Seven of Idol’s eight Southerners remain, despite being underrepresented in the top 24

When American Idol‘s top 24 were unveiled, a minority were from the South. That’s significant because every single winner so far has been a Southerner.

However, as the New York Times points out, only two of this season’s eight Southerners have been eliminated. (I initially counted seven, excluding LaKisha, who FOX says is from Maryland; tangentially, some of her more annoying supporters want to insist she’s from Flint, where she was born.)

Perhaps more importantly, two of those initial eight, Melinda and LaKisha, are easily the favorites to win. The other remaining Southerners are Haley Scarnato, Chris Richardson, Chris Sligh, and Phil Stacey.

Not that Melinda or LaKisha need any additional support, but the Times also notes that this year, as last year, more viewers are from the South. Last year, “the South accounted for 39 percent of ‘Idol’ viewers, compared with 21 percent each in the Northeast and North Central regions and 19 percent in the West.” This year, “the two-hour season premiere had a 34.7 share in Atlanta, compared with 22.3 in New York and 18.2 in Los Angeles.”

On ‘Idol,’ the South Rises Again … and Again [New York Times]

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.