American Idol 3 had 6.7 million fewer viewers than Idol 2, breaks texting record.

American Idol 3 had 2.3 million fewer viewers than Idol 2, breaks texting record.
Despite the record number of votes cast, including a record number of text messages all season, just over two million fewer people watched the American Idol 3 finale compared to last year’s finale. Early estimates show 31.4 million viewers watched Wednesday night; last year, 33.7 watched. Still, as Reuters points out, the series “has emerged as Fox’s biggest hit and its first show to finish a season as the most watched series in prime time, with its Tuesday performance telecasts averaging more than 25 million viewers a week.” … Speaking of votes, it’s all well and good to criticize voter turnout in real elections, but let’s stop with this ridiculous moaning about how more people might soon vote for an Idol than for President. On American Idol, you can vote as much as your redial button and cell phone bill will allow. In America, you can only vote once, unless you live in Florida or in a locale where officials like cash gifts.
+ also: critic: “it was the strength of the field that brought a little chaos to Idol voting.”
+ and: Simon Fuller owns Fantasia now.

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.