behind-the-scenes gossip: Kimberly Caldwell “had to wave for” the others to come over.

behind-the-scenes gossip: Kimberly Caldwell “had to wave for” the others.
A friend of American Idol 2 finalist Clay Aiken’s best friend traveled with her to Hollywood and reports from behind the scenes of a taping. She says Kimberly Caldwell “had to wave for the contestants to come over and ‘rally’ around her” after she was kicked off, and reveals what’s in the judges’ Coke cups (water for Randy, Perrier for Simon and Paula). Meanwhile, an Orlando Weekly reporter talked to the American Idol cast members whose mall tour stopped in Central Florida last Saturday. The reporter talked to Charles Grigsby, who says he has “mad offers” and business cards from celebrities. He also had a conversation with Ejay Day, who complimented the reporter’s shirt, prompting him to write, “He’s gay, obviously. And his makeup is fermenting.”
+ also: AT&T Wireless has only made $100,000 on American Idol text messaging so far.

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.