cruel Idol eliminations defended by producers who say the prize is worth it.

cruel Idol eliminations defended by producers who say the prize is worth it.
The increasingly cruel and sadistic American Idol 4 eliminations are just part of the game, producers say. In its report on the eliminations,’s Corey Moss writes, “Every possible mind game to be played, he [Ryan Seacrest] plays it,” and “not even the crushing of your soul is done with kindness.” One of the show’s executive producers, Ken Warwick, defends all of this in an interview with MTV. (Be sure to chew and swallow before reading this, because otherwise you’ll choke to death when he says they “never manipulate something for the sake of ratings.”) He said,

“Everyone criticizes us for being cruel, but it’s the yin and the yang. The prize is all the more worth having because of the tough road to get there. We find out who America likes the best in the last two minutes of the finale. The journey to get there is what the series is, and it has to be as entertaining as possible, with highs and lows and goods and bads. We would never manipulate something for the sake of ratings, but we tell the kids on the first chat we do that we will take a situation that exists and drag as much drama out of it. That’s what we do.”

Also, the guys in the booth kind of get off on it. While a number of eliminated contestants were upset by the method of their elimination, some of the remaining finalists are okay with this. Carrie Underwood says when she was teased one week, “I was like [angry, thinking,] ‘Oooh.’ It is mean, but you know, it makes for good TV.”

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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, 37, 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.