phone numbers wrong again on American Idol 4, this time in the closed captioning.

phone numbers wrong again on American Idol 4, this time in the closed captioning.
Once again, American Idol 4‘s broadcast showed incorrect phone numbers for three of the contestants. As Ryan read did his little host chat with Anthony, Bo, and Vonzell, Reality TV Magazine reports that the closed captioning showed 1-866-IDOLS-01–Carrie Underwood’s number–instead of the contestant-specific number. The text voting number appeared to be correct for those three contestants, and the mistake only appeared in the closed captioning. Of course, this begs the question: How many people who can’t hear well enough and need closed captioning watch a singing competition and then vote? Just how accurate is the closed captioning, which is notoriously bad on other live programs? And do the closed captions say things like, “sound of a chicken being strangled” as Anthony Federov is singing?

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.