On Broadway, “people are dying to see” former American Idol stars

Simon Cowell may insult contestants by saying they belong on Broadway, but Broadway “is laying out the welcome mat” for former contestants, “and with good reason,” the LA Times reports.

Hairspray’s producer Margo Lion says, “‘American Idol’ has certainly brought in audiences — people are dying to see these performers. It brings in a hip factor, just like Disney brought in family audiences.”

American Idol 2‘s Frenchie Davis, American Idol 3‘s Diana DeGarmo, and first season star Tamyra Gray have all had successful Broadway careers. The only flop so far has been Josh Strickland, which may be due to the fact that no one remembers who the hell he is (he apparently was on the second season, although he wasn’t even in the top 24).

In addition, as casting director Bernard Telsey tells the LA Times, the show “has absolutely become a big deal here in terms of finding new talent. Watching this show has become another way to locate incredibly talented people — it’s like a televised open call. I watch it, and certain people on our staff have to watch it. Our inside joke is we root for our favorites to lose so that they can become available to us.”

‘Idol’-ized [LA Times]

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.