four Idol 4 semi-finalists go home.

four Idol 4 semi-finalists go home.
The thinning has begun, as American Idol 4 has lost its first four semi-finalists. Judd Harris, Melinda Lira, Sarah Mather, and Jared Yates received the fewest audience votes after their performances earlier this week, and went home. Craig Berman writes that both song selection and air time played a role. He says that “the combination of lack of familiarity and poor song selection doomed Jared Yates and Sarah Mather as well. … Only one elimination was really a surprise, and that was Judd Harris” because he “picked a song that seemed to get the audience’s attention.”

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.