American Idol 5 sends four more home; Ace is dating actress Essence Atkins

American Idol 5 continues to drop contestants, losing four more last night. And considering the prevalence of losers this season, the faster the better.

Ending their experience on the show were Heather Cox, Brenna Gethers, Jose “Sway” Penala, and David Radford. None were a surprise, as they all turned in boring performances earlier this week. Brenna and David received the lowest votes in their respective groups.

Meanwhile, TMZ.com does its best to hurt Ace’s chances by revealing that he’s in a relationship, thereby killing viewer fantasies. Ace is dating Essence Atkins, who stars in UPN’s Half & Half. She says they “were introduced by a mutual friend of mine” and calls him “consistently sweet,” but says that, since the competition began, “we actually aren’t talking as much.” But she’s doing her best to keep him on the show: “I probably voted 100 times or so,” she said.

Exclusive: Ace’s Girl? [TMZ.com]

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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.