Barbie will audition for American Idol 4.

Barbie will audition for American Idol 4.
In the event that you don’t think American Idol represents all that is soulless and evil about television, this will probably convince you: Barbie will be auditioning for the show next spring. Whether or not the plastic doll’s performance will actually air on the FOX show is unclear. However, Barbie “has been practicing her vocal skills and preparing to face the music industry’s toughest critics,” and a Mattel VP refers to “Barbie(R) doll’s ‘American Idol’ performance.” Additionally, according to a highly disturbing press release, “Barbie(R) doll and friends will offer girls an engaging new way to play out their favorite ‘American Idol’ fantasies, including three new friends that she meets at the open call auditions and innovative products to enrich their storylines, such as a stage set and unique music feature that offers relevant, friendship-themed songs.” I’m not quite sure what any of that means, but it scares me. A lot.

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.