Photo of Chris Richardson and Blake Lewis cuddling backstage at Idol is fake

A photograph of two American Idol 6 finalists that is making the rounds online offers something a lot more interesting than Sanjaya to talk about: two male contestants who seem to have a very close relationship. However, the picture is not genuine.

The photo shows finalist Blake Lewis sitting on Chris Richardson’s lap backstage; has his arms around Blake, who’s carefully studying his phone or other electronic device.

Their images are real, but the original Getty Images photo shows both men in the same poses, just sitting in separate chairs, as a Towleroad commenter noticed. Someone with Photoshop skills clearly edited the two together using the original, which was taken on Feb. 20, as the source.

Idol’s Chris Richardson and Blake Lewis Get Cozy [Towleroad]
American Idol Top 24 Backstage [Getty Images]

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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.