Kelly Clarkson wins American Idol with 58 percent of the vote.

Kelly Clarkson wins American Idol with 58 percent of the vote.
The first American Idol is Kelly Clarkson, who beat Justin Guarini after receiving 58 percent of the vote, compared to Justin’s 42 percent. Host Ryan Seacrest said around 15 million calls were received last night, bringing the series total to more than 100 million voting phone calls. Part of her duties as winner include singing the national anthem on Sept. 11 at the Lincoln Memorial. Backstage, Justin told the AP, “Kelly Clarkson deserves it. I can’t sing those songs nearly as good as she can.” Regarding her win, Kelly said, “I credit God. There are so many talented people and for God to choose me,” according to the Star-Telegram.
+ also: what did Kelly really win?
+ and: Dixie Chick Natalie Manes wants to judge AI2, saying she’d “be more ruthless than Simon.”

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.