3-31-11 - American Idol, Blending Families and Author Ron Hall

In case you missed it...

Rosie and the staff started today's broadcast discussing last night's American Idol!  Pete, who is only 30 years old, wasn't familiar with the fact that Elton John is bald and was surprised when they showed old footage of his balding hair.  Rosie thought it was funny that Pete wasn't familiar with Elton John because Pete's so young but thinks Elton has some fantastic hair pieces.  Deirdre likes it that Elton rocks his hairpiece in spite of the fact that everyone knows he's bald.   Bobby said last night's episode reminded him what a great songwriter Elton John is.  Rosie thought Casey Abrams did GREAT but she wished he would have shaved off his beard.  Janette gave Casey a lot of credit for coming back and standing up under the pressure of almost being voted off.  They played audio from the show last night of Casey and James Durbin.  During James' song Rosie realized she's been singing the wrong lyrics her entire life!  They also played Haley Reinhart's performance.  I LOVED IT!  Her voice reminds me of Natasha Bedingfield.  I LOVE her.  Bobby thinks Haley has the best control of her voice but said she could work on her performance.  Pia Toscano and James Durbin are Bobby's favorites.

Rosie admitted she voted for her favorite contestants for the first time last night!  She voted for James, Casey and Haley.  Rosie took a call from a listener who heard Casey and Haley are a couple.  Rosie and the staff were happy for them if it's true!  Rosie talked about the extreme pressure and stress she felt when she did Star Search in 1984.  She then took a call from a listener who she discussed American Idol with, who revealed she once sent in her Partridge Family lunchbox to The Rosie O'Donnell Show in an attempt to get tickets to the show.  The caller never got tickets and Rosie never got the lunchbox.  :(  Rosie encouraged the caller to try again for tickets and come to Chicago when her new show starts on OWN.  The caller asked Rosie if she's sad to be leaving Sirius and Rosie said she was.  Rosie said her time on Sirius has been really great and that she begged them to pay her more money so she could break even with what it costs for her to put on the show.  They would not.  She said it's time for her to do something else because opportunity knocked.  And Rosie said she's pretty sure the radio staff is going to get their thing!  The caller said it would be a shame not to have the show continue in some way.  Rosie agreed and so did Janette!

Rosie said she took Tracy's son Archie to get a haircut yesterday at the Palisades Mall.  Archie has Autistic features and although he's quite verbal, he's quick to have a meltdown.  But he really needed his hair cut so Rosie took him to the man who's been cutting her boys' hair since they were little.  Rosie knew it was going to be a challenge for her to get him to do it because Archie does NOT like haircuts.  Rosie promised to buy him a toy after his haircut and that was all it took to convince him!  Archie was all about the toy.  And he did it!  Rosie said it was a really good day and she really needed that alone time with Archie yesterday.  Rosie talked about the difficulties of blending two already formed families when the parents fall in love with each other.  She talked about how smart Archie is but how limited his diet is.  He recently just added cream cheese to his diet.  Now he eats cream cheese, bananas, peanut butter and carrots.  That's it.  Then she joked about what a horrible cook Tracy is and said she called her the other night while she was making a Cranberry Pasta Sauce that Rosie said sounded disgusting but was probably right up Tracy's alley. 

Last week, Rosie got several strange emails from Deirdre.  At first Rosie thought Deirdre was drunk, then she thought she was on serious drugs and then she picked up the phone to see if she was alright!  Deirdre realized her email was hacked!  And "detective Bobby" figured out how it happened!  In the car the other morning Deirdre told Bobby about a commercial she saw with a miniature (12 inch) giraffe in it.  Deirdre found a website where they're breeding these tiny giraffes and she signed up for one by giving them her email address and password!  Turns out is was a scam. No, really?  Bobby couldn't believe that Deirdre fell for it!  Bobby looked up the website because he got concerned and lo and behold it was a scam.  That was most likely how Deirdre got her email hacked. Rosie said Deirdre is fairly intelligent and it's shocking to her that such a cynical, bitchy, New Yorker could fall for such a scam.  Deirdre's defense was that she once owned sea monkeys!  Janette said the difference here is that sea monkey's are REAL and 12-inch tiny giraffes are NOT REAL.

