sociologist: Ruben’s “intrinsic appeal” shows “no signs of racism.”

sociologist: Ruben’s “intrinsic appeal” shows “no signs of racism.”
In a profile of American Idol 2 hotcake Ruben Studdard and reaction to him from local and national communities, The Birmingham News talks to a sociologist who says support for Ruben is “a good thing because it’s biracial support no signs of racism.” The University of Alabama’s Michele Wilson says, “He’s a nice guy who has a lot of intrinsic appeal.” She also points out that “[t]he average person can’t tell you where Iraq is. Yet they’ve got into this fascination [with Ruben]. That’s part of what America is. This is where Americans are. We are not a sophisticated group of people.”
+ also: 205 Flava produces and sells Ruben’s 205 shirts, which start at $125.

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.