Melinda Doolittle eliminated from Idol, leaving Jordin and Blake as the final two

Perhaps the least likely final two combination became a reality on American Idol 6 last night as Melinda Doolittle, the one consistently amazing performer, went home. Many people, including judge Simon Cowell, assumed that Melinda would end up in the finale with either Jordin or Blake.

Instead, after “nearly 60 million votes,” according to Ryan Seacrest, Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks are left as the final two, which is somewhat ironic since both of them (and Sanjaya!) auditioned in Seattle, which the judges said last fall offered only “atrocious” and “insane” contestants.

Considering the relatively shocking nature of the results, the producers could have allotted more than two minutes at the end of the show to the surprising reveal and the reaction to it. But there was bullshit to get through first, such as advertisements for the tour and the new band search show, Ryan Seacrest’s creepy flirting with the viewers who won the weekly contest, and appearances by Maroon 5 and the Geico cave man–I mean, Elliot Yamin.

Additional footage from the finalists’ visits home also filled time during what Seacrest described as “this long hour results show.” Somehow, that he acknowledges that producers are wasting our time makes it even worse, because they’re not even pretending that this content has any value. But next week, we’ll do it all over again for a two-hour results show on Wednesday, followed by an eight-month break.

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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, 37, 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.