Ruben Studdard wins American Idol 2, beating Clay Aiken by only 1,335 votes.

Ruben Studdard wins American Idol 2, beating Clay Aiken by only 1,335 votes.
Ruben Studdard won American Idol 2, barely beating Clay Aiken by just 1,335 votes. With 24 million votes, Ruben had 50.28 percent of the vote, and Clay earned 49.72 percent of the vote. (According to The AP, however, the difference was around 133,000 votes, which seems to be the correct math; Ryan Seacrest gave two different numbers during the show, starting with 13,000 and “correcting” himself at the very end with the 1,335 number. More on that.) In other voting news, Ryan told us that Clay won New York, North Carolina, and Ohio, while Ruben won Florida and Alabama. Simon Cowell said that both finalists’ singles will come out the same day; both are currently listed on, with Clay’s still at number one as of 11 a.m. ET. (Ruben’s single is Flying Without Wings/Superstar; Clay’s is This Is The Night/On The Wings Of Love.) The results of last night’s vote were finally revealed after nearly two hours of performances by the finalists, dozens of teases by Ryan Seacrest (who just landed his own talk show), and video of Simon and Paula making out (seriously).
+ also: Clive Davis presented Kelly Clarkson with a platinum album; Thankful has sold 1.3 million copies in its first five weeks.

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.