Simon predicts Carrie and Bo will be the final two, says Idol is “a red-state” show.

Simon predicts Carrie and Bo will be the final two, says Idol is “a red-state” show.
Entertainment Weekly’s Jessica Shaw takes a break from writing the useless, insipid Shaw Report to talk to Simon Cowell about American Idol. As candid as always, Simon says that he thinks Carrie and Bo will make it to the finals, and says that “will be the closest competition we’ve ever had.” Jessica Shaw pulls out a book of oversimplifications and notes that would be “quite the red state finale.” Simon agrees, saying, “I think American Idol has always been a red-state competition. I think mainly it’s a Southern competition. Every finalist, with the exception of Justin, has been a Southerner.” He also admits that the show has taught him that the public “like[s] safe singers.” Regarding the Corey Clark quasi-controversy, Simon says that even if Paula helped him, it doesn’t hurt the show, because it “is run by the public. … Regardless of what I say or what Paula says or what Randy says, the viewers decide who’s going to stay or go.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.

A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.