Are gay people welcome on American Idol?

One would think a show about singing competition hosted by a metrosexual Queen of West Hollywood would be pretty gay friendly, but “homosexuality may not be as welcome on America’s most popular TV show” as it is in theatres, TMZ reports.

Among other examples, TMZ.com notes that, during American Idol 5‘s auditions, Randy Jackson asked a male contestant, “Are you a girl?” and Simon Cowell told a different male contestant, “I don’t mean this disrespectfully… shave off your beard and wear a dress.” And we haven’t even yet gotten to the part where Simon and Ryan Seacrest exchange gay insults, although FOX reportedly stopped those.

GLAAD tells TMZ.com that it “is reaching out to the show’s producers to discuss our concerns — and the concerns of community members and allies — who have contacted us about this matter.” But an executive producer of Extra, who is apparently an expert, says, “The critics totally miss the point. No one is exempt from the razor tongues of all three judges.”

Jim Verraros, the show’s only openly gay finalist, agrees that there’s a problem. “I honestly think that if I had come out [as gay] while I was on the show, FOX would’ve edited it out,” he said.

Caution: Don’t Act Tres Gay on ‘American Idol’ [TMZ.com]

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.