Paula’s gaffe now blamed on her rehearsal observation; Idol hits a five-year ratings low

Ratings for American Idol 7‘s Neil Diamond night Tuesday, when Paula Abdul’s well-publicized gaffe occurred, were down yet again.

They “fell to another five-year low,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, as 24.4 million people watched. Interestingly, Hell’s Kitchen 4‘s ratings increased 12 percent despite its lead-in’s decline, which the paper calls “impressive” and “beyond the influence of its usual ‘Idol’ boost.”

Meanwhile, there’s now yet another official explanation for Paula’s screw-up, and it’s what I first suspected: Producers admit she based her critique on dress rehearsal, although they insist she didn’t have notes from that rehearsal, which apparently makes that better.

“The judges occasionally watch the rehearsals, which they’ve acknowledged before in various press interviews, as well as on-air during the broadcast,” executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz told The Hollywood Reporter. “While this gives them an idea of what the contestants are going to perform that night, it does not influence their comments for the actual broadcast performance. Paula’s comments were based on her acknowledgment that she had seen a small portion of the rehearsal. The judges do not use ‘rehearsal notes.'”

If you’re keeping track on your Paula Abdul excuse scorecard, that’s now reason number three: Paula first said her notes confused her, and Ryan Seacrest said–and Paula agreed–that she just accidentally said “second song”, even though she also said “first song” and “the two songs.”

Fox’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ sizzles
and Paula Abdul hits a sour note [Hollywood Reporter]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.