Mandisa leaves, telling the audience, “I thank you and I bless you in the name of Jesus”

“Just under 35 million” votes were cast for American Idol 5 last night, according to Ryan Seacrest, but not enough of them went to Mandisa, who left in what may or may not have been a shocking result. DialIdol correctly predicted Paris, Elliott, and Mandisa would be in the bottom three, and the site even got the order correct.

Once considered a front-runner, Mandisa’s elimination proves that Idol “is a tough show to predict, because it depends on the audience’s willingness to pick up the phone,” MSNBC’s Craig Berman writes. Yesterday, before the results show, Nigel Lythgoe told reporters, “Every year we have a furor about something, [and] it’s going to happen tonight.”

Also surprising was Mandisa’s departing comment. She told the audience and her voters, “I thank you and I bless you in the name of Jesus.” Who knew she was ordained or capable of blessing us all?

The filler in the episode included a segment showing the contestants rehearsing with Queen, whose music they’ll perform next week. But really, isn’t having them sing Queen songs just an excuse for Ryan and Simon to say the word “queen” over and over again as they engage in more playful banter?

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.