Wild card eight announced after Lil Rounds, Jorge Nunez, Scott MacIntyre make the top 12

American Idol 8 has three more finalists–Lil Rounds, Jorge Nuñez, and Scott MacIntyre, all relatively predictable–and now has eight people who get a second chance to make it to the top 12. During the results show, the loser semi-finalists waited in the Coca-Cola room for a judge to say their name, when they basically reacted as if they were in the Price is Right audience, fleeing their friends and running downstairs to join the others who have a chance at escaping inevitable obscurity.

The eight people who will perform during the wild card round tomorrow night are Ricky Braddy, Megan Joy Corkrey, Tatiana Del Toro, Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, Jesse Langseth, Jasmine Murray, and Von Smith. The judges will pick three from that group, forming the top 12.

The three finalists were announced relatively quickly, so the wild card eight could be announced. Simon Cowell said that the judges made the decision collectively, and “even during the last break we changed our mind.” He also said they chose “certain people [who], we think, made stupid song choices or they were just in a tough group, so we totally, totally support this system,” and added that “one of these wild card picks could actually win this show.”

He also noted that Jennifer Hudson and Clay Aiken made it through as wild cards during their respective seasons, and Von Smith was probably just glad Clay Aiken was mentioned outside of a comparison to him, because those inevitably end with Ryan Seacrest and the judges making vague, awkward comments that actually mean “not because he was a closeted geek who whose fan base of middle aged women who wanted to bang him couldn’t keep him from losing, but because he’s talented.”

The “last-minute change,” as Paula said, was Jesse Langseth. Tatiana was chosen because of her “heart,” and of course she started bawling and fell to her knees with her melodramatic bullshit. If The Bachelor showed emotion like her we would have had definitive proof that it was fake.

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

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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.