FOX will start selling downloads of Idol performances; Taylor downloads have the most spyware

FOX will soon begin selling audio and video downloads of the American Idol 5 performances, perhaps as early as tonight.

The site will sell videos “for $1.99, audio downloads for 99¢. The entire episode will not be available,” Variety reports. While they “could go live on the site as soon as tonight’s episode, … it’s more likely they’ll become available beginning May 9, when the final six episodes of the show kick off.”

Once FOX starts offering the downloads, it’ll be interesting to see if they go after web sites that offer bootleg audio and video recordings of the performances.

Speaking of downloads, security software company SiteAdvisor has analyzed search results for the top 12 finalists to see the percentage that point to malicious sites that feature “intrusive spyware and adware programs that clutter your PC, slow your system’s functionality, invade your privacy, and serve annoying pop-up advertisements,” the company says on its blog.

Taylor downloads are by far the most infected: 45.5 percent of “site links returned on the first page of search results” for Taylor were deemed “dangerous.” Ace is second with 36.4 percent, followed by a three-way tie between Bucky, Kellie, and Lisa. Melissa McGhee had zero percent, but that’s probably because she was voted off before anyone could create evil software in her name.

‘Idol’ tricks: quick clicks [Variety]
Fame, Fortune, and Spyware [SiteAdvisor blog]

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.