American Idol 8 “going back to letting the kids be more emotional”

Among the changes coming to American Idol 8, besides a fourth judge and a focus on contestants’ personalities, is a return to the show’s “roots.” Alas, that doesn’t mean Brian Dunkleman isn’t returning.

“The show is more real, it’s back to its roots. It doesn’t have a veneer,” Fox marketing executive Joe Earley told TV Week. These vague, as-yet-undefined changes are coming in part because the show lost nine percent of its younger viewers, those ages 18 to 49, last season.

Fox reality executive Mike Darnell said, “It’s going back to letting the kids be more emotional and seeing more of their reality. We’re going to allow the public to see a little more of their emotional state.” He said there will be “subtle changes and there are bigger-than-subtle changes. But I wouldn’t call anything ‘radical.’”

He doesn’t say what those changes are or how the contestants’ emotion will come out, but hopefully it’s not from the “increased jeopardy” (i.e. more contestant torture).

Meanwhile, Darnell says the contestants are as good as those in season five. “We just got done with Hollywood Week, and the talent and the characters we have are the best since season five,” he said.

Fox Plays Up ‘Idol’ Emotion [TV Week]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.