American Idol product placement interrupted by Siobhan Magnus’ exit

Glass blower Siobhan Magnus exited American Idol last night, which was unsurprising because she’s a better singer than TV personality; she’s too awkward for people to warm up to her, which is why we now have a relatively bland group remaining.

Siobhan was in the bottom three–which was formed after dramatic and pointless pairing of the remaining six finalists–with Casey James and Michael Lynche, who was the first sent back to safety.

The contestants performed the music of Shania Twain on Tuesday, and Shania was a pretty good mentor, although if she ever goes on tour in Arizona, she’d better staple her papers to her shirt, because she outed herself as a Canadian big-time with her accent. She was atypically active during the live show, offering more commentary than the judges at some points.

That’s part of the reason why Tuesday’s show obnoxiously ran over, affecting the end of Glee, too. But the results show finished early, giving Siobhan time to sing, and hug her family, and hug the judges, and talk to the judges, and make pancakes from scratch with her fans. Obviously, hour-long results shows are about an hour too long, but they couldn’t even fill time with product placement.

The entire episode was ridiculous, with about a half-hour of performances by other people that constituted product placement, and a half-hour of blatant product placement. How did the producers know that we wanted to be bored by both a Ford-branded music video and a behind-the-scenes segment that wasn’t interesting at all? Or here Shakira mangle Casey Kasem’s send-off line? Or hear from Shrek voice actors Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas, who looked about as miserable as I was, even though I had the fast-forward button to help me through it?

The Sing-Off loses its star

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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.


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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.

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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.