X Factor ends with the result everyone predicted, making the last few months even more useless

The X Factor ended last night, finally, with Melanie Amaro beating Josh Krajcik, and third-place Chris Rene to win the show’s unbelievable $5 million prize. Melanie was eliminated from mentor Simon Cowell’s group at the top 16 stage, but brought back in one of those totally inauthentic moments that helped make the series a monstrous disappointment. (Remember how much promise the series had back when Fox aired two truly outstanding promos?)

The most surprising part of the conclusion was that her victory was announced eight minutes before the end of the second hour, which like the first hour was full of filler and performances such as Justin Bieber performing with with Stevie Wonder. That gave Melanie a chance to say nothing of substance and for her to barely get through the same song she auditioned with while the show’s awesome stage did its best to give everyone seizures.

There was real-life drama behind the scenes, as three crew members were injured during 50 Cent’s performance drama accident when a piece of the set came apart and hit two of them in the head. They were hospitalized, but there’s no word yet about their condition this morning.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.