High school senior revealed Idol’s top 24 early by talking to contestants, researching

An 18-year-old high school senior correctly predicted the top 24 semi-finalists last week, long before the final Hollywood round episode of American Idol 6 aired.

The list Ricky Hoggard Holman posted was first “brushed off because names like fan favorite, Baylie Brown, had been left off,” according to Access Hollywood. But unlike most people posting stuff online, he actually had reliable sources and did research.

He “talked to seven contestants who were let go in groups, six who got booted during the rooms cut and … 5 who were let go in the Top 40,” plus “at least two low-level staffers” from the show, according to Access Hollywood’s Dish of Salt blog.

In addition, “[h]e checked Myspace, personal web pages and Googled for any other tidbits. He knew that once you reach the Top 40, all personal web pages must come down. The domain name fiasco of last season caused a change in the way Idol handled things. Still, a website under construction was a good sign, he said. Myspace pages sometimes yielded a chance to send an email, or to hit up one of their friends for information which led to phone numbers: Did your friend audition for ‘American Idol?’ Did they make it through to Hollywood? Can you tell me any of the names of other people who auditioned? The information poured in.”

The Spoiler King Revealed! [Access Hollywood]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.