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]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.