Fantasia and Diana are Idol 3 finalists; voting company says the problem is local.

Fantasia and Diana are Idol 3 finalists; voting company says the problem is local.
Georgians, you can stop rioting now and get your rotary dial phones ready; Hawaii, get ready to secede from the union. Jasmine Trias left American Idol 3 last night, leaving Fantasia Barrino, 19, and Diana DeGarmo, 16, to battle it out for the title next week. Meanwhile, the voting drama continues: USA TODAY interviewed, exclusively, the company that counts the votes. Telescope Inc.’s Sandy King said the problem is local, not national: “The call figures are astronomical. Only a certain number can be processed at the local level.” Using technical jargon designed to confuse and bewilder lay persons, she explained, “We’ve got the biggest, best and fairest system available.” The Associated Press got into the middle of the action, calling furiously from different locales. Their reporters only managing to make four successful calls out of more than 100 tries. They didn’t really discover much, except in Georgia, where “the second call went through and a vote for DeGarmo was placed. But after hanging up, the phone went dead for 17 minutes.”

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.