American Idol 5 tour has earned $14.6 million, is the “most successful Idol tour ever”

The American Idol 5 arena tour, which continues through Sept. 10, is “the longest and most successful Idol tour ever,” according to USA TODAY.

Citing Billboard, the paper says it earned $14.6 million “through Aug. 2,” having “been seen by more than 265,000 fans.” And that was nearly a month ago.

Billboard’s Ray Waddell tells the paper that this represents a new era in stardom. “People feel that they are invested in these personalities. It’s a product of today’s market, where an artist does their first tour at the arena level. You used to have to hone your craft in clubs and work your way up to bigger venues by becoming a strong entertainer,” he said.

Now, you just show up to audition for a reality show, and a year later you’re selling out arenas.

‘American Idol’ tour rolls on through U.S. arenas [USA TODAY]

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.