Ruben is hospitalized; Clay is sick.

Ruben is hospitalized; Clay is sick.
There must be some kind of American Idol 2 bug going around, as both its winner and its runner-up have canceled events this week because of illness. Ruben “was in his Alabama hometown Monday night when he fell ill and was taken to the hospital, said Liz Morentin of J Records,” according to the AP. As E! points out, “Studdard’s ailment comes just weeks after he announced he was giving up on his hyped made-for-TV diet. Studdard, who tips the scales at 449 pounds, was going to embark a low-carb, low-cal, medically supervised meal plan and have his efforts chronicled by Extra.” But Ruben “[gave] up, telling People, ‘I didn’t have time to go in every day to meet with a nurse like the diet required.'” His new CD I Need an Angel was released yesterday, but he won’t be doing promotion for it this week because of his illness. Meanwhile, Clay Aiken pushed back the start of his tour by canceling the first three dates, undoubtedly sending thousands of Claymates in Pasadena, Phoenix, and El Cajon, Calif., into pre-holiday depression and bouts of uncontrollably vomiting. Because of “vocal chord damage from ear and sinus infection,” which was aggravated on his book tour (where he was promoting Learning to Sing), his tour will start instead on Friday in Costa Mesa, Calif, the AP reports. Clay’s CD Merry Christmas With Love was released last week.

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.