Idol franchise all over Billboard 100; Fantasia thought she’d lose because of race.

Idol franchise all over Billboard 100; Fantasia thought she’d lose because of race.
The American Idol franchise is well-represented on the Billboard Top 100 chart. It’s led, of course, by Clay’s Christmas album, which moved up to number 10; Kelly Clarkson’s new album is at 13 in its second week, down 10; and Fantasia’s album is on the chart, although it dropped to 34. Things don’t look so good for third-season runner-up Diana Degarmo. Her album was even bested by the sales numbers for the franchise’s biggest loser. “With sales of only 47,000 copies, DeGarmo’s ‘Blue Skies’ made only a minimal chart impact, coming in at No. 52, a lower debut position than the first albums by Guarini and, more embarrassingly, William Hung,” Zap2it.com reports. USA TODAY weighs in with analysis of these numbers, arguing that “the TV talent search seems to be losing some of its power to launch albums.”

Meanwhile, Fantasia tells the AP that she thought she was going to lose the competition to Diana, in part because of race. “I didn’t think I was gonna win. I don’t know why I was thinking (that). Black people support, but I was like ‘They probably ain’t on the phone. (White people) are going to support their peoples.'” But she no longer thinks that way because of the reaction she’s received from fans. “Every nationality would come up to me and say ‘I voted for you, I love you.’ So I stopped thinking like that.”

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.