Canadian Idol allows auditioners to play instruments

Canadian Idol will at least one of the ratings-increasing changes made to the Australian version of the show: Those who audition will be allowed to play instruments.

While the new rules “allow competitors to play instruments during their auditions,” the CP reports, “producers say competitors who perform a cappella this year will be judged the same as those who play instruments.” While the show remains a singing competition, “The instruments may also return later in the series next summer.”

Auditions start January 27 and continue through April, and the show debuts in June.

‘Idol’ OKs singers to play instruments [CP]

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.