Dish Of Salt: Thursday TV Dish (Randy Jackson On Why They Saved Big Mike)

I just returned from a one-on-one interview with “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson where he explained why they chose to save Michael Lynche last night. What does this mean for the rest of the competition?

Plus, the cable networks unveiled their new slate of programming today. I break down the most interesting shows in today’s Dish.

Saving Big Mike

So, what was going through the minds of the judges last night as they watched Big Mike sing for his life last night on “American Idol”? “As soon as he started singing, about four or five bars in, I was like ‘Yo, dude! We gotta save this guy,’” Randy told me this afternoon. “I think it was really obvious. I think, listen it was tough. We couldn’t believe he was in the bottom two. We couldn’t believe he didn’t get the votes and was going home… but every season it happens. Everybody’s season there is always this surprise thing that somebody is in the bottom and you go, ‘Wait a minute, America what are you listening to? Have you forgotten?’ And I think a lot of people forget to vote.”

Randy also admitted that the decision to save Mike had a lot to do with the crowd inside the ‘Idol’ studio. He told me Ellen DeGeneres turned to him, as the crowd was screaming all around them, and told him, “‘Man, I think you are right, if we don’t save this guy I don’t know if we will get out of this building alive!’ It was so wild. I don’t think we have ever quite felt that people were, you know up in arms.”

The question now becomes… since America didn’t throw him enough votes, can he still win this competition? “Maybe, possibly,” Randy pondered. “I don’t know who is gonna win now. We have said we thought it was going to be a girl, but you look at the show, now there are six boys left and only three girls. He could possibly win but I think it was a wake up call for everyone, that shocker.”

You have to vote for your favorites!

“Idol Gives Back” Auction

In other “Idol” news - Want to meet Simon Cowell or get a private vocal lesson from Randy and Kara DioGuardi? You can! It’s all part of a way to raise money for “Idol Gives Back,” the charity special airing Wednesday, April 21 on FOX. By logging on to www.idolgivesback.org you can bid in an online auction that has some pretty cool “American Idol” stuff. Here are just a few of the items worth your dollars!

“American Idol” Top 10 Season Pass – This package gives the bearer two seats to every performance and results show next season from the Top 10 through the star-studded finale.

“American Idol” Finale Tickets and Meet & Greet With Simon Cowell – Two tickets to the season nine finale on Wednesday, May 26 as well as a meet & greet with Simon Cowell.

A Pair of Autographed Sneakers & “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” VIP Package – A pair of sneakers autographed by Ellen DeGeneres, four premium seats to a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and a VIP tour of the “Ellen” set.

Autographed T-Shirt from Simon Cowell’s Wardrobe - An autographed Simon Cowell t-shirt from the judge’s wardrobe.

Private Vocal Lesson – In-studio vocal lesson and professional expertise provided by Randy and Kara.

“I think it’s going to be great,” Randy told me about the voice lesson. “She [Kara] is an amazing singer herself, an amazing songwriter. I’ve been producing records all of my life and working with the greatest singers. So, I think people will really get the experience that they probably won’t get anywhere else. We wanted to do something that was meaningful. It’s about raising money for charity so we thought what could we do that people never get from us? So, we hope that it goes for a lot of money.”

Randy just recently worked with two former “Idol” contestants Brooke White and Jordin Sparks. Both girls have original songs on the Randy produced soundtrack to the NBC movie “Secrets of the Mountain.” The family friendly movie airs Friday, April 16 at 8/7 C on NBC. A DVD of the film and the soundtrack can be purchased at Wal-Mart beginning on April 17.

Oprah’s Search For A Star
She’s introduced us to Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Rachael Ray and Nate Berkus. All four went on to have their own syndicated TV shows, with Nate’s launching this fall. Now Oprah Winfrey is looking for the next great TV star. This morning in New York City, she announced she is teaming up with reality TV uber-producer Mark Burnett for a show called “Your Own Show: Oprah’s Search For The Next TV Star.” The show will be part of Oprah’s new OWN network set to launch in January 2011. Just what type of star they are searching for will be revealed in May on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Also announced by Oprah are four other new series joining the OWN line up. Oprah’s BFF Gayle King has landed herself a daily show titled “Gayle King Live!,” based on her current Sirius XM satellite radio show of the same title.

Country crooner Shania Twain opens up about her life and how’s she’s moving on from the breakup of her 14-year marriage in “Why Not? With Shania Twain.”

Also on the slate is “Visionaries: Inside The Creative Mind,” an inside look at how top Hollywood artists in everything from music to fashion create their visions. As Access Hollywood reported earlier, Oprah’s very own new series, “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” will also be part of the line-up. Read more about that show HERE.

TLC’s New Show Overflow

Kate Gosselin landed herself a brand new show this Fall on TLC, “Twist of Kate.” Read more about that show HERE.

The network also has a full slate of new series planned as well, which they announced this morning in New York. Among the entries is a brand new show about sextuplets. The new series will follow the Carpio family who manage six 18-month-old toddlers as well as their 8-year-old son in New York City. Kelly Ripa teams up with TLC and Home Shopping Network for a show currently called “Homemade Millionaire” where she helps aspiring entrepreneurs launch their inventions. Also on their plate are several food related reality shows including one about sisters who run a cupcake bakery in Washington, DC.

Spielberg’s “Future”

Discovery Channel announced today at they are teaming up with Steven Spielberg for a new show entitled “Future Earth,” a mini-series examining what life will be like in 25, 50 and 100 years. The series will draw from a number of sources including futurists and scholars and will focus on everything from health and medicine and technology and environment. The show will follow in the footsteps of the similarly themed and hugely popular mini-series that aired on Discovery, “Planet Earth” and “Life.”

Emmy & Bill Are “Shameless”

John Wells, the Emmy Award winning producer behind “ER” and “The West Wing,” is bringing a new series to Showtime called “Shameless.” Actress Emmy Rossum and actor William H. Macy will headline the one-hour drama about an unconventional & dysfunctional blue-collar family, which will also feature Allison Janney. The show is an adaptation of a long running British series.

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