Dish Of Salt: Wednesday TV Roundup (January 20, 2010)

Chenoweth Chats About “Idol”
Tonight Kristin Chenoweth takes on the role of guest judge during the “American Idol” auditions in Orlando. Although you would never know it by the promos. Somehow poor Kristin didn’t make the cut the way Posh, Shania Twain and Mary J. Blige did. That’s okay though because I have seen clips and I think you will be very surprised by how good she is as a judge tonight. I chatted with the blonde spitfire at a launch event for Oscar Mayer’s Good Mood Mission (she’s the spokesperson) which is challenging Americans to help raise a million pounds of food for the homeless. www.goodmoodmission.com

“I believe in being honest and that’s not always fun but I’m a singer and I’m gonna tell my opinion,” Kristin admitted.

She said the hardest part of being a judge was when contestants who were cut would beg to stay .

“It actually was a turn off to me,” she said. “I was like, ‘Don’t beg.’ I have more respect for you when you just leave.”

As for Simon, Kristin says they got along great and very rarely disagreed

“He agreed with me more than I thought he would. He was delightful. I like him,” she said.
Kristin admits the hardest part was telling decent singers that they just were not ready for the competition.

“There was a couple of kids that were 16 and I thought, ‘I’m not going to put you through yet, you will though if you continue to work at it,’ and they get so hurt. I mean, I’m doing you a favor ‘cause if I put you through now you are not gonna make it,” she said.

Next up, Kristin heads back to the set of “Glee,” where she will be returning as former student and Glee clubmate April Rhodes.

“That set is so fun,” she said. “Ryan Murphy has done the perfect balance of combining music into these scripts without it feeling fake or not real and it’s made it cool again to be in the glee club!”

I tried to get some scoop on what songs she will be performing but Kristin swears she doesn’t know yet. Of course I inquired (jokingly) over whether or not she might not be trustworthy enough.

“I think they should totally be able to trust me because I read the script,” she giggled. “They are just getting songs cleared and stuff. I just can’t wait to see what I’m going to get to sing!”

Neither can we!

“Gossip” Gets A Dad
Serena’s search for her missing dad is over. The CW confirms that Billy Baldwin has signed on to play William van der Woodsen, Serena and Eric’s estranged father and ex-husband (either #1, 2 or 3?) to their mom Lily. Baldwin’s no stranger to gossipy TV dramas. His last gig was on the the short-lived soapy drama “Dirty Sexy Money” on ABC. His first episode is scheduled to air April 26. The long wait for new episodes of “Gossip Girl” is over March 8 when it will be back with fresh shows… and I’m sure fresh drama.

Miley’s Ex Gets A New Gig
“American Idol” creator Simon Fuller yesterday launched his brand new web-only reality show by revealing the five cast members participating in the show, one of whom includes Miley Cyrus’ ex-love, Justin Gaston. The show, titled “If I Can Dream,” follows five aspiring artists as they navigate Hollywood with the help of celebrities and industry professionals all while cameras follow their journey 24/7. Joining Gaston are unknowns Amanda Phillips, Giglianne Braga, Benjamin Elliott and Kara Kilmore. A slick promo for the interactive show, which will allow fans to connect with the cast online, began airing yesterday on Hulu with the tag line, “Watch them follow their dreams 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any angle you want.” This is Gaston’s second attempt at launch a singing career via a reality show. He appeared on NBC’s “Nashville Star” back in 2008. The five castmates will travel on a international road trip to Berlin, Tokyo, Taipei, Sydney, Rio and Toronto before moving into their Hollywood Hills home on February 23, when the show officially kicks off online.

More “Kimora”
Model and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is returning for a third season of her reality show, “Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane.” The show returns to the Style Network with new episodes on March 21. The new season follows Kimora as she welcomes her third child Kenzo (and first with boyfriend Djimon Hounsou) and continues to run her fashion line, Baby Phat. A new special, “Kimora’s Home Movies: Baby Kenzo’s Birth,” airs February 14, featuring an intimate look at Kimora’s newest arrival. (Let’s hope it’s not too “intimate.”) She has two daughters with her ex-husband Russell Simmons who is developing his own reality show on Oxygen titled “The Russell Simmons Project.” His show is set to focus on the women in his life, the two female assistants who “manage his business deals, family life, party planning and love life.”

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