Paris Bennett leaves Idol but is joined in the bottom two by Elliott Yamin

After “almost 45 and a half million votes” were cast on American Idol 5 on Tuesday, Paris Bennett went home. She was joined in the bottom two by Elliott Yamin.

The results show was rather uneventful, except for some weird lighting design that caused the finalists to be bathed in blue light while they were waiting to hear if they were safe or not, temporarily turning them into Smurfs, and for a weird comment Ryan Seacrest made to Taylor after a break. “I can never wear shoulder pads again after seeing that, Taylor,” he said.

Simon Cowell also referred to the survey that said he was the most-respected judge, although he totally misquoted it. Talking about his popularity, he said, “I thought 78 percent was low,” Simon said. But the 78 percent was actually and ironically the number of people who don’t vote, not the percent who value his opinion the most (24).

Next week, the final four will perform Elvis Presley songs, after traveling to Graceland this week to tour Graceland with Priscilla and work with “ruthless and callous” music industry personality Tommy Mottola.

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.