Three of America’s Got Talent 5’s four finalists were discovered by producers online

Of America’s Got Talent‘s final four, three of them didn’t show up to the auditions: two were recruited by the show’s producers, who found the performers online, while one came from the YouTube auditions.

Only Michael Grimm stood in line to audition, having been rejected last year. Fighting Gravity “was discovered virally, after five original group members performed at a campus talent show”; Prince Poppycock, aka John Quale, was discovered after “AGT producers found a Poppycock performance on the Internet and encouraged him to audition”; and Jackie Evancho was one of “12 performers selected for an August show based on YouTube video submissions,” USA TODAY reports.

As to tonight’s finale, Prince Poppycock, who’s been a favorite of mine, really blew it with his performance. He sang opera and did basically nothing else, though his set had a woman chained up. So it looks like it’s between young opera singer Jackie Evancho and Virginia Tech students Fighting Gravity. They put on a great performance, though it wasn’t perfect and a screw-up near the end revealed some of how they do what they do. Hopefully, despite that, their decision to give up a semester of college will be rewarded by viewers tonight with $1 million (or, actually, $375,000), and the show will be stay true to its claim that it’s about finding a Las Vegas-style act.

Who’s got ‘Talent’? It could be any one of these four finalists [USA TODAY]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.