Paige Miles out, but American Idol 9 still sucks

And so the long, slow march to American Idol 9 being less awful has begun, as Paige Miles finally exited the show. There was no chance for her, and she seemed to have given up weeks ago. Before she sang her final song–awful, as always–Simon Cowell told her, “I don’t want to give you any false hope here. It’s the end.”

Meanwhile, there were some awful performances by Miley Cyrus, Joe Jonas, and Demi Lovato. And Ryan Seacrest did a really awful job of killing time and trying to create suspense while identifying the obvious bottom three–which also included Tim Urban and Katie Stevens, and though some people were surprised by Katie’s presence there (instead of Andrew Garcia), she’s so bland that one slightly better performance wasn’t going to do much for her.

The only hope for this season not being known as both Simon’s last and the worst ever is that there is still lots of freakin’ time: A year ago, Kris Allen wasn’t even being mentioned as a possible finalist, while Danny Gokey and Lil Rounds were, and there was only a hint that Allison Iraheta might go far. Of course, a year ago, we also had Adam Lambert to surprise and entertain us every single week, and the rest of the group didn’t suck the life out of the room.

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.