Alexis’ elimination crushes absurd final four theory; Fox may renew Paula’s contract

One of the more interesting effects of Alexis Grace’s departure from American Idol 8 was that it immediately debunked a rumor that was getting a lot of traction (although of course conspiracy theorists who buy it would say that Alexis’ boot just proves that it was true).

On Tuesday, an absurd gossip report in the New York Daily News that insisted that the final four had already been selected. An alleged American Idol staff member, according to yet another anonymous person, “told group of people that the last four are going to be Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, Adam Lambert and Alexis Grace. Those ARE the people.”

Never mind that an anonymous “insider” quoting an anonymous staff member is highly dubious and probably pure bullshit, but if the show was fixed, would anyone go around bragging about it? And please: Picking those four as the final four is kind of like a psychic predicting rain when it’s dark and cloudy and lightning outside. In other words, it’s not the most surprising group considering their performances and relative popularity with the judges. It was far more surprising that Alexis went home without being saved by the judges, since she’d been one of their favorites, although her performances were both weak this week.

That rumor got way too much traction in the media, and now there’s a less significant rumor circulating as a result of a moronic and obnoxious National Enquirer story, in which columnist Mike Walker claims that Kara DioGuardi’s “pushy ‘tude” is “complaining she looks drab and unglamorous next to PAULA ABDUL and wants her wardrobe budget increased” even though “Kara and Paula must split the $100,000 wardrobe budget 50-50, period!”

That makes little sense, and I can’t imagine anyone would find it plausible that the show would really assign one shared budget to two people because they both have vaginas, instead of giving them individual budgets, but we all know two women can’t do anything except fight with each other. Ugh.

Anyway, Fox executive Mike Darnell actually addressed it and told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show Thursday morning, “We’re not going to make anybody split it. Do you split your wardrobe budget with Simon?” and they joked that Simon doesn’t need a budget. “I honestly don’t know what hte budgets are for wardrobes,” Darnell said, because it’s “a Fremantle production company thing, but I can tell you this, Kara’s been ridiculously cooperative and incredibly nice, and from what I can tell, everybody’s getting along terrific. Actually, this is the best season we’ve ever had for people feeling like this is a team effort.”

Seacrest added, “I see them getting along fine,” and Darnell said, “There’s a part of me that kind of wishes for controversy’s sake, they weren’t getting along, but the truth is they seem to be getting along terrifically.”

Speaking of Paula, who criticized the show and then denied criticizing the show, fueling rumors she would be leaving after her contract expires at the end of this season, Darnell joked, “What? Her contract’s up?” He later said, “As far as I’m concerned, and as far as Fox is concerned, none of those things change. We want Simon to stay for as long as he wants to stay, and we’re currently trying to make a new deal with Paula, too.”

‘American Idol’ chatter four-sees finalists [New York Daily News]
Kara: Wardrobe Woes [National Enquirer]

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.