Judges apologize to Katharine and Kellie Pickler says goodbye

Although a record number of votes were cast last night–“over 47 and a half million … the highest non-finale vote since Idol began,” Ryan Seacrest said–not enough went to Kellie Pickler, who went home. She was joined in the bottom two by Paris Bennett; it was the first time at the bottom for both.

Chris and Katharine were the top two, the first time the show has ever announced who came out on top. Katharine’s position was good news for the judges, who felt the need to apologize to her. Ryan Seacrest (bizarrely) told Simon Cowell that there were “lots of calls to FOX last night about the judges, specifically about you. Some of the viewers saying that you were a b it unfair last night. How do you respond?”

Well, here’s how I respond: They called about Simon, and not the freak show sitting to his right? Please. And who are these people who called, and why are they allowed to have telephones?

In any case, Simon replied, “I think I was unfair to one person last night. And I want to apologize, because I don’t think this person got the right appraisal. And that person is Katharine.” He explained that “it sounds different when you watch it back, you know, and I’ve watched it back and I thought we were unfair, you know. It was a good performance.” Ryan Seacrest called that “a very classy move.”

In other results show filler, Simon Cowell asked Ryan and Paula, “Are you two talking yet, by the way?” referring to the nonexistent feud between the two. They confirmed that they were, and America was able to go to sleep without worry.

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.