Ruben’s album is number one, but sells about 200,000 fewer copies than Clay.

Ruben’s album is number one, but sells about 200,000 fewer copies than Clay.
American Idol 2 winner Ruben Studdard’s album Soulful was the best-selling album last week by far, easily beating Alicia Keys, who had the number two record. Ruben’s record sold 416,500 copies, which was just under 200,000 fewer than the 613,000 Clay’s Measure of a Man sold its first week in stores. In a story today, The New York Times asks why “it is difficult to predict hitmakers based on the results of the show’s singing contest.” RCA chair Clive Davis says, “It really depends on who the winner is and why they’re winning. You can only cross your fingers and hope it coincides with real talent.”

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.