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]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.