Finalist and stripper David Hernandez voted out

So, last week, the AP wrote a story asking if American Idol is about to have its first openly gay finalist(s). Then, America votes out the two gay finalists–I mean, the guy who rapped about being gay but now won’t talk about it, and the guy who rubbed his naked body on men for money. It probably didn’t help that their final performances weren’t that great.

Yes, last night, David Hernandez was eliminated, and doesn’t even make it to the tour because that’s only for the top 10. He was joined in the bottom three by Kristi Lee Cook and Syesha Mercado, but when Ryan Seacrest told him he was there, David said, “Doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going off the show tonight; I’m just in the bottom three.” But no, it meant he was going home, and now there’s one less David to be confused by.

Besides that, American Idol had an hour of time to fill, and spent a considerable amount of time on product placement for the upcoming CGI adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who. The show opened with the characters watching–what else?–Idol, and Jim Carrey was in the studio audience wearing parts of an elephant costume. The product placement was so blatant Ryan Seacrest went for the acknowledge-it angle, asking Jim Carrey, “This wouldn’t be a Fox film, would it be?” The actor said, “Uh oh, busted. You like to point out the elephant in the room don’t you. Yeah, it’s a bit of cross-promotion. When you do a movie with Fox, you’re contractually obligated to do a certain amount of it.”

So, apparently, is the show. A segment on how the finalists’ lives have changed showed that they’ve becoming whores, wearing elephant ears at the film’s premiere. Meanwhile, we learned that the finalists’ lives won’t change much next week, as they will sing more Lennon-McCartney songs next week, allegedly because the show received calls and e.mail messages about those songs.

The show also killed time by taking live phone calls from viewers that were so spontaneous that the question was printed on the large screen. That’ll last until someone pretends they’re going to ask an innocuous question and instead asks something the show doesn’t like. The best question came from John Aaron, 22, from L.A., who asked Ryan, “You guys are always like bickering and fighting on the show. Why don’t you guys just, like, duke it out on stage?”

Ryan Seacrest said he wants to take on Simon Cowell: “I say load in the mud; I’m ready.” That would be a results show worth watching.

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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.