“millions across the Arab world” watch Superstar; Palestine rallys around finalist.

“millions across the Arab world” watch Superstar; Palestine rallys around finalist.
The Arabic Idol series, Superstar 2, aired its penultimate episode on Sunday. One of its finalists is from Palestine, and the AP reports that “[f]or Palestinians, this is more than just a TV show. It’s a matter of national pride for a people that has yet to establish a state. [Ammar] Hassan, 26,–whose full name is Ammar Hassan Dakrouq–reached the final round by singing songs of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation of the lands they claim.” According to the Jerusalem Post, “The Palestinian Authority has declared a week of solidarity with” Hassan, and “[h]uge screens will be placed in the main squares in Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Gaza City to encourage the people to support” him. The series, which is watched in a number of countries, will conclude Aug. 29.

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.