former Idols invade Nov. with new CDs.

former Idols invade Nov. with new CDs.
It’s November, and that means we’re about to be showered with more American Idol CDs than can fit in Ruben Studdard’s stocking. In addition to the 25 albums that were the direct spawn of the series, we now have five more albums from winners, runners-up, and others. All five of these new selections were produced by BMG’s Clive Davis, who told Entertainment Weekly, “Once you get away from that single, you’re dealing with an original recording artist. I’m not making American Idol albums.” Well, dude, people are only going to buy them because they’re American Idol albums. The albums are: Clay Aiken’s Merry Christmas With Love (Nov. 16); Fantasia’s Free Yourself (Nov. 23); Ruben Studdard’s I Need an Angel (Nov. 23); Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway (Nov. 30); and Diana DeGarmo’s as-yet-untitled album (Dec. 7).

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.