American Idol 4 conspiracy theories called “rubbish”; results show airs tonight.

American Idol 4 conspiracy theories called “rubbish”; results show airs tonight.
American Idol 4‘s telephone number screw-up led to a quasi-rebroadcast of Tuesday’s episode last night; the performances were replayd, interspersed with new comments from the judges and even lamer comments from Ryan Seacrest. (The results show airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET.) E! Online rounds up some of the conspiracy theories floating around about why this happened. Among them: “Fox purposely broadcast the wrong numbers in order to appease advertisers who were shorted at some point during the season,” “the higher-ups at Fox ultimately determine the show’s winner and perhaps Tuesday night’s voting didn’t go the network’s way,” and “that the ‘screw-up’ was actually a ratings ploy and that adding an extra show on Thursday was a deliberate plan to compete with Survivor and March Madness basketball.” One of the show’s executive producers, Ken Warwick, said these are all “rubbish.” He asked, “Why would we contaminate the honesty of the top-rated show in America by fiddling with it?” Warwick told reporters, as related by The Washington Post’s Lisa de Moraes, that “human error” was to blame, and said that producers didn’t believe they’d screwed up at first: “we said ridiculous! Impossible!”

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.