15,000 show up in Cleveland to wait for today’s first American Idol 4 audition.

15,000 show up in Cleveland to wait for today’s first American Idol 4 audition.
The first of the American Idol 4 auditions takes place today in Cleveland, but “[a]n estimated 15,000 hopefuls began arriving at 6 a.m. [Tuesday] and planned to sleep out all night,” the AP reports. Auditions will continue Sunday in St. Louis. However, those of you who might be planning to wait in line in other cities can probably just stay at home; the mother of Levi Morse, the 17-year-old who is first in line today, told the AP, “He’s going to be the next American Idol.” Glad that’s taken care of: Now we can be spared 40 hours of Paula Abdul and Ryan Seacrest and that haunting theme music that refuses to leave my head no matter how many times I bang it against my desk.

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.