Fantasia is the favorite of bettors and Simon; finalists regularly hook up together.

Fantasia is the favorite of bettors and Simon; finalists regularly hook up together.
The top 12 American Idol 3 finalists face off for the first time tonight, and Fantasia Barrino is by far the odds-on favorite to win. Both online sportsbooks Intertops and BETWWTS.com have her as the favorite. Maybe more significantly, Simon Cowell also favors her: “If I had to choose one of the 12 now to offer a recording contract without the competition, it would be Fantasia,” he said. He also says that, of the men, Clay Aiken wannabe John Stevens will be the most successful: “If I was making a record, I would pick the ginger-head kid.” Speaking of Clay, he’ll perform “Solitaire” during tomorrow night’s results show. Elswhere, Ryan, Simon, and Randy tell MTV that the show’s finalists regularly hook up with one another. But executive producer Ken Warwick says that doesn’t end up on the show because “You don’t want to give any undue publicity to any one kid.”

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.