FTC kills American Idol phone scam.

FTC kills American Idol phone scam.
The FCC saves us from unwanted breasts, and the FTC saves us from stupid mistakes. People who called certain wrong toll-free phone numbers to vote during the first two seasons of American Idol were told to dial a 900-number, only to be told what the correct voting toll-free number. The scam was born when “three Utah-based companies bought dozens of phone numbers very similar to the toll-free numbers that Idol fans call to place their votes.” According to the AP, “The three companies have agreed to pay a civil penalty of $40,000 for engaging in deceptive conduct and violating federal law, the commission said.” Roughly 25,000 stupid people paid “up to $3 per call during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.”

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.