Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV (March 14-20, 2005).
HALL OF FAMERS: It takes a lot to make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and this year's class is as deserving as any other that has received the honor. On Saturday, VH1 will air highlights of Monday's induction of U2, Buddy Guy, the Pretenders, Percy Sledge and the O'Jays. On hand to do the honors will be the likes of Bruce Springsteen, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Neil Young and Justin Timberlake.
'IDOL' SHOCKER! It must be a big, agonizing decision to pull out of the finals of "American Idol," but that's just what Mario Vazquez did over the weekend. The 27-year-old New Yorker cited "personal issues" as the reason for leaving the competition.
His loss turns out to be Nikko Smith's gain. One of the four contestants weeded out during the last semi-final round, Smith rejoins the show to even out the field of six male and six female finalists who will face the music in 11 publicly voted rounds that begin Tuesday on Fox.
On Wednesday we'll find out if Smith has what it takes to hang in there against Bo Bice, Lindsey Cardinale, Anthony Fedorov, Mikalah Gordon, Constantine Maroulis, Anwar Robinson, Scott Savol, Jessica Sierra, Vonzell Solomon, Nadia Turner and Carrie Underwood, or if his callback is only a one-week second chance.
Remember, last year George Huff was returned to the competition after Donnie Williams racked up a DUI citation, and he went on to the middle of the finals and an eventual recording contract with Christian label Word Records. So, Nikko's got a chance to make something happen for himself, which no doubt brings more pride to a family that includes a baseball hall of famer in his dad, Ozzie Smith.
THE WEEK IS LONG... but TV is your friend. Embrace it and bask in its warm glow to these musical highlights:
Monday: Kid Rock is among the guests on Showtime's "Fat Actress," which stars Kirstie Alley as, well, a fat actress who is in the midst of slimming down.
Tuesday: Totally Tori Tuesday as Tori Amos, out promoting her new album "The Beekeeper" (Epic) and her book "Tori Amos: Piece By Piece (Broadway), appears on the syndicated "Ellen DeGeneres Show" and CNBC's "Dennis Miller."
Wednesday: John Legend portrays Stevie Wonder on the latest episode of NBC's period drama "American Dreams."
Thursday: Toni Braxton joins "The Jane Pauley Show" as the focus is the fight against heart disease. Braxton is the official celebrity spokesperson for the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign.
Friday: The Used and My Chemical Romance are two of the hottest acts out there and MTV2's "$2 Bill Presents" has 'em playin' live.
Saturday: In a week that saw her husband, Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale on NBC's "Last Call With Carson Daly" (Thursday), No Doubt singer gone temporarily solo Gwen Stefani is the musical guest on the network's Ashton Kucher-hosted episode of "Saturday Night Live."
Sunday: What's making Atlanta the current hotbed of musical talents? Rapper Ludacris will attempt to show you on MTV2's "ATL: #1 Spot." Hopefully he'll note El Pus among his choices, which are bound to include Usher, Lil' Jon, Ciara, and, erm, himself.