After taking a one year hiatus, “Idol Gives Back” returns on Wednesday, April 21. Ryan Seacrest announced on last night’s show that Queen Latifah would co-host from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium while he would remain in the “Idol” studio. This week, former finalists are taking part in the show by volunteering at local food banks to support Feeding America, one of the “Idol Gives Back” beneficiaries. Each year, the Feeding America network provides food to more than 37 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States, including more than 14 million children and nearly 3 million seniors.
“They really believe that they can fix the problem of hunger (to) where it no longer exists,” season two finalist Kimberley Locke told me of the organization dedicated to eradicating hunger.
I joined Kimberley and other past contestants as they helped stuff backpacks for school aged children around Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. “It’s cool to kinda get your hands dirty,” season seven finalist David Hernandez told me. “It’s an amazing cause. When I got the email, I was like, ‘Oh yes totally. I’m there.’ It was a no brainer for me.”
Check out more from the event HERE
Despite his recent arrest for alleged identity theft, David’s season seven castmate Chikezie Eze was in great spirits yesterday. “I’m smarter from it, " he told me of the aftermath from the arrest. “There is (sic) certain people you don’t want to trust.”
He reportedly attempted to use “fraudulent means” for a purchase at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills according to the LA County Sheriff’s Department.
Watch more from my Chikezie interview about the incident HERE.
Of course, whenever you meet up with past contestants inevitably you have to ask them whatever they’re working on. Chikizie is working on music, as well as trying to launch an acting career.
David is on hiatus but will head out with a new show this summer. “I’m on a national tour called ‘Ballroom with a Twist,” David revealed. It’s former ‘Dancing with the Stars’ contestants and ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ contestants and me and Trenyce from season 2 (of “Idol”). We sing while they dance. So it’s almost like a touring ‘Dancing with the Stars’ but it’s more like a musical and it’s a beautiful and amazing show.”
Kimberley just released her latest dance single, “Strobe Light,” produced by none other than “Idol” judge Randy Jackson. “Actually I’m signed to his new dance label, Dream Merchant 21 and I’m really excited.” If the single performs well (it’s currently available on iTunes) she and Randy will make a dance album in the future.
She also has a TV project in the works. “I am working on a television show called ‘Making The Curve’ and I’m the executive producer as well as the host. It is about putting together a plus sized singing group,” she explained. “These are the girls that sing back up for Wynonna, Reba, Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston. They all sing back up for these amazing singers but they also have amazing talent themselves. But because of their physical appearance, you know, the record labels are like, ‘We need you to lose 80 pounds.’ But what we’re doing is we’re saying, ‘You know what? We want to take you as you are.’”
Also on hand to help out were Kevin Covais, Mikalah Gordon, Amy Adams, LaToya London, Elliot Yamin, Brandon Rogers and recently eliminated season nine finalist Didi Benami. Didi had just met the former finalists for the first time. “They have been super, super sweet and I have been hearing about the past seasons and what’s going on now, what happens after ‘Idol. Yeah, everybody is really cool,” Didi told me.
The day had special meaning for Elliot who had been in Chile the day that the 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck central Chile. See our interview about his experience HERE.
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