What are we going to call the new American Idol judges? Steven? Jennifer?

There’s a problem with American Idol 10‘s new judges, and not just that one of them makes sexual comments about teenagers. What are we going to call Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez? Steven? Jennifer? J Lo?

Over the years, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson were known as Simon, Paula and Randy (later joined by Kara and Ellen), and those first names felt comfortable from the beginning. That casual familiarity is part of the show’s charm.

But somehow it feels very weird to just write or say “Steven” or “Jennifer.” The lead singer of Aerosmith doesn’t seem like someone who’s just “Steven.” And last names don’t quite work and are too formal for this context; plus, Steven Tyler’s is also a first name which makes it sound like another person. J Lo is short and casual enough, but it also doesn’t seem like something Ryan Seacrest would say from the stage: “J Lo, what do you think?”

Right now, I’m just writing “Steven Tyler” every time I need to refer to him, and “Jennifer Lopez” or “J Lo.” Maybe Steven and Jennifer will feel more comfortable after a few weeks. Or maybe there’s another possibility I haven’t considered?

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.