Report: Producers tell Simon who to insult, banter with Ryan is planned

A report in the upcoming issue of Star says that the banter between Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell is not spontaneous, but is instead “outlined,” and that Cowell’s insults are pre-planned.

An “insider” tells the tabloid, “Most of these rifts have been outlined. … The truth is Ryan is just as focused on the show’s popularity as Simon. There’s no real drama. It’s all for the cameras!” (That last part isn’t a surprise; Ryan and Simon are well-documented buddies.)

More damning, however, is the anonymous person’s accusations that the show’s executive producer tells Simon who to criticize. “The executive producer of the show, Nigel Lythgoe, watches the rehearsals and writes notes on who Simon should make snarky comments about. That’s what’s on the sheets of paper on the judging desk. Simon is not the evil guy you think he is,” the source tells Star, according to Jeannette Walls’ account.

If true, that would seem to compromise the show’s integrity as a competition; if Simon criticizes someone, the voting audience frequently listens, and telling him to target certain singers could lead to viewers targeting that person.

Was Simon and Ryan’s ‘Idol’ spat scripted? [MSNBC]

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.