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.

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.