Idol launches online version of its contest

American Idol is considering a satellite radio station and is definitely going online with a new spin-off music talent show contest, which will launch this fall as an online radio station. The station’s name is a pretty substantial oxymoron: American Idol Underground.

Here’s how it works, according to Billboard.biz:

Interested contestants can upload their music to the service for a $50 entry fee in a variety of genres, such as rock, hip-hop/rap, R&B, country, Christian and pop. Once uploaded, each track will receive a minimum of 200 spins. Listeners can sample music for free and then rate each track on a 1-10 scale. Every six months, the top-rated track from each month in each category will be presented to a panel of celebrity judges, who will pick the overall grand prize winner in each category.

A Fremantle Media exec, Jason Turner, said this “activates the American Idol brand online.” Way to stir up interest, Jason — nothing gets our hearts pumping like brand activation with a $50 entry fee.

The station and contest will be run by Fluid Audio Networks. And the new station needs interns, or at least one. Specifically, an ad was posted for a “networking/programming intern” in May.

‘American Idol’ Recast On Internet Radio [Billboard.biz]
American Idol Underground internship [csudh.edu]

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.