Simon will return for Idols 4 and 5.

Simon will return for Idols 4 and 5.
Have no fear: American Idol 4–and, for that matter, American Idol 5–will both include the allegedly acerbic wit of judge Simon Cowell. This is despite the lawsuit pending against Cowell that was filed by show producer Simon Fuller (so many Simons to keep track of). He’s currently taping auditions for the fourth season, which debuts in January. Simon told The New York Post, “I signed a contract a year ago to do three more ‘Idols,’ and I’ve got two more to go. You sign a contract, you make a commitment to somebody. Fox has been very good to me, and I’m going to honor that commitment, obviously.” Of course, he’s threatened to leave before, but that’s because he’s more of a drama queen than Celebrity Mole‘s Stephen Baldwin multiplied by Queer Eye‘s Carson Kressley.
+ plus: Anchorage audition cancelled; final audition will be in San Francisco on Oct. 4.

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.