why did Ruben end up in the bottom two, and will it happen again?

why did Ruben end up in the bottom two, and will it happen again?
Ruben Studdard’s shocking second-to-last finish on last week’s American Idol 2 has been blamed on everything from racism to apathy. The Chicago Sun-Times Phil Rosenthal looks at the possibilities, and says the race factor “cannot be dismissed entirely” but says “[t]he most likely scenario is that fans of Studdard” didn’t vote because they were “so confident of their man’s victory.” Ultimately, Rosenthal concludes that “it’s practically built into the ‘Idol’ system that a loss doesn’t necessarily reflect true public opinion. The producers (and sponsor AT&T) all but encourage ballot-box stuffing, most weeks announcing a vote total that exceeds the number of viewers.”

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.