Tickets are on sale for the “American Idol Live!” 2013 summer tour with season 12’s top 11 finalists.

The 40-city tour will include Burnell Taylor, of New Orleans, and Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller, Candice Glover, Curtis Finch Jr., Devin Velez, Janelle Arthur, Kree Harrison, Lazaro Arbos, Paul Jolley and Aubrey Cleland.

Finalists will sing favorite songs from the season as well as never-before-seen performances.

All general tickets cost under $70. This year, “American Idol Live!” joined with The Melanoma Research Alliance ( and will donate $1 from each ticket purchased to help find treatments and a cure for melanoma. Claire’s, a specialty retailer of fashion accessories and jewelry, is an associate sponsor of the tour.

The tour hits New Orleans on July 30.

Meets Disney stars

Chloe Ballard, 10, of Livingston, met Bella Thorne and Zendaya Coleman, stars of the Disney Channel series “Shake It Up,” on a recent vacation to Hollywood.

Ballard won the trip, the grand prize in Best Western International and Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up Summer Sweepstakes.”

Selected from thousands of entries, Ballard received a three-day/two-night stay in Hollywood with three guests. The group was treated to a private lunch and meet and greet with the two “Shake It Up” stars, complete with autograph and photo session. To cap off the day, Ballard and her guests received an exclusive dance lesson with “Shake It Up” choreographer Rosero McCoy.

Roches win makeover

Jennifer and Trey Roche, of Baton Rouge, recently won WBRZ-TV’s 2013 Yard Makeover Contest.

The yard makeover is valued at $20,000. More than 24,000 viewers entered the contest.

Louisiana Nursery will provide plants for the makeover.

Graduates of LSU’s Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture will design the yard, and labor will be provided by Turf-Scape.

Sabine Pools, Spas & Furniture will provide accessories.

Throughout May, the station’s morning show, “2une In,” will reveal the makeover as it occurs, with the final reveal occurring on Wednesday.

Changes at WGNO in N.O.

Bill Wood is the new reporter for WGNO-TV’s “News with a Twist.” The station has also promoted Vanessa Bolano to weekend news anchorwoman.

Wood, an 11-time Emmy-winning features reporter, joins WGNO as a reporter for the popular and eccentric “News with a Twist” at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. He has relocated to New Orleans from Fort Myers, Fla., where he was the host of “Wild Bill’s Florida Roadshow,” “FOX 4 Morning Blend” and “Paradise TV.” Wood graduated with a master’s degree from Northwestern University and holds a Phi Beta Kappa key from the University of South Carolina.

Bolano, who joined WGNO in 2009 as a reporter, will now anchor the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekend newscasts.

She will also report for “WGNO News at 10 p.m.” during the week. Prior to her post at WGNO, Bolano was a reporter and anchorwoman for the NBC affiliate in north Texas, KTEN. Bolano, who is fluent in Spanish and English, received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a master’s degree from the University of Miami.

MTV seeks chefs

MTV and Doron Ofir Casting are seeking aspiring chefs for an upcoming reality cooking competition show.

They are looking for amateur chefs, bakers and cooking enthusiasts of all kinds (who are at least 18 years old), with big personalities and a fierce appetite for competition. The contestants will live under one roof and be schooled in the most intensive and practical culinary training, with mentorship by legendary food masters.

Prospective students can apply at

Calling all nerds

TBS is adding a twist to its competition series “King of the Nerds.”

For the show’s second season, it’s going to give fans the chance to cast one of the competitors as “The People’s Nerd.” The competitor will be chosen through a special crowd-sourced casting call conducted through the show’s Facebook page. Once chosen, “The People’s Nerd” will compete on “King of the Nerds” as the champion of the masses.

Hosted by actors Robert Carradine (“Revenge of the Nerds,” “The Long Riders”) and Curtis Armstrong (“Revenge of the Nerds,” “Ray”), “King of the Nerds” features competitors facing challenges that test their intellect, ingenuity, skills and pop-culture prowess. The nerds live together in “Nerdvana,” competing first as teams before moving on to individual challenges.

In the end, one competitor is named the quintessential master of all things nerdy, winning the $100,000 prize.

Potential “People’s Nerds” must create a video of no more than five minutes in length showcasing their unique nerdiness. Friends, family and fellow nerds will then be able to vote on which nerd they want to see battling for the title.

Through Friday, casting videos can be uploaded to the “King of the Nerds” Facebook page (

Voting is taking place throughout May, narrowing the field to the top 10 nerds, who will move on to the next round. From Saturday to May 31, fans will vote for their favorites from the top 10, and June 3-5, the top three nerds will be announced, with one finalist revealed each day on the “King of the Nerds” Facebook page.

In July, the top three will be flown to Los Angeles to meet with the producers, who will then choose at least one of them to be “The People’s Nerd.”

Those interested in competing in the second season of “King of the Nerds” but do not want to participate in “The People’s Nerd” casting can find information about the standard casting process online at

Worth a look

LOUISIANA PUBLIC SQUARE: 7 p.m. Wednesday, WLPB, Channel 27 (cable Channel 12). This installment will cover Medicaid expansion.

While Gov. Bobby Jindal has chosen to opt Louisiana out of the Medicaid expansion, saying the process would cost the state up to $1.7 billion over the next 10 years, supporters of the Medicaid expansion say the expansion offers a path to health-care access for up to 400,000 uninsured residents, improving people’s health while helping Louisiana’s health-care delivery system.

NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT: 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. May 26, WLPB, Channel 27 (cable Channel 12). The all-star salute to American heroes will include a performance of the “National Anthem” by the winner of season 12 of “American Idol.”

Airing live from the U.S. Capitol, the program will also feature retired Gen. Colin Powell, Ed Harris, Chris Mann, Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe. Co-hosts for the eighth year will be Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise.

INSIDE OUT: THE PEOPLE’S ART PROJECT: 8 p.m. Monday, HBO (cable Channel 300). The documentary tracks the evolution of the world’s largest participatory art project, the wildly popular “Inside Out.” French artist JR travels the world motivating communities to define their most important causes by pasting giant black-and-white portraits in the street, testing the limits of what they thought possible.

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