American Idol Christmas special will air in November, on the last day of sweeps.

American Idol Christmas special will air in November, on the last day of sweeps.
On the last night of sweeps, Nov. 25, FOX will air a one-hour American Idol 2 special titled “American Idol: Christmas Songs.” It will feature past contestants and finalists including, of course, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Ruben Studdard, and Clay Aiken. “However, none of the show’s popular judges–Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson–is expected to appear, nor is host Ryan Seacrest,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Coincidentally, there’s a new CD featuring Christmas songs; American Idol Christmas, subtitled “The Great American Classics,” will be released tomorrow. That’s the same day Clay’s Measure of a Man will be in stores.

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.