Simon wanted Ruben, not Kimberly; “you’re not getting accurate judging.”

Simon wanted Ruben, not Kimberly; “you’re not getting accurate judging.”
Simon Cowell wanted Ruben Studdard, not Kimberly Locke, in the final two, and “muzzled his praise for her and spared Ruben his trademark venom” in order to make things go his way, Newsweek reports. Kimberly was aware of that, saying she knew the judges “want Ruben. Simon says that every opportunity he gets.” In the magazine’s cover-teased story on American Idol 2, Simon Cowell says, “When there’s only three left, you are going to be slightly tactical. What you’re trying to do, if you can, is to tell the audience who you want to be in the final. You’re not getting accurate judging. You’re not.” In addition, Paula Abdul says the judges “became cartoon caricatures of ourselves, and then we’d play it up,” the “random” song choice last week was one of four carefully selected songs, and Josh Gracin once chased Clay around the studio as Clay screamed for Ruben.
+ also: Clay and Ruben want to do a movie together.
+ don’t forget: the first part of the “finale” airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.

A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.