Top 13, not 12, includes Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, Jasmine Murray, Megan Joy Corkrey

American Idol 8 has its finalists, and for the first time, there are 13 finalists, because if there’s anything the world needs, it’s another week of American Idol. Half of the wild card performers made it through: Megan Joy Corkrey, Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, and Jasmine Murray.

The show ran late in order to reveal its big twist; with Matt and Anoop left, Anoop thought he was going home once Simon announced that Matt was through. But Simon said, “We decided, recently, we’re going to make this a top 13.”

Megan had to comfort Tatiana instead of celebrating, and Tatiana and her brand-new accent wandered over in front of the judges’ table to cry. Paula Abdul may have delivered the most backhanded and awesome insult of her judging career, as she told Tatiana, “It’s not just going to be singing for you, you’re going to be an actress, too.” In other words: bye, bye, faker. Before she disappeared for good (although I’d guess she’ll be back in the audience during the finale or something, just to annoy us), there was a “watershed” moment, as Simon said, when Ryan Seacrest essentially asked Tatiana to get down on her knees in front of him. Awkward.

Adding an extra finalist actually won’t affect the show’s schedule. The finale is currently scheduled for May 19 and 20, about the same time it was last year, and that works because producers dumped Idol Gives Back, meaning all 11 weeks remaining this season should be regular performance/elimination weeks. Yes, 11 weeks to go.

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.