Fantasia is the third American Idol.

Fantasia is the third American Idol.
American Idol 3 has its winner, and her name is Fantasia Barrino. She’ll record and release a single with “I Believe” and “Dreams”, which hits stores June 8; Tamyra Gray wrote the the first song. More than 65 million votes were cast, well over the 24 million votes cast last season. However, after the colossal f-up last year, Ryan Seacrest said nothing about the distribution of those votes. The AP is now reporting that Fantasia “won by 1.3 million votes.” A 35-minute “pre-show,” complete with a “red carpet” and “celebrities” like Nicole Richie and Sharon Osbourne, plus performers by the “losers,” led up to the roughly 80-minute finale from the Kodak Theatre. MSNBC’s Test Pattern has a minute-by-minute recap of the entire two hours if you’d like to relive them.
+ also: single mom Fantasia says, “Don’t look down on me and talk about me — pray for me because I’m trying.”

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.