American Idol 7 finds its top 12

American Idol 7 eliminated four contestants last night to find its top 12. The top 12 are David Archuleta, Jason Castro, Chikezie, David Cook, Kristy Lee Cook, David Hernandez, Michael Johns, Ramiele Malubay, Syesha Mercado, Amanda Overmyer, Carly Smithson, and Brooke White.

Eliminated were Asia’h Epperson, Kady Malloy, Luke Menard, and Danny Noriega.

With that final elimination, the show took one step away from having an openly gay finalist, as Danny was the only confirmed gay contestant. “One of our most courageous performers ever, I think, on American Idol,” Ryan Seacrest said, referring to (what else?) Danny’s flamboyance.

Meanwhile, Paula Abdul did her best to try to inject a bit more drama, spending half the show standing up. “She wants to go to the bathroom,” Simon Cowell said at one point. Paula started bawling when Asia’h was eliminated, and after Asai’h sang, Paula shouted, “That was the best vocal you ever did!” But Paula, that was not the best crazy you ever brought, so you’d better step it up for the finals, or we’re going to vote you out.

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.