Kelly Clarkson is the World Idol favorite for Simon Cowell and oddsmakers.

Kelly Clarkson is the World Idol favorite for Simon Cowell and oddsmakers.
Although no one in the United States will be allowed to vote for Kelly Clarkson during World Idol, which airs on Christmas day and taped earlier this week, she’s still the favorite to win. The Canadian Press reports that “Clarkson was virtually anointed the winner by Cowell” at this week’s taping of the Dec. 25 show, where he “heard a collection of average singers with quirky personalities in a contest that he described as a sprint between ‘racehorses and donkeys.'” Simon didn’t hold back, telling Norway’s winner Kurt Nilsen that the series has “allowed a lot of ugly people to become recording artists, and that’s not a bad thing.” Intertops oddsmakers have Kelly’s chances at 7/4, with Pop Idol‘s Will Young following closely behind at 2/1. At the taping, producers apparently filled the United States’ section with some British seat-fillers, who chanted “U.S.A.!” As the CP reports, “Some of those who were asked during the warm-up to chant U.S.A. when Clarkson appeared were Londoners who just happened to sit in the seats assigned to the Stars and Stripes by World Idol’s producers.”
+ also: different judge tells Will Young, “you should have singing lessons.”

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.