Ruben says “God’s got my back; Simon says guest judges are “insulting.”

Ruben says “God’s got my back; Simon says guest judges are “insulting.”
Ruben Studdard unexpectedly came in second to last place on Wednesday’s show, giving Josh a reprieve. Treynce was eliminated, however, and Ruben knows why: “It was cool. I’m going to be OK. God’s got my back.” The Birmingham News also reports that Ruben’s brother voted for him 85 times on Tuesday. Over at the judge’s table, the American Idol 2 guest judges, most of whom issue comments that have even less substance than Paula’s, are “insulting” to Simon Cowell. He tells USA TODAY “it’s our role and nobody else’s to judge these kids, because we’ve chosen them from the beginning.” However, Simon is fine with the current panel, even Paula and her cheeriness. “If you had three people on the panel who were like me, it would be awful; it would just be gratuitous, who could come up with the best insult. Part of its appeal is that we are so different.” Finally, Entertainment Weekly reports that Josh’s growing girth is due to a thyroid problem, according to a stylist on the show. The stylist says, “He’s been putting on weight because of that, and it’s been a shock to him to be going up in size.”

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.