Fantasia and Diana “are stalling [on radio] despite the contest’s enormous launch.”

Fantasia and Diana “are stalling [on radio] despite the contest’s enormous launch.”
Despite high ratings for their season of the show and moderate sales for their singles, American Idol 3 “winner Fantasia Barrino and runner-up Diana DeGarmo are stalling [on radio] despite the contest’s enormous launch.” Why is this the case? One analyst tells USA TODAY that “Popular radio is edgy and urban right now, so obviously programmers and TV networks aren’t necessarily looking to serve the same audiences. No doubt, there has to be a point of diminishing returns for the American Idol franchise.” Airplay Monitor’s Chuck Taylor also suggests that people just don’t like Fantasia or Diana any more: “Viewers played the game by watching and voting. That doesn’t mean they necessarily care about these folks now that the contest is over.” In Fantasia’s state of North Carolina, WKZL’s program director says her single is a “verifiable slam-dunk, home-run smash hit.” He says her management at 19 Entertainment might be to blame: “Everyone who deals with them says they’re notoriously difficult. Maybe they’re too hard-nosed. That’s the only theory I have.”

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.