Carrie Underwood sells more albums her first week than any other female Idol

Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts record entered the Billboard 200 chart at number two, after selling “nearly 315,000 copies,” according to Billboard.

Although she was beaten by Madonna on the Billboard 200, that was enough to “[make] her the highest debuting new artist in the country genre since SoundScan began,” according to a press release. Carrie “also earned the distinction of selling more units than any other debut female American Idol star to date,” the release says.

Kelly Clarkson’s debut album sold about 300,000 copies its first week, and Fantasia sold 240,000 copies when her album debuted. However, they’re all trounced by Clay Aiken’s debut week record; he sold 613,000 copies of his first record.

Madonna Dances Straight To No. 1 [Billboard]
American Idol Carrie Underwood Debuts at Number One on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart [Arista Records press release]

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.