Amanda shared a story about the group of New Yorkers that recently won $319 million in the Mega Millions.  Turns out this group works together and one of the workers who normally goes in on the lottery tickets decided against participating and that was the week they all won.  A debate began over whether or not the group should give the guy who didn't participate a portion of the winnings.  Everyone had differing opinions. If it were Amanda, she would definitely give the coworker a portion of her winnings because if it was her she would want someone to do the same.  Rosie felt the opposite.  She said because he didn't enter the drawing with the rest of them that was fate speaking and he wasn't supposed to get the money for some reason.  Janette felt the same as Amanda and said she would throw the poor guy some money.  Rosie said she had a friend who was out in Vegas playing the slots when Rosie was performing at Caesar's Palace.  The woman was playing for a while at a certain slot machine and then moved to a different machine.  A man came up to the machine she was playing on earlier, started to play and immediately won the jackpot.  Rosie said that experience almost ruined her friend's life because of the regret she felt.  Rosie said she believes things happen as they're supposed to happen and you can't keep thinking "that should have been mine" for the rest of your life or it will ruin it.  Janette said she believes in teamwork and propping each other up and she would definitely give a coworker some money if they missed out on winning the lottery with the group.  Rosie took several callers with differing opinions.  One listener said a similar situation happened to her father-in-law except he was the one who didn't participate in the lottery drawing at his office the week they won.  None of the winners gave him a penny of their winnings.  The caller said, to this day, when her mother and father-in-law see the people who won around town, there's resentment.  Janette said humanity should come before greed but Rosie still thought if it was meant to be then it was meant to be.

Pete said if he won the lottery he would definitely quit his job, watch TV and learn how to make furniture like he's always wanted to.  Rosie explained to Pete that she did that!  She said she had enough money so she'd never have to work again so she quit her job and for 4 years she did everything she ever wanted to do.  Then she started to say to herself, "Now what?!"  She said having enough money so that you can quit working is not the utopia that you imagine.  Janette agreed and said she needs to work and do what she loves in order to be happy because life needs a forward trajectory.   

Rosie took a call from a listener who went to see the I AM documentary in D.C. recently.  Rosie and the caller talked about what a great film it is.  Rosie said one of the things she loves about the film is that Shadyac presents the subject matter of the film in a consumable and understandable way without being preachy.  Rosie said the film, which she watched with her girlfriend Tracy, had a profound effect on her.  Rosie admitted her relationship with Tracy and all the kids they have between the two of them, has been difficult and they've been working on it.  In Shadyac's movie they discussed how everything we do effects everything in the world  and that is exactly how Tracy lives her life!  Rosie said the film has had a profound effect on her own life too.   

Rosie said she recently saw a CNN reporter Karen Costello slamming Donald Trump and she thought to herself,  "I hope she knows what she's stepping into!"  Rosie wondered if Trump will retaliate against Costello the way he once did against her.  Janette didn't think so.  She thinks Costello is not a big enough star to grab Trump's attention in the same way and she said he only attacks people when he's looking for publicity.  Rosie just felt like warning Carol in case she doesn't know the storm she's brought against her.  See the video Rosie was talking about below:


Rosie then introduced Ron Hall, the coauthor of Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together who was on the telephone for the interview.  Rosie told Ron she had read his book years ago but a listener to the show called in recently who saw Denver Moore speak and tell the catch and release tale. Rosie said the story has remained so vivid in her mind that she thought she remembered seeing it in a movie!  Ron said they're in talks for a movie deal and he hopes that he'll be able to announce that news soon!  Rosie asked Ron to tell the story of catch and release, and he did.

