Q: It’s good to see Jessica Stroup in the new season of “The Following.” I know she was on “90210,” but what else has she done? – Paul Darwin, Milwaukee

A: The actress has been quite active ever since she started her professional career about 10 years ago. She had guest roles on such series as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “True Blood” and (in voice only, of course) “Family Guy.” She’s also been in several movies, including a remake of “Prom Night,” “The Hills Have Eyes II” and a suspense film called “Homecoming” that seems to be shown every other week by either Lifetime or Lifetime Movie Network. Stroup also is evident in an office scene in the comedy hit “Ted,” playing a co-worker of Mila Kunis’ character.


Q: Are the “American Idol” judges enjoying working together as much as they appear to be this season? – Jean Morris, Columbus, Ohio

A: Yes, from what Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. have told us. Urban appreciates that Connick’s process is much like his, analyzing how a contestant presents himself or herself … not just the vocal sound but the entire presentation, including how physically comfortable the performer is. That becomes apparent quickly when singing a cappella for three music stars (also including Jennifer Lopez, of course).

Connick is enjoying his first full-time “Idol” round, he explains, because it reminds him of the mentoring he got at the start of his career. He wants to fill that role for aspiring singers, and he accepts that means being honest – which he surely is.

Send questions of general interest via email to