Teenagers win: American Idol heads into its bland teen country finale

American Idol has its final two, and they are the youngest finalists in the show’s history. Congratulations, teenage voters and old people with bad taste: You have given us a country music-heavy finale and two finalists with the stage presence of paper bags.

Yes, Lauren Alaina, 16, and Scotty McCreery, 17, are the final two, making this two weeks in a row now where the strongest performer and musician has gone home, as Haley Reinhart, 20, was eliminated. And it’s not because people stopped caring or voting: About 95 million votes were cast, which Fox says was “the highest number of votes ever for a non-finale episode.”

Next week, the final two episodes move to Tuesday, when the final two will each perform, and Wednesday, when we’ll gather for the traditional two-hour live blog/support group to make it through the parade of post-apocalypse horror that awaits us.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.