James Durbin’s exit helps American Idol march toward an even more mediocre finale

James Durbin was voted out of American Idol 10 last night in what has been compared to a shocker on the level of Chris Daughtry’s elimination, but is really just the elimination that elicited the biggest shrug.

James’ exit leaves bland Scotty McCreery, bland Lauren Alaina, and bland Haley Reinhart, who received some of the judges’ only criticism all season on Wednesday, which probably helped save her.

I’m totally uninvested in this season at this point, so I’m not as outraged or saddened as some people are, but it is clear that James was the most interesting singer left, if only because his screams have been accompanied by some decent performances and theatrical presentations, which are good at least for a laugh, and sometimes genuine entertainment.

James, however, was hurt and upset, perhaps in part because the audience reacted to Scotty’s safety (cheering and applauding) rather than his elimination (there were no audible boos or verbal expressions of shock). He was even kind of bitter. “I did so much stuff that’s never been done on this show before,” he said through tears. “I did what I came here to do, which was give metal a chance.”

Meanwhile, the results show featured a number of performances, including duets with the four finalists that highlighted one of the ways American Idol is inferior to The Voice. Oh, and Ryan Seacrest fell off the stage trying to slap one of Enrique Iglesias’ balls.

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.