Fantasia can’t read but still learned lyrics to songs and signed Idol contracts

American Idol 3 winner Fantasia released her memoir, Life Is Not a Fairy Tale, on Friday, and it reveals, among other things, that she is illiterate and was once raped.

20/20 reported Friday that, during the competition, Fantasia “was hiding the fact that she was barely able to read or write.” She says that she faked her way through those parts that required her to read. “Somebody would say, ‘You know, it’s pronounced this way’ and I’d be like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, you know, I’m country, you know,” she said. 20/20 reports that when she had to sing Gershwin’s “Summertime,” “Fantasia listened to the words, memorized them and did such a good job the sultry tune became her theme song.”

Fantasia also said she signed the show’s contracts without reading them. “Didn’t even know what I was signing. Just sign the contract.” She is now “working with tutors to learn how to read,” 20/20 reports, in part so she can read to her daughter.

In her book, Fantasia also discusses the time “she was raped in the 9th grade by a popular boy on whom she had a crush. She claims he abused her in the school auditorium, and she went straight home and got into bed,” 20/20 reports. Fantasia said, “One point in time I was saying it was my fault — just because of the way I was dressed, I caused it on myself.”

Update: Fantasia responds to the characterization that she’s “illiterate”

Fantasia’s Memoirs Reveal Experiences With Illiteracy, Rape [ABC News 20/20]
Life Is Not a Fairy Tale Amazon]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.