Danny Gokey’s scream follows shattered Idol set; Adam Lambert predictably rules rock week

The final four American Idol 8 contestants performed the show’s first-ever duets last night, but they didn’t have a dress rehearsal with an audience to practice first because part of the set exploded and collapsed. Now that we’ve seen the performance episode, I think it’s clear that the set heard a rumor about what Danny Gokey was going to do at the end of his performance and decided to shatter itself first.

His version of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” may just send him to the bottom two, if not kick him out of the competition. Even Paula criticized his song choice, but the performance is most memorable for concluding with a note that Simon Cowell said was “like watching a horror movie.” Don’t believe him? Watch this hysterical remix of the scream by B-Side Blog, but clear fragile objects, pets, and those using hearing aids from the room first:

The other screaming stand-out was Adam Lambert, who producers let open and close the show, as his solo came first and his duet with Allison ended the episode. His “Whole Lotta Love,” the first time anyone has attempted Zeppelin in eight seasons, was near-perfect (“the only problem is nobody can top that now,” Simon said), and Allison and Adam’s version of “Slow Ride” was enthusiastically received; Kara called them “rock god, rock goddess,” while Simon said “in the battle of the duets, you win the show tonight,” because Danny and Kris Allen’s “Renegade” was weak.

Simon also told Adam that “you may have given this one [Allison] a chance at staying in the competition because of that.” Allison and Adam in the final three seems likely, especially because Kris Allen wasn’t strong, either, so it’s likely he’ll join Danny in the bottom two. Kris’ “Come Together” by The Beatles “was rather like eating ice for lunch; it will leave you with nothing to remember afterwards,” Simon said. How long do you think he’s been holding on to that creative new insult?

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.