205 Flava says it secretly paid Ruben $10,000 to wear their shirts on TV.

205 Flava says it secretly paid Ruben $10,000 to wear their shirts on TV.
American Idol 2 winner Ruben Studdard received secret cash payments to wear 205 Flava’s shirts on the show, the company’s owners say. Ruben asked for and received $1,000 a week, and later $1,500 a week, they revealed; at a press conference, the owners’ attorney “showed copies of $10,000 in checks,” the AP reports. Ruben “specified that the checks be made out to his brother, Kevin, so the Fox show wouldn’t find out about the deal,” according to The Birmingham News. Ruben and his attorney declined to comment; they filed suit last week against 205 Flava saying the company used Ruben’s image without permission.

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.