Ron said his wife had a dream that they should help in a homeless shelter and a premonition from God that Ron should befriend a man there that would change their lives.  So Ron and his wife went to a homeless shelter and that's where they met Denver Moore.  Denver was a very angry man threatening to kill everyone in the shelter.  Ron's wife pointed to Denver and said that was the man she had dreamt about and God wants Ron to be his friend!  Ron said he was reluctant at first but pursued Denver.  After a few months of trying without success, Denver finally asked Ron what he wanted from him.  Ron explained he just wanted to be his friend and Denver told him he'd have to think about it.  Ron couldn't believe that Denver, a homeless man, had to think about being his friend! 

One day Denver asked Ron about the sport of catch and release fishing.  Ron explained the spot of catch and release fishing but Denver didn't understand it.  Denver explained how on the plantation he grew up on they fished for food.  Denver said if Ron was just a white man fishing for a friend and he was just going to catch and release, he had no desire to be his friend.  Ron said those were the wisest words he ever heard on friendship.  Ron promised Denver that he wasn't going to treat his friendship like a catch and release sport.   And they've been friends ever since.

Ron loved his wife very much but she sadly passed away from cancer.   While Ron's wife was dying, Denver would give them the most incredible spiritual messages from God.  Ron said Denver was never wrong about anything he said but the doctors were often wrong.  After Ron's wife died Denver moved in, quit drinking and began working with the homeless.

Rosie said Ron's book is very inspiring and a tale everyone should read.  Ron said cities, high schools and universities have adopted it because it's a great story of hope and forgiveness.   Ron and Denver now travel all over the country speaking and have raised over $70 million for the homeless.  Rosie thanked Ron for calling in and expressed her hopes that the book will soon become a film.  She asked Ron if they get the movie deal, if he would call in and announce it on her show!  Ron promised he would!  Rosie highly recommend the book to all her listeners.   

Rosie and the staff then wanted to discuss Mike Huckabee's recent comments that every single young person should be forced at gunpoint to listen to every David Barton message because they'd be better for it.  Rosie wanted to know WHO David Barton is!  Pete explained that Barton is a historian with a degree in religious studies who writes books about how the true founding fathers and true meaning of the Constitution was that we should all be Christians and that Christianity should be taught in public schools.  This is what David Barton believes.  

Rosie then opened the phone lines to unscreened phone calls from listeners!  The first caller asked Rosie how she finds time to read as much as she does.  Rosie said she never knows how to answer this question.  She said it's just what she does and that she's rarely awake and not ingesting some form of art.  She couldn't really explain how she does it, she just does.  Rosie recommended the caller read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.

Rosie took a call from a listener who asked how she should explain being gay to her 9 year old twin boys.  There was a little girl in the neighborhood using the word "gay" in a derogatory way so the mom explained to the kids that gay is not a bad word and that gay is okay.  Then she found out that her son used it as a slur against a bully at school.  Rosie recommended she further explain to the boy that gay is okay and that some people are going to like people of the same gender.  She also recommended the caller teach her son some better comebacks to use against bullies.  Lastly, Rosie recommended the caller explain from her own experience how bullying affected her when she was a child.

Rosie took a call from a listener who asked Rosie if Donald Trump has so much money, why he never got braces for himself or his boys.  Rosie wasn't sure.  She never noticed his teeth because his hair was always too distracting.  

One caller recommended Rosie read The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.  Rosie said she's not really a fan of novels but said she would read it and thanked the caller for the recommendation. 

