William Hung debuts at #34; final 12 are producing a record with soul classics.

William Hung debuts at #34; final 12 are producing a record with soul classics.
After selling 37,676 copies in one week, William Hung’s Inspiration debuted at number 34 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. It’s also number one on the Billboard Independent Album Chart. Those sales figures may be shocking, but they’re not spectacular. Justin Guarini debuted at number 20 after selling 54,000 copies of his self-titled album, and he was ultimately dumped by RCA. (By comparison, Kelly sold 297,000 copies her first week, and Clay sold 613,000.) Meanwhile, the American Idol 3 contestants who actually, like, made it on the show are producing their own album. American Idol season 3: Greatest Soul Classics will feature “contestants covering favorites from Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Billy Paul, Smokey Robinson, the Stylistics and Gladys Knight and the Pips, among others,” Billboard reports. Each final 12 contestant has their own track, and one The album drops April 27.

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.