Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert make top 12; Simon asked God to send Norman home

American Idol 8 now has half of its top 12, as Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen, and Adam Lambert have joined the first three finalists. The other six will be added next week during the semi-final round’s conclusion and the wild card round, which has finally been explained.

Allison Iraheta seemed to be a lock, and Adam Lambert wasn’t a big surprise, either. Kris Allen, who looks like an older version of David Archuleta, made it through despite getting dissed by Kara, and while he seemed surprised, it wasn’t quite a huge upset.

More importantly, we learned that God is apparently tight with Simon Cowell, as Norman Gentle/Nick Mitchell went home. Simon said he “I prayed for about five or six hours non-stop, actually, last night, and I’m hoping me and God have a good relationship right now.”

Since Allison and Kris got their stool seats during the first half hour, producers had time to fill, which they did in part by re-airing the “Idol retrospective” from the audition rounds, because that’s what we really miss, the endless montages from the auditions. We apparently miss them so much that Seacrest begged us to stay tuned during the commercials to see “an unseen audition you don’t want to miss.” Um, I fast-forward through the actual show, and you honestly expect me to stick around during the commercials?

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.