American Idol 5 will air three nights a week in February

For its semi-final competition, American Idol 5 will air on Thursdays after all.

The auditions will air Jan. 17, 18, 24, 25, 31, Feb. 1 and 7. The Hollywood episodes will air Feb. 8, 14, and 15, with the semi-finalists announced Feb. 15. Performance shows begin with the top 12 men on Feb. 12 and the top 12 women on Feb. 22, and two men and two women will go home Feb 23. That Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday schedule will continue for two more weeks, on Feb. 28, March 1, and 2; March 7, 8, and 9. On March 9, we’ll have our top 12, who will start performing the next Tuesday, March 14, so we’ll have one week to recover from the exhaustion.

If you need to pencil days and times into your calendar, FOX has spelled it all out in a press release.

“American Idol” Begins January 17 and 18 on FOX [FOX 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.