Rosie took a final call from a listener who is big fan of Jeannie's because she works with special needs children.  She called to remind Rosie that April is National Autism Awareness Month and to thank Rosie for all she does to bring awareness to the disability.  The caller has two boys with Autism ages 15 and 20.  One is non-verbal and one has some language.  The caller's older son lives at a school nearby and she visits him twice a week.  The caller spoke with Rosie about the struggle she went through over trying to make that decision to send him away. Rosie thanked the caller for sharing her story and said she can't imagine how hard it must be to have two kids with Autism.  The caller said they are a gift.  :)   

I wasn't going to post this BUT..... since the caller brought it up!  I made this in honor of Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd.  My son is almost 6 and has Autism.  I hope you enjoy it.  Don't forget to LIGHT IT UP BLUE for Autism on April 1st and 2nd!  xo

and that's what you missed - kw


  1. oooohhhh Kelly I read your rosie blog every day but today's was extra special...that video of your son is PRICELESS!!! Thank you for sharing a little bit of your world with us and reminding us about tolerance and accpetance. Tracie

  2. Your video made me cry! Beautiful boy and how lucky he is to have you as his mom! xoxo, Cheryl "CEAinCA"

  3. In reference to the "Archie segment", my daughter has a very limited diet. She won't eat any fruits or veggies and is very picky about all other foods. I think she had/has some sensory issues, she has had speech therapy since age 2. To show how extreme it is...my son chased her with a tomatoe and touched it to her lips. She threw up!! The advice of keep putting it on her plate, force her to take a "no thank you bite", etc. doesn't work. Any other advice on getting her to try some healthy things???

  4. Hi Kelly, the video of Thomas is fantastic. Thanks for sharing it.

    Alison (aka Alderella)

  5. Love, love, love the video of Thomas and his videos. Love the ceiling fan, too! My son loves the garage video! He's in touch with the universe. You have a direct line! Thanks for sharing the video. Sartek.

  6. To Anon whose daughter doesn't like many foods, I don't have a short term solution, but maybe a longer term idea.....Do you have a little spot where your daughter could plant a few veggies this summer? Maybe just some carrots, potatoes and peas? She might be more interested in tasting something if she helped to grow it.

    Alison (aka Alderella)

  7. Kelly, thanks for showing the video of Thomas.
    I don't know much about autism, but you educated
    me today. If you choose to share more, it would be wonderful.

  8. Kelly, Thank you so much for sharing the videos made by Thomas. It brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart at the same time. Thank you again

  9. Wonderful video! I am going to show this to my high school classes tomorrow.

  10. Hi Kelly! I love your blog! I read it everyday. I do not have Sirius, so this gives me a connection to it. But today, I found I have a connection to you too. I knew we had something in common, an autistic child. But, your video touched my heart so strongly and made me cry buckets of tears. I too have a blond haired adorable boy named Thomas who has autism and loves ceiling fans. He is 7 years old and could be your Thomas’s twin. I can not wait to show my husband your video. Thanks so much for sharing your family, as it makes me feel like mine is normal and I am not alone!
    Best Wishes to all of you!

  11. Oh Kelly, the video of Thomas just makes my heart SING! I cannot even imagine how wonderful, and uniquely difficult, it is to have autism affect your life. The strength you have is inspiring. Thank you for sharing that little piece of your life. Thank you for sharing your joy, your Thomas.

    : ) P

  12. Kelly, your son is beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I will miss you my "stranger friend" when the show is over. :) Denise

  13. Thank you for sharing your video of Thomas. Like so many others, it brought tears to my eyes. Again, Thank You!

  14. Kelly, I know virtually nothing about autism and your son appears well adjusted in that video. Love the music too. Had to go grab a kleenex afterward. That melted my heart. You must be blessed my dear. Thanks so much for sharing that with us.
    Lisa in Indy

  15. Now, you didn't See it but even the word verification chose 'bless' as the word to type. You must be, wink.

    Lisa again

  16. Kelly that video of your sweet son Thomas was incredible. His joy and spirit was pouring through in the sequence of him laughing especially. He is so lucky to have been brought into this world in a loving accepting supportive family. Thank you for reminding us all to appreciate each other just as we are. Watching Thomas was a highlight of my whole week! Thank you!
    Deb in NH

  17. Thank you so much Kelly for sharing such a heartfelt video of your son Thomas. It was beautiful.

  18. Thanks Kelly for sharing that beautiful video of your son Thomas.