Mario is still under Idol’s contract; does self-effacing top ten on Letterman.

Mario is still under Idol’s contract; does self-effacing Top Ten on Letterman.
Mario Vasquez has denied that a contract issue led him to quit American Idol 4. But even if he did have another offer, or even if he was upset about the terms of the contract, he’s already committed to it. Two weeks ago, he and the other “contestants signed a contract prohibiting them from recording any albums until three months after the show’s finale in late May,” according to the New York Daily News. Thus, even if he did get a better deal, he’d have to wait until August to take advantage of it.

Meanwhile, since Mario’s personal issue was so overwhelming and all-consuming, and since his privacy is so very, very important to him, he showed up on David Letterman last night, where he delivered the Top Ten List. Well, sort of: He quit in the middle of delivering the self-effacing list of reasons why he quit Idol. Here’s Mario’s Top Ten:

No. 10: “Well, for starters, I was really, really drunk.
No. 9: “I’ve got my eye on the ultimate prize: ‘Belgium Idol”‘
No. 8: “Yeah, my career’s over, but I just saved a bundle on my car insurance.”
No. 7: “After seeing Michael Jackson (news), maybe I don’t want to be a pop star.”
No. 6: “Ryan Seacrest (the host of ‘American Idol’) is all hands.”
No. 5: “I started liking when Ryan Seacrest was all hands.”
No. 4. “Screw it–I’m quitting this, too.”

TVgasm has an audio file of Mario’s Letterman appearance–and audio of Mario’s new “single.”

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.