, that the audience gives her a standing ovation at the end of the song.

Frankie Valli Still Going Strong At 79

Frankie Valli earlier in his career.

Frankie Valli was born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio on May 3, 1934 in Newark, New Jersey. The 79 year-old singer appeared on American Idol singing his classic hits Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You and Grease in the Season 12 American Idol finale.

Frankie Valli shown with Curtis Finch, Burnell Taylor and Lazaro Arbos on the stage during the Season 12 finale for American Idol.

Valli was enticed to sing after seeing Frank Sinatra in concert at the Paramount Theater in New York City. He appeared with various groups, but his main claim to fame came during his time singing with the Four Seasons. The group had monster hits like Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry, which all went to No.1 on the Billboard charts in 1962 and 1963. Another 1963 hit Candy Girl peaked at No.3. Dawn (Go Away) would also climb to No.3.

His first hit as a soloist was Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, which reached the No.1 spot on the Billboard charts. My Eyes Adored You went to No.1 in 1974, then he had his last No.1 solo song with Grease.

An interesting note of trivia is that the Four Seasons were named after a New Jersey bowling alley.

When Valli recorded solo albums he sang in his regular voice, not the falsetto he used with the Four Seasons. Valli sounded good whether singing in falsetto or regular voice.

The Four Seasons and Valli weren’t affected by the British invasion, as they didn’t alter their sound to fit in with the Beatles craze.

The late 70’s would see Valli battle otosclerosis, which causes loss of hearing. He would have to sing from memory during this time and but would regain his hearing in 1980.

He would record his first solo album in 27 years in 2007 and is still active today 62 years after he first became an active singer.

A crowning achievement for Valli and Four Seasons was their induction, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

These are some 30 second clips of the Four Seasons and Frankie Valli hits:

Four Seasons singing Working My Way Back To You

Four Seasons singing a medley of Dawn, Rag Doll and Bye Bye Baby

Ryan Seacrest who is usually shorter than most of the singers on American Idol had to be happy, to stand next to the diminutive Frankie Valli who is five foot five, so Seacrest towered over him at five foot eight.

It is great to know that 79 year-old Valli is still active, with no signs of retiring anytime soon.

American Idol: America Got It Right With Choice of Candice Glover

Candice Glover is the new American Idol of Season 12.

It has been evident since the Final 10 were chosen by judges, that Candice Glover was the best singer among those singers in the Final 10.

American Idol fans confirmed that she was the best, by choosing her as the new American Idol for Season 12. The only surprise would have been if Candice had not won. Kree Harrison finished second and Angie Miller was third in Season 12. I look for Kree and Angie to have successful careers, but Candice should have her first album released long before either of them, since her album should be in stores for months, before Kree and Angie release their albums.

The producers are smart to release the first album of Candice much sooner than usual. Most albums by the current American Idol are not released till November, so the summer release will let fans of Candice have her music, in their MP3 players and phones sooner rather than later, plus many albums should be sold on the American Idol tour this summer.

There were many guest artists on the finale, but none of them came close to matching Frankie Valli and him singing with the five guys on I Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You and Grease. Valli commanded the stage like giants of entertainment do when they enter the spotlight. Valli turned 79 earlier this month and was born a year before Elvis Presley. Valli has been singing since 17, which was 62 years ago.

Aretha Franklin also sang but her singing didn’t have the impact of Valli, since she was singing from New York, but she sang some of her biggest hits, which were received well by the audience.

It was great to see Candice become the first girl  to win American Idol since Jordin Sparks won in Season 6.

Randy Jackson said his goodbyes to fans of American Idol last night. He is the only one of ten judges to remain with the show the first twelve seasons. Latest rumors say that the other three Idol judges could be leaving too, but it could be several months, before any changes to the judging panel will be announced. There are even some reports that the show could return to a three judge format.

It is too early for ratings results for the finale, but it is almost a foregone conclusion that the ratings will be the lowest for any finale in the 12 year history of the show.

The Voice Season 4 will be ending soon, then Season 5 of The Voice will return in the fall along with Season 3 of X-Factor, so three music competitions will end before American Idol returns in January.