Chris Sligh leaves as Ryan Seacrest turns Idol into the Sanjaya show

When Ryan Seacrest asked the judges which of the bottom two contestants they thought would leave, Simon Cowell said, “I think it’s bye-bye Curly,” and he was right. Chris Sligh left American Idol 6, right before he ran out of jokes. Haley Scarnato and Phil Stacey were also in the bottom three after “over 30 million votes” were cast.

Paula Abdul answered Ryan’s question with some babble, which we’ve missed this season. “Never a fun time, never a fun time. I think you both deserve really great warmth from the audience,” she told Haley and Chris.

Earlier, Ryan Seacrest teased us with the possibility that Sanjaya would go home. Seacrest’s cute wordplay is nothing new, but there’s extra meaning when it involves Sanjaya. He said, “You sang ‘Bathwater.’ America voted, and you are”–long quasi-dramatic pause–”not going to be out on the center of the stage. You are safe; take a seat.”

It’s becoming very clear that the producers know who’s popular this season, even if he can’t sing. Seacrest opened the show by saying that viewers wanted to know both who was going home and what Sanjaya’s hair would look like. After the intro, Seacrest put on a Sanjaya fright wig modeled after Sanjaya’s hair from last night, and said, “I’ve been Sanjayaed.” And that begs the question: Do we really need two Sanjayas, especially if one can’t sing and the other is a twit?

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.