finale voting time doubled; busy signals get idiots press; columnist offers fixes.

finale voting time doubled; busy signals get idiots press; columnist offers fixes.
Four hours will be allotted for voting during the American Idol 3 finale next week, Reuters reports. The same adjustment was made last year, though, so this isn’t really a change. Still, FOX is responding to critics of the voting system, saying in a statement, “An independent company manages and tallies the (‘American Idol’) votes each week ensuring fairness. The reporting systems used are secure and there are multiple fail safes to ensure that the figures reported are accurate.” This isn’t likely to silence the critics or conspiracy theorists, or the idiots who manage to get their names in the paper. Such is the case with an assclown that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jennifer Brett found: The paper reports that Forsyth County resident “Frieda Wilkens has been trying for weeks to vote” for Diana DeGarmo. However, Frieda just received busy signals for Diana, a contestant who’s still in the competition, meaning lots of other people were calling for her. Lots of people calling the same number is generally what busy signals indicate, at least outside of Georgia. Still, Frieda, who also had problems voting for Clay Aiken, concludes, “There’s something fishy going on.” Seriously, what the hell is going on in our country? The paper reports that Frieda “has achieved success just once this season when trying to call in–and that’s when she rang up a vote for finalist Jasmine Trias.” And we wonder why Jasmine is still around. … In more rational parts of the country, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tim Cuprisin has 10 suggestions for fixing the show. He starts with a fix designed to correct voting irregularities: “Give the judges a once-a-season veto.” His other suggestions are broader, although some are just mean (such as getting rid of Seacrest–impossible!). They include: “Trim the show,” “Cut the cheesy videos,” “Raise the age limit,” and “Ax the guest judges.”